On the way


Diego Simeone will manage his last game as River Plate boss this Sunday against Huracán, after admitting in the wake of another spectacular continental elimination, and the worst start to a season in the club’s history, that he can’t stay until December.

Simeone told the River directors of his decision after Thursday night’s match against Chivas of Mexico, and president José María Aguilar didn’t consider himself in a position to turn down Simeone’s resignation. It’s hardly a surprise, and the fans won’t be at all disappointed about the loss of a manager who managed to end a four year spell without a trophy whilst simultaneously failing to really convince River’s fans that he was right for the position.

The championship win in the Clausura of this year was accompanied by an amazing capitulation in the last sixteen of the Copa Libertadores when, two goals and two men to the good midway through the second half of the second leg, they managed to let San Lorenzo win through to the quarter-final. A falling-out with playmaker Ariel Ortega was compounded by Juan Pablo Carrizo’s return to Lazio when the goalkeeper’s loan spell ended – River have defended terribly regardless of who’s managed them for most of the last four seasons, and losing the country’s best goalkeeper has hardly helped matters – and the side have been pathetic in the Clausura.

After this weekend, five matches remain in the current Torneo. Whether the new boss will come in right away or whether a caretaker will be named first is not yet known (it’s early days), but Américo Gallego is favourite to take over, with Nery Pumpido another possibility.

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3 thoughts on “On the way

  1. Glad to see him go.

    It’s a bit of a double-edged sword tho, as clearly River’s shambolic defending is the biggest problem. But it seems like manager after manager doesnt want to address that – perhaps for fear of being seen as “negative” by the hinchas? – and keeps shipping out players who can’t stop scoring for their new clubs (Sand, D’Alessandro, la Gata Fernandez, etc) and bringing in new strikers who don’t score for River (Salcedo being the latest). And when Passarella had a monster defender in Nelson Rivas, he didn’t know what to do with him.

  2. Two thoughts. First, the Simeone who was a Redeemer at Estudiantes and a washout at River will before long return in another incarnation. Isn’t football like that? Ramos was a genius at Sevilla, an idiot at Spurs. And so it goes in this complicated and emotional game.

    Second, Gallego did tremendous work as a manager in Mexico. He had success and won respect all around. I think he’d make a great choice for River right now.

  3. Justin: don’t foget Daniel Montenegro. At least when D’Alessandro went, it was to a European club. I’ll never understand why River willingly let Rolfi go to a league rival.

    And I could’ve told Passarella what to do with Rivas. I was at the first match Rivas ever played for River, in Mar del Plata against Racing in last year’s Torneo de Verano. It was almost his only appearance. It’s a funny game…

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