Argentina sinking 'like Titanic', say Copa critics

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Copa America
Buenos Aires, Jul 8: Argentina's faltering Copa America campaign was compared to the doomed Titanic, with coach Sergio Batista struggling at the helm of the under-performing hosts. Batista should have been on to a good thing when he replaced Diego Maradona after the World Cup.

After all, had not Maradona's men laboured to qualify for the finals in South Africa in the first place, losing 6-1 to makeweights Bolivia, before, once there, being flattened by Germany in the quarter-finals?

Maradona's trials and tribulations and personality clashes with powerful Argentine Football Association (AFA) president Julio Grondona, who finally forced him out, were well-documented.

But the star of Argentina's 1986 World Cup win did bring one thing to the table that Argentina sorely lack on the basis of their Copa America draws with Bolivia and Colombia: passion for the cause.

"They don''t really seem to have a leader with a leader's personality," former international goalkeeper Carlos Bossio observed on Thursday as hungry media picked over the debris of the horror show against Colombia.

"He is leading the Titanic towards the iceberg," was the brutal assessment of Spanish sports daily AS.

On the plus side, there was a clean sheet, unlike in their 5-0 drubbing by Colombia in a 1993 World Cup qualifier that marked the start of an 18-year trophy drought at senior level. 

PTI

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