ARGENTINA manager Lionel Scaloni is on the cusp of winning the World Cup… but his experience in finals isn’t positive having once cost West Ham FA Cup glory.
Scaloni has guided Argentina to the World Cup final where they will face France on Sunday afternoon.
GettyArgentina boss Lionel Scaloni will be hoping he can get his hands on the World Cup[/caption]
In his playing days, Lionel Scaloni made a costly error West Ham fans will never forgetGetty
PAHis mistake allowed Steven Gerrard to equalise in the 2006 FA Cup final[/caption]
The 44-year-old can write his name into the history books but Hammers fans will always remember his costly mistake against Liverpool when they were on the verge of winning the FA Cup in 2006.
West Ham were leading 3-2 in stoppage time when Djibril Cisse went down injured and Scaloni put the ball out of play for a throw-in near his own goal.
Liverpool, in sporting spirit, resumed the game by giving possession back to the Argentine but the right-back panicked and launched the ball into the middle of the pitch for Gerrard to pick it up.
Liverpool managed to work a cross and the clearance was volleyed into the net by Reds captain Gerrard from 35-yards to send it to extra-time, followed by penalties.
West Ham lost the penalty shoot-out 3-1 and the match was dubbed the ‘Gerrard final‘ after his heroics that saw him score a brace in the match as Liverpool fought back from behind twice.
The East London side were managed by Alan Pardew at the time who has spoken to The Telegraph about his memories of the day at the Millennium Stadium.
Pardew recalled Scaloni’s mistake jokingly saying: “He cost me a Cup final winners’ medal and I can never forgive him.”
But to this day Pardew still speaks in despair saying: “It’s a moment of madness because there was a minute left and all we had to do is run the clock down.
“You don’t want the ball to end up centrally in the pitch at that time.
“It was at complete odds with a player who was ordinarily one of the most savvy in the team – he’d have been bottom of my list to do that.
“With some I’d have gone, ‘Well, what do you expect, you know?’ but here’s our most intelligent, sensible player.
“So many West Ham fans have come up to me over the years and said, ‘Oh my god, that throw in. What was he thinking?’
“All this time later and they still bring it up. If only he’d just done something different.”
Pardew, who is now managing Greek side Aris Thessaloniki, admitted he has not spoken about the moment with Scaloni since the day it happened.
But the ex-Newcastle boss does believe that he must tell his players about what he did to teach them a lesson on how not to defend a lead in a final.
Pardew went on to say that Scaloni was a likeable and calming influence in the West Ham dressing room who was always looking to absorb everything and learn.
Scaloni was on loan at the Irons for half a season after arriving in January 2006 and he played just 17 games before returning to Deportivo La Coruna, where he spent eight years of his career.
Argentina will be hoping Lionel Messi can inspire them to glory at the weekend and no defender makes an error like their manager once did 16 years ago.
PAAlan Pardew was minutes away from winning the FA Cup with West Ham[/caption]