Former Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza
Juan Arango
Apr 26, 2017 · 5 min read

It’s been near a month since AFA decided on finally sacking Edgardo Bauza and it was on Wednesday where he decided to let the world EXACTLY how he felt.

Bauza gave an interview with Rosario daily La Capital and let the everything be known about his departure from the Albiceleste.

“I was already out before this new administration came in,” said Bauza. “They already had their replacement in as well.”

“I am not bothered by the fact that Sampaoli is coming to replace me. What does amuse me is the fact that he is denying it,” said Bauza. The still-Sevilla coach has denied that he has spoken to AFA president Claudio “Chiqui” Tapia when in fact his lawyers were the ones that met up with him while he was in Spain a couple of weeks ago.

Bauza was only able to win three matches with Argentina since taking over for Gerardo Martino last summer. They struggled to find results as losses to Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia knocked the Albiceleste off course and they currently find themselves in fifth place with a crucial match against Uruguay in Montevideo in August.

Bauza also discussed and questioned the new Argentina coach’s professionalism. “It doesn’t bother me [that he is the new Argentina coach. It actually amuses me that he denies it. In a recent press conference he denied it by saying that there is a a coach working when I already knew that he had been in contact with AFA execs and people close to them for months.”

Bauza even referred to the comments made by former Colo Colo and Chilean national team coach Claudio Borghi. “I don’t see it as logical or ethical, but ethics in football always loses. I am not going to say that I shouldn’t answer a call from an executive, because it has happened to me. I was called up once by a club, and I will not mention any names, and I told them that while there is a coach in charge I would not speak with them”. Bauza then said that he contact the coach and told him that they were already looking to replace him. “I don’t think it was a bad thing for Sampaoli to speak with them. What I don’t think was right is for Sampaoli to not make things clear. I just wish him the best.”

There were a great deal of factors that were included in Bauza’s departure that should also be talked about. The way he handled the situation with his players. Bauza defended his players too much. At times his defense was even more indefensible than the team’s actual performance.

The most important example to bring to light were comments after the match against Chile. “We played 10 (out of 10) tonight.” For many it was an insult to get that type of analysis from a coach that played one of its worst matches of the qualifying campaign but were able to manage getting three points because of referee calls that were either close or non-existent.

A few days later prior to leaving for Bolivia, he “recanted”.

“I made a mistake. I saw the match over again and we played 11 (out of 10).” That infuriated the press even more. There were other issues that were brought to light such as Bauza’s tactical disposition and his player selection. So to defend him based on his eight matches as Argentina coach would be ludicrous.

To defend him based on his resume and as a person that should be treated with respect and dignity, then we are talking about another story altogether. In the end that is what he did. He stayed on until he was told that his services were not needed- to his face. That was part of his conviction since he retired as a player and became a coach.

If one were to defend his results, it would be a ludicrous stand to take. Now if one were to defend his right as a person under contract to not be messed around with, that is a different story. For weeks on end Bauza would be told by AFA brass that he was going to remain as coach. At the same time, the press published reports that the same people giving Bauza his backing were contacting Jorge Sampaoli over at Sevilla, despite the Andalusian club’s request to cease and desist, AFA found other avenues to have the negotiations advance.

“Tapia told me that they wanted to go in a different direction and they they analyzed it and that is why they are making the decision,” said Bauza. “When we started to talk about the football end of it he didn’t say anything because they don’t have any idea of that part. They are all union bosses. His words didn’t have any logic.” That comment was in reference to Tapia’s background as part of one of the main leaders of the largest workers union in Argentina- the CGT- the Argentine Truckers Union. That union happens to be run by Independiente’s president, Hugo Moyano, who happens to be Chiqui Tapia’s father-in-law.

What Bauza did say in the end was that he was over it and he hopes that Sampaoli is capable of taking Argentina to the World Cup and winning it.

In terms of option, Bauza has various. His agent, Gustavo Lescovich mentioned a few weeks back that his client had about five offers on the table to take over in various places in places like Argentina, Mexico and the Middle East. Bauza’s name was recently brought up as a possible replacement for Paco Jémez over at Cruz Azul. He is also the top candidate to replace Gustavo Quinteros as Ecuador national team boss. So let the storylines go wild.

Juan Arango

Written by

Commentator/analyst. Contributor- Diario Sport, TALK Sport, Al-Jazeera, Sportsmax. Member FWA and NAHJ. You can listen to me on Beyond The Pitch.

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