The penalty defeat to Arsenal in the semi-final of the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday night was too much, it seems, and Daniel Passarella has kept his word, and resigned from the River Plate manager’s role on Thursday. Back in May, Passarella, who had by that point overseen three trophyless years at the Monumental, declared that if River didn’t win either the Sudamericana or the Apertura, he’d quit.
Having seen their faint hopes of the league title extinguished on Sunday by a defeat to Huracán, River had only to beat Arsenal at home to keep up appearances in the Sudamericana – but couldn’t. Passarella spoke today of the players’ tears in the dressing room after the defeat, and explained that, ‘I’m going because I made a public promise to the members and fans of River, and I meant it. My word is unbreakable. I’m doing it with a lot of pain and sadness, but I want to act with complete integrity and feel completely calm for having carried out my promise.’
Top of the list to replace El Kaiser is Americo Gallego, formerly of Newell’s and a few Mexican clubs, but other possibilities being talked about are Diego Simeone, Ramón Díaz and former Boca boss (but, according to a ‘source’ I have who lived next door to him in the ’70s, a River fan) Carlos Bianchi. In the short term, Passarella’s assistants will take charge for the final matches of the Apertura.
You know, I think this is stupid. Honestly. Who is going to put into River any more than Passarella did? It’s not just in the case of River: all the dramatic and traumatic resigning or sacking of managers/coaches/etc., after a spell of bad luck (or even less than brilliant luck) is a product of impatience, not wisdom or strategy. I mean, is there anyone who’s convinced that a manager other than Passarella would have been the magic difference? Real Madrid won the title (sigh) under Capello – wouldn’t it have been wiser to work with him, as he’d already been successful in one aspect of the club, to heighten another (style), instead of booting him and bringing in someone new? (And someone against whom I bear a stubborn resentment, after reading his comment about Messi’s spectacular goal against Getafe: “We should have fouled him.” Yeah. Great attitude. :I Although I admit that my personal gripe is nothing more than that – lol!)
Long life to the Kaiser….