Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
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It is said to be a major flaw in the constitution of the male of the species that he is incapable of multitasking.
If that is the case, then the Argentine media is perhaps the most macho of them all.
No two stories can be reported at the same time.
Last week it was Suckgate.
Nothing else mattered, nothing else was happening, nobody else was talking about any subject that wasn’t Diego Maradona and his big mouth - or rather, the media’s submissively big mouth…
There was no other news.
The only topic to write or talk about was Diego’s invitation to the nation’s journalists (Argie Bargy understood it not to include the foreign ones too) to perform oral sex on him.
Judging by Monday morning’s front pages, that has all been forgotten.
Suckgate is over. Next weekend is the Superclásico, so it is time to move on.
In a pitiful attempt to buck the trend, for now the references to the Big Two will be reduced to this snippet of build up – at the weekend Boca won their third game on the trot while River drew 0-0.
There will be more blogs on the game later in the week, but Mondays are for dissecting the weekend’s action and deciding who is the favourite to win the title.
And for now, River or Boca must necessarily be excluded from that conversation.
There are eight teams separated by just two points at the top of the table, and neither The Millionaires nor Los Xeneizes are one of those eight.
Approaching the midway point of the season, it is still a free-for-all at the summit of the table, although this weekend it was Diego Simeone’s San Lorenzo who took the initiative.
They won on Friday night, and with Vélez, Estudiantes and Independiente all dropping points, El Ciclón are at the top of the pile.
Admittedly Sanloré’s winner against Rosario Central, courtesy of Bernardo Romeo, was offside.
And sure, there was no penalty against them when centre back Gastón Aguirre decided that an in-coming cross was of secondary importance, turned around, fixed his eyes on the Central forward’s upper torso and performed an aggressively muscular interpretation of ‘the shoulder-charge’.
In light of the decisions made in other games over the weekend, an unnoticed offside or un-awarded penalty were small fry.
And in the grand scheme of things, few (apart from Huracán fans) could argue about a couple of decisions going San Lorenzo’s way.
Since taking over, Simeone has introduced trademark discipline and order to a team that was an outright shambles/disgrace last season.
But then, the Cholo is on a mission.
"I know that one day I will coach Atlético Madrid," he told a Spanish paper last week.
But he said that "the conditions must be right" before he makes the move to Europe, and Simeone has unfinished business – i.e. repairing a dented reputation.
He may have won the league title with Estudiantes with a bit of help from Al Pacino’s speech from Any Given Sunday.
And with River Plate, he may have secured another league title.
With two league titles at two different clubs, things were going swimmingly for Simeone. He was the man of the moment.
But then just months after his success with River Plate, he was out of a job.
He left Los Millonarios at the bottom of the league. Not just near the bottom of the table. Last.
So it is that at San Lorenzo he has a new challenge, and the opportunity to exorcise the memory of that last season at River Plate and relegate it to nothing more than a mere anecdote.
Should he end the season with silverware, Simeone could decide it is time to start earning in euros, and right now there’s every chance it will happen.
They may not play the best football in the country, but right now San Lorenzo are the best side in Argentina.
San Lorenzo 1-0 Rosario CentralLanús 1-1 VélezGimnasia 1-2 ColónAtlético Tucumán 1-1 Godoy CruzArgentinos 2-0 RacingArsenal 1-1 BanfieldIndependiente 1-1 ChacaritaHuracán 0-0 RiverBoca 2-1 TigreNewell’s 2-1 Estudiantes
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