Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
The Favourite for the vacant Boca Juniors hotseat knows what it is like to win the league at the Bombonera. His Banfield side won the title there on the last day of the season just over a year ago.
The fans’ choice, according to the surveys at least, has recent World Cup experience with Argentina, but most say that alone shows why he shouldn’t get the job (let alone his relationship with Boca’s playmaker). Another name linked with the gig was recently (10 days ago) sacked by Boca’s arch enemy, River Plate.
Another recently retired from the game in the US, but doesn’t get on with one of the team’s stars so is unlikely to get the job right now. Another is mentioned with just about every job in South America after his successful spell at Boca, but he would say no to rejoining the club. Another is the club’s former hard-hitting midfielder currently coaching in the lower leagues…
The list of possible replacements for Claudio Bichi Borghi, who resigned as Boca coach this week after losing the superclásico, is long. Maradona, Ángel Cappa, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Carlos Bianchi and Blas Giunta have all been mentioned, although Julio Falcioni is the front runner for now.
This is not the look of a man expecting to be in a job by sunrise...
Borghi had threatened to quit, or half-quit , three times already this season, before finally leaving after losing 1-0 to River on Tuesday.
So now Boca are looking for a new coach. Jorge Ameal, the Boca president, who took over the club exactly two years ago, November 2008, is in the market for his 6th (sixth) coach. Carlos Ischia soon went, Abel Alves committed the cardinal sin of subbing off Martín Palermo, Alfio Basile lasted little, Roberto Pompei filled in until Borghi came in, and now Pompei is once again filling in until the new coach is found.
Reports say Falcioni is a done deal, and will join the club in the new year if he cannot leave Banfield sooner. The task at hand is enormous. Boca were very, very poor against River, and the news that Riquelme is out with injury until next year hardly helps the side which is currently 15th in the league.
The wider issue, or question, is who wants to coach Boca? Sure, it’s a huge club, with an enormous fan base. A successful spell at the Bombonera would open the door to working in Europe or with a national team. The chances of being given time to mould a title-winning side, however, are slim. And the problems go far beyond a few players not performing well.
The problem, however, is not just at Boca.
Borghi is the eighth coach to go this season. The seventh walked just last weekend, the 29 year old Luis Zubeldía. The youngest man to ever coach in top flight had become the Sir Alex Ferguson of the league, having been in charge at Lanús more or less since records began, over two years ago. With Zubeldía quitting (actually, being told to quit), it leaves Roberto Sensini at Newell’s Old Boys as the longest-serving coach currently working in Argentina’s first division. He took over at Newell’s in February, 2009.
FIXTURES Friday Godoy Cruz v Banfield Saturday All Boys v Newell’s, Estudiantes v Huracán Sunday San Lorenzo v River, Boca v Arsenal, Gimnasia v Vélez, Racing v Quilmes Monday Olimpo v Argentinos, Colón v Independiente, Lanús v Tigre.
While it has undoubtedly made the league a lot more exciting, do you agree that the decision to introduce the split-season is largely to blame for the culture of short-termism that has engulfed Argentine football in recent years?
If River had the same record after 13 matches of a 38 game season, would Cappa have gone?
Because there are so few games to be played now, each result is given huge significance. Boca, River, or any of the ‘big 5’ for that matter, can not solve their many problems overnight; they all need to find stability, but I can’t see that happening with the league as it is.
Well, JRR, split seasons certainly haven't helped. You must feel more pressure when you step onto the Bombonera knowing one bad result means your boss might be trouble, no? It's true there's little time for clubs to find solutions to problems.
And Cappa going probably is more to do with the relegation averages than split seasons, also the fact that he has half of the media against him.
When will you be fit again?
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