With most of the Primera A sides returning for pre-season training (yes, I know according to the AFA we’re halfway through the season), a few of them had new managers on Monday. River Plate, of course, are now overseen by Néstor Gorosito, but they’re not the only ones. Vélez Sársfield, Independiente and Argentinos Juniors all have new bosses. How are the teams beginning the year? Let’s see…
Vélez welcome Ricardo Gareca to replace Hugo Tocalli. Emmanuel Fernández Francou and Carlos Soto, both frozen out by Tocalli, return to the squad under Gareca for training in Ituzaingó, in the west of Gran Buenos Aires. Vélez play Talleres and Lanús in the Triangular Ciudad de Córdoba at the end of January.
Argentinos have Marcelo Bielsa’s former national team assistant, Claudio Vivas, as their new boss man. Nicolás Pavlovich (still on holiday) and Martín Cabrera (whose contract has expired) were absent on the first day back, whilst Gabriel Hauche is close to agreeing a deal with PSV Eindhoven, and Sergio Escudero looks set to join Ronaldo (the fat one) in Brazil with Corinthians. Argentinos play three Colombian clubs in Mar Del Plata for the Copa Cafam.
Gimnasia La Plata haven’t made any changes to staff or squad yet, and play their first pre-season match against Independiente in the Copa Ciudad Mar Del Plata on the last day of this month.
Lanús are still overseen by 12-year-old manager Luis Zubeldía. Eduardo Salvio and Marcelo Benítez are both on duty with Argentina in preparation for the Sudamericano Sub 20 later in the month.
Banfield have, like their rivals in the Zona Sur, kept the same boss – Jorge Burruchaga remains in charge – and have the boost of penalty-taking goalkeeper Christian Lucchetti having signed a new contract. They’re still waiting on Luciano Civelli to follow suit.
Central have begun training in Rosario with ‘Kily’ González present, in spite of the club’s president telling him his contract had been torn up on Christmas Eve (what a nice man, hey?). Boss Gustavo Alfaro claims he’ll be making five new signings, but so far Uruguayan midfielder Gonzalo Choy González, signed from Mexico’s Monterrey, is the only new face.
San Martín welcome Martín Urbano and Jorge Anchén to Tucumán. They’ve got a few friendlies lined up in the Córdoba region later in the month.
Godoy Cruz begin their pre-season with Sebastián Torrico and Marino Torresi both returning from loan.
Gimnasia de Jujuy‘s biggest loss is César Carranza, who’s been sold to Chilean champions Colo-Colo for US$500,000. Omar Labruna’s boys will travel to Salta for their pre-season friendlies.
At River, Gorosito looks to have dropped Eduardo Tuzzio, and is getting excited about replacing him with Humberto Mendoza, as reported yesterday. He’s also made encouraging noises in Ariel Ortega’s direction. River’s first pre-season game is against Independiente in the annual clash of the ‘Big Five’ in the Torneo de Verano (full fixture list for that one to follow tomorrow).
And at Boca, the Viceroyalty of the Riachuelo (you don’t know? Then read up on your pre-Argentine history…) has commenced – Carlos Bianchi has arrived to a huge fanfare and started working officially in his capacity as ‘manager‘.