Diego Simeone was officially unveiled as San Lorenzo manager on Tuesday in a press conference, whilst other reports claim that Argentinos manager Claudio Vivas will have his charge of the team terminated if El Bicho lose to Independiente on Sunday. Simeone’s task in Boedo is a simple one, to start: win the first match. Whilst turning a blind eye to the opposition…
That opposition will come in the form of Racing, the club with which Simeone is most closely associated in Argentina, and where he started his managerial career in inauspicious circumstances after retiring from playing to try and drag the team out of a rut that they might – just perhaps – be finally starting to climb out of now, three years on.
‘Last night I couldn’t sleep,’ he told reporters. He explained he’d returned to management due to his love for the game; ‘The footballer has something very great to give – to play football every Sunday. The nicest thing there is, is to play football.’ Very nice, Diego. Realising this was somewhat at odds with the hardman persona he enjoyed as a player – not to mention the demanding reputation he’s gained as a manager thanks to two league titles in his short career (one with Estudiantes, one with River Plate), he continued, ‘Difficulties make you more of a man… life always asks more of you.’
That’s a clear response to the criticisms he received for River’s dreadful defence in last year’s Apertura of the Clausura title they’d just won, but Simeone will have to do the majority of his talking out on the pitch. At River the internal politics didn’t help, but an inability to handle some of the egos on the pitch was what cost the side immediately following the title win. At San Lorenzo, where as well as club president Rafael Savino he’ll also have major backer Marcelo Tinelli to contend with, he’d better hope he’s learned some lessons from his experience in the Monumental madhouse.
At Argentinos, meanwhile, president Luis Segura has met with Claudio Vivas at the club’s training facility in Bajo Flores to tell him that he’s got to avoid defeat against Independiente on Sunday if he wants to keep his job. Four losses from ten matches, with only one win, have left Argentinos bottom of the Clausura, and Segura’s fed up. The relationship between the two men is said to still be a friendly one, but Vivas has accepted the president’s opinion that things can’t be allowed to continue in this vein, and will step down after the Independiente match should El Rojo emerge victorious.