When Veron was as young as Messi pictured above, Argentinas team might as well have represented another country altogether, it was that different folks.

I’m not sure if you remember the team that Argentina put out last world cup, but it could have won it all. 50+ pass goals, the most incredible goal I have ever seen by Maxi Rodriguez in extra time and a Shahenshah for a captain in none other than Javier Zanetti as a backup to Sorin.

The team that left Argentina in 2006 to restore lost pride after an embarrassing attempt at playing without pay for a country in an economic meltdown in 2002, was actually one hell of a team. A number of Argentinian players that were on the brink of retirement or the end of their best days decided to give it one last push, names like Sorin, Ayala and Veron come to mind.

I recall watching the game they got knocked out to Germany against, a tactical disaster that was worthy of the coach being sacked. In short, the lesson learned was a rather obvious one to most; it doesn’t matter if Argentina are up by two goals, you can’t turn an attacking minded team into a Sicilian defense just by removing your strikers and putting on defensive minded players. The whole world felt sorry for Argentina and its exit.

What ensued next was pure madness. The appointment of the man who should have gained the title of “The Special One” on account of the positively retarded behavior that he has exhibited while in the hot seat of manager, Diego Maradona. His playing career speaks for itself, but his coaching career is a disaster.

A complete understanding of his insecurity and fear of the disappointment of his nation were on display during his press conference when he blasted everyone in South America and then asked the entire continent to go down on him. Everyone. All at once.

Everyone loves a rascal and that is exactly what Diego Maradona is, he is no picture of professionalism like Pep Guardiola or Arsene Whinger. Just another has been, piggy backing on his playing reputation to prove a point to his critics and the world after failing a blood test he didn’t think he should have.

That a nation would entrust an idiot who is a poor fit for his position is not new. After all more than half of North America decided it would be a good idea to vote republican during the Bush Era, so nothing is impossible. Something about McClaren and England is coming to mind but it was so short a memory that I can barely forget what it was. We have gone off on a tangent however.

The ultimate question is whether you would go with this team or the last one to South Africa if you could somehow turn back the hands of time. You’d have to choose between Messi being the demi-god he is now or a team of individuals that were well co-ordinated and accustomed to playing with each other. The embodiment of team work.

Give it some serious thought and you’ll come to the conclusion that I have. A team that should have got past the semi finals and been able to win it is probably a better bet than a bunch of highly skilled individuals that barely know how to play as a team because the manager chooses someone else to play each time  in a different system each time.

The cherry on top being him also managing to exclude two of the most influential midfield/back four players in World Football in Cambiasso and Zanetti. While I too dabble in saint worship from time to time when I see his highlight reels, it is tough to ignore his outright failure as a manager.

Isn’t it?