Argentina’s friendly against Venezuela on Friday night was supposed to be a celebratory return for star player Lionel Messi. But at the end of the disappointing defeat, another inquest had begun in the nation about how terrible the team played in the game.

It showed that the team malaise is far from over despite recent victories in friendlies for the Abiceleste. Goals from Salomon Rondon, John Murillo and Josef Martinez condemned Argentina to another defeat despite Lutaro Martinez scoring.

Lionel Messi would definitely be having second thoughts about the national team that looks a shadow of itself. Argentina not quite long ago played in three consecutive finals in a run that started with the 2014 World Cup and ended in the Centenary Copa America in 2016.

Most of the members of that run have either been banished from the team due to the poor World Cup in Russia last year or are out of form. The Argentine first eleven that played against Venezuela had no recognizable star player apart from Messi.

It is appalling that the country has to turn to the likes of Gabriel Mercado, Le Celso and Gonzalo Martinez. This is similar to just before the 2010 World Cup were players like Fernando Cavenaghi played for the National team.

Lionel Scaloni has to find a way to incorporate the likes of Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria to the squad. TheArgentina FA has also the responsibility of keeping its house in order as this led to the first retirement of Lionel Messi in 2016.

They have to decide on keeping Lionel Scaloni or hiring a new coach ahead of the Copa America tournament in June. Scaloni has been the interim coach for over 9 months and this is not a good scenario for a football giant like Argentina.