Change comes quickly in football. As I started typing this article on Thursday night, Alfio Basile was under pressure as Argentina boss. As I finished, and prepared to email it to Soccernet, I saw a comment on my blog which led me to look at the Argentine news channels. And the news is that whilst I've been typing, Basile has resigned.
On Wednesday, though, in Santiago, Argentina lost a World Cup qualifier to Chile for the first time ever. That loss was made more painful for Basile by the fact that Chile's current manager is one of his own predecessors in the Argentine job - Marcelo Bielsa.
In the days prior to the match, Bielsa's brother Rafael (a member of Argentina's National Chamber of Deputies) had told Argentine sports daily Olé that whilst he hoped Argentina would win the match, he considered Basile's football 'old-fashioned'. Marcelo, who coached Argentina during the qualification campaign for the last World Cup, remained silent on the issue but it underlined a one-way 'rivalry' between Basile and Bielsa which the Argentine press seemed to enjoy playing up.
In the aftermath of Wednesday night's match - which Chile (now level with Argentina, joint third in the table) thoroughly deserved to win after not giving their illustrious hosts a sniff - this 'rivalry' only cranked up the pressure on Basile, and he met AFA officials on Thursday night to hand in his resignation.
'He was very decisive, very convinced of his decision,' AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo told the TV cameras. It brings to an end Basile's second spell in charge of his country; less successful than the first, which took in Argentina's last international trophy, the 1993 Copa América.
Basile's announcement came hours after Luis Segura, secretary of the AFA's national sides, told the press: '[AFA president] Julio Grondona has never sacked a [national] coach...some have resigned.' Had he ended with 'hint, hint', it could hardly have been less subtle.
In defence of Basile, his players were pathetic in Santiago. Any manager would expect Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero behind Genoa's Diego Milito to get goals - and Messi said before returning to Barcelona that he himself had failed. That being said, it was results over the year so far that took the pressure this high.
Two domestic managers are also in the running: San Lorenzo's Miguel Angel Russo, whose side currently top the Torneo Apertura table, and River Plate boss Diego Simeone. River are near the bottom of the table going into Sunday's superclásico against Boca Juniors, but Simeone has won two titles in five championships since his managerial career began with Racing in early 2006 - most recently the 2008 Torneo Clausura at River.
Of the parties mentioned, Russo has links to Boca, having won the 2007 Copa Libertadores with them, and whilst these aren't as strong as Basile's links, he might have to guard against the same accusations of Riquelme-favouritism sometimes aimed at the now-ex boss if he takes over.
Simeone might view this as too much, too soon, but as Argentina's second most-capped player of all time, and given that he's not yet signed an extension to his contract at River - where he's hardly flavour of the month with fans due to the side's dreadful form - he might find the call of his country too much to resist.
Also on Wednesday, Brazil were frustrated by Colombia, who already have a new manager themselves. Eduardo Lara has recently replaced Jorge Luis Pinto and after losing 1-0 to Paraguay at the weekend, Colombia arrived in Rio with a gameplan, played well and left with a point. A
s Benjamin Back wrote on the website of Brazilian sports paper Lance!, 'It was an injustice for Colombia!' They achieved it through man-marking with freedom to break forward from time to time, combined with some terrible finishing from Brazil's attackers (who included Kaká as well as Manchester City men Robinho and Jô).
Dunga will take the lion's share of the blame, naturally. But once again a home crowd booed the seleção. I'm reminded of Pelé's comments after Robinho signed for City - that the former Madrid man, one of Brazil's key players, is mentally not the strongest. Fabio Capello commented prior to England's recent demolition of Croatia in Zagreb, that his team play better away from the intensity and impatience of Wembley. Are Brazil going the same way?
Paraguay, meanwhile, have kept their cool, played well, and are now four clear of Brazil, and five ahead of Argentina at the top of the South American qualification table thanks to two unfussy, unspectacular 1-0 wins, over Colombia and Peru.
Tellingly, the goal against bottom-placed Peru, from Sol de América's Edgar Benítez, didn't arrive until late, but the crowd didn't turn on the players.
Expecations in Buenos Aires and Rio are high, and the press pounce on any error. In Asunción, they're enjoying the moment - and that can only be helpful for the team.