It is tough what to make of Maradona’s almost certain appointment (at the time of writing, he just has to sign the contract) as the Manager of Argentina’s National football side. It seems an obvious appointment considering the fact that he is no lesser than a God there, and has led the team to World Cup glory in 1986. But you can’t help wonder that, if it hadn’t been the Maradona, but just another normal person with the same or maybe even slightly better qualifications as a manager, he wouldn’t have gotten the seat. After all, he just has six months of experience as a manager, and those two stints were nothing to write home about.
One thing is for sure, the Argentinean Football Association did not look at the disciplinary record of the applicants for their national side’s managerial post. If they had, Maradona probably wouldn’t have even bothered to turn up for the interview. One can only wonder what this would d for the dressing room atmosphere. Sure the players won’t lack in inspiration, but for how long? If things don’t go well for them in the first few games, they may start wondering if their boss is actually “God”, and should they actually call him a “Cheat” for the infamous Hand of God goal.
I probably don’t need to mention this but being a phenomenal player doesn’t qualify anyone to have become a great manager. If it did, Michel Platini won’t be spending his time making radical changes as the President of UEFA but instead garnering big bucks, and trophies, at probably one of the big clubs that he so vocally criticizes right now. Pele won’t be making news in football gossip but rather for some achievements. According to Maradona, his job is to “watching the players and picking up the ones who are in the best form.” To me, that sounds nothing more than fantasy football. I bet even Roman Abramovich can do that at Chelsea, and if he did, Andriy Shevchenko would have been the first player on his team sheet, no matter if he gave less than ten goals a season. If that’s the way things are going to be for Argentina, losses like the one to Chile last week (which was their first to their neighbours in thirty five years) could soon become common.
I won’t be a naysayer and write off Argentina’s chances of winning the World Cup, there probably are going to be a lot of those. After all, this is football. If Hull City could go to the top of the Premier League standings in late October, even if having played a game in hand, anything can happen. All I hope for is that Argentina’s training sessions don’t include a how to score a goal with your hand.
[Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/3336/17381121/ ]