River Plate have already got themselves a new manager in time for Christmas since the Apertura ended, and on Friday, both La Plata clubs did the same, along with Huracán, whilst Boca were closing in on the man to replace Miguel Russo. If they get their man by Christmas, one-quarter of the Primera A clubs will have signed a new manager in the space of just over two weeks since the Apertura ended.
Estudiantes were first on Friday, unveiling former Newell’s, Udinese and Parma defender Roberto Sensini (pictured above) as the man to replace Diego Simeone. Sensini retired from playing in 2006, aged 40, to take charge of coaching at Udinese, and returns to his homeland with Estudiantes, where he told the press he wants ‘to follow the path Diego Simeone laid at Estudiantes, of arriving at the club and immediately winning the championship.’
Elsewhere in La Plata, Gimnasia were welcoming their own new manager in, Guillermo Sanguinetti being unveiled as I reported on Thursday night he would be. Sanguinetti had similarly confident words in his first press conference, telling the fans; ‘We’re going to make Gimnasia return to the club of old, the victorious club.’ Since I wasn’t at the press conference myself, of course, I am unable to report whether anyone bothered to point out to him that he’s taken charge of a club who have won one league title in their history, back in 1929 when the league was still amateur. ‘The victorious club’?! Regarding the possible return of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Sanguinetti explained that the player was one of those he’d requested when negotiating his contract, and that he was confident negotiations to repatriate the player would prove successful.
Huracán president Carlos Babington, as expected, unveiled newly-retired player Claudio Ubeda as the man to replace Ossie Ardiles in the hotseat. ‘We’re going to try to maintain the structure and the majority of the squad,’ Ubeda explained, perhaps failing to note that it’s Huracán’s boardroom that really needs a shakeup.
And Boca Juniors just might be closing on their man, although he’s not who the fans want to see. Gabriel Batistuta and Carlos Bianchi have both ruled themselves out of the race, but the latter reportedly had a few good words about Carlos Ischia, the former Rosario Central boss, who’s already spent a lot of time at Boca as player and coach. ‘In the coming week, we’ll talk with him,’ Boca president Pedro Pompilio told the press on Friday. In a poll on ole.clarin.com asking, ‘Do you agree with Pompilio that Ischia is the ideal manager [for the club] at this moment?’ 66.5% of nearly 8,500 voters as this article went to press had answered ‘No.’ Pompilio’s start at Boca is demonstrating, if nothing else, that he’s hardly a president of the people.