SoccerSunday, July 20, 2014
How will Boca replace Riquelme?
Bianchi keeps same tactic; River gets used to new coach Gallardo
The departure of Juan Román Riquelme will put a lot of pressure on Boca Juniors’ officials if the team do not get positive results this season. Four players signed for now and the club is close to buy another one.
The big surprise of the preseason was the transfer of Juan Román Riquelme to Argentinos Juniors, as he left his beloved Boca Juniors to play in the National B Division. Now, the question is: how will coach Carlos Bianchi play without the playmaker?
Apparently, the former national team player rejected Boca’s offer due to economic differences, but he signed for a team that will play in a lower division. Also, Boca signed four players during the preseason (Jonathan Calleri from All Boys, Federico Carrizo from Rosario Central, Gonzalo Castellani from Godoy Cruz and Marcelo Meli from Colón) and is close to sign another one (Andrés Chávez from Banfield).
Most of the fans think that the main responsible of Riquelme’ decision are the club officials.
Boca played three friendlies until yesterday. Bianchi’s side drew 0-0 with UAI Urquiza from the First Division B, lost 2-0 against Boca Unidos from the National B Division and drew 2-2 yesterday with Olimpo. Although the coach did not have Riquelme, he continued with the 4-3-1-2, using new signing Castellani as a playmaker.
There are still two weeks to go before the start of the Transition Tournament and Boca is still trying to find the best team without its former star.
Meanwhile, defending champion River Plate is training in Cardales with its new coach Marcelo Gallardo. The club signed forward Leonardo Pisculichi from Argentinos and goalkeeper Julio Chierini from Instituto.
On Wednesday, River lost on penalties against Millonarios of Colombia after drawing 2-2. It will not be easy for Gallardo to lead the team to the trophy again, as many of its key players left the team, including midfielders Cristian Ledesma and Carlos Carbonero, and striker Teófilo Gutiérrez wants to play in Europe. Also, Fernando Cavenaghi, the team’s captain, is injured and will no be fit until September.
As Boca, Racing signed many players this preseason. With new coach Diego Cocca, eight new players arrived to the club, including Inter Milan former striker Diego Mi-lito, who yesterday scored in the team’s 4-0 victory over Deportivo Táchira in a friendly. The idea is to build a new team and leave the poor performance of the last couple tournaments in the past.
It is different the case of Independiente, which also has a new coach (Jorge Almirón), but it signed its first player yesterday. Striker Juan Martín Lucero, who finished as the leading top-scorer in the National B Division last season with Defensa y Justicia, joined his new teammates and signed for four seasons. It will be the return of the Reds in the First Division.
San Lorenzo is another story. The team coached by Edgardo Bauza is fully focused on the Libertadores Cup semifinals. It plays against Bolívas of Bolivia on Wednesday for the first-leg game.
San Lorenzo had never won the competition and this is a fantastic opportunity.
The only signing was midfielder Pablo Barrientos from Catania, but now it also counts on striker Martín Cauteruccio, who recover from an injury and scored against Almirante Brown on Thursday in the team’s 2-0 victory in the Copa Argentina.