The Argentine national team are in serious danger of missing out on the World Cup for the first time since 1970, and it has been reported that Argentine legend Diego Maradona , the coach of the side, could be out of a job as of next week.
"Maradona and the squad are distanced and this is ever increasing," reported Buenos Aires newspaper Clarin, in reference to the possible internal conflict within the Argentine national team.
"Those who live day to day with the national team assure that next week will be a crucial week in relation to his [Maradona's] future. Important things will be decided. Diego Maradona, for the first time since he was appointed as the coach of the team, will have his power cut."
It is unknown whether Maradona will stay on as the coach of the national team ahead of two crucial World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Uruguay next month. But what is known is that if he stays on as coach he will be given a hand by a coach with vast experience.
Maradona has had complete control up until now, however this is likely to be very different as of next week. Firstly, AFA decided that Argentina will return to playing at the Monumental stadium for future World Cup qualifiers. This will start against Peru next month.
'El Pibe de Oro' may not even be allowed to select his squad for Argentina's final two qualifiers against Peru and Uruguay, and this could be decided by AFA chief Julio Grondona instead.
Maradona's idea is to exclude several key players who ply their trade in Europe, to give preference to those players who play in Argentina's local competition, who he feels are more "hungry" to fight for the Argentina shirt.
La Nacion reported that "Diego Maradona believes several players aren't hungry enough to get out of this sticky situation, while some players feel unprotected for the lack of a clear idea and are uncomfortable because of the unclear messages Maradona sends."
Argentine football is quite evidently in chaos, and Maradona has been blamed as the main culprit. Next week his future is likely to be decided.
Gregory Sica, Goal.com