Little optimism after Diego's derby disaster

To avoid the possibility of accidentally forwarding them to local friends, Argie Bargy spent most of Monday morning deleting the deluge of emails that, with varying degrees of abuse and humour, poked fun at the Argentina national team after their ‘match’ against Brazil.

From FFT.com's World Cup News section, Sun Sep 6: Maradona says qualification is now "complicated"

After giving Dunga a helping hand with some tips on how to beat Diego’s men, however, it felt like a sensible thing to avoid the outside world.

Gauging the national mood would be done strictly via TV, radio, and the world wide web.

BLOG: Fri Sep 4: An Argentinian explains how Brazil can winBLOG: Fri Sep 4: An Brazilian explains how Argentina can win 

Most presenters and commentators had given up on the national team by half time on Saturday night, and there’s no change this week. The blood-letting has begun.

One fan's face tells a thousand stories 

In the scientific laboratory of online surveys, recent results show that public opinion is swerving violently away from the optimism that had filled the newspaper pages in the build-up to the game with Brazil.

Half of La Nación’s readers don’t think that the team will qualify for the World Cup. 65 percent of Clarín’s clients agree. 33 percent of Olé’s onliners don’t think the team will take a point from the game in Paraguay on Wednesday.

Everyone’s agreed on one thing. This is a total disaster.

When they reached for the Ideas Thesaurus for tips on how to hype up the clásico even more ahead of the game, much of Argentina's press went along cinematic lines.

Most Saturday morning headlines went along the lines of ‘It’ll be a blockbuster clash!’, ‘Who’ll take the Oscar - Kaká or Messi?’ and ‘Will there be a Hollywood ending?’

After watching the drubbing that Dunga’s men dished out to Argentina in Rosario, it’s fair to say that the Argentine defenders' performance could provide ample material for a feature-length production in any of number of cinematic genres – suspense, crime, horror, comedy...

Given the desperate nature of the situation – fourth in the qualifiers, playing dreadfully, just been trounced by your neighbours, can’t score, can’t defend – some people are daring to suggest that the reason for all this is Maradona.

"We're all behind you, boss" 

They say that his team selection is all over the place, he has no notion of team tactics, he is totally out of his depth in international management, he didn’t prepare the players enough, it was a mistake all along to think that he could manage the national team, and is that REALLY Fabricio Coloccini in the squad?

That said, going into a game with Brazil, Diego probably didn’t bargain for Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez having one of their most ineffective games ever, for Carlos Tevez to not shoot at goal once in the first half, for the wide players to keep firing in high crosses when the Brazil defenders were on average two feet taller than Argentina, for Heinze (56 caps) to blame Dominguez (debutant) for the first goal…

The outlook is bleak, but one thing's for sure.

If they don’t sort this out pronto they’re not going to the World Cup – for the first time in 40 years.

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FourFourTwo.com: More to read...

"Why we'll never tire of beating Argentina"

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