Big changes afoot

None of the ‘Big Five’ have had the best of times in Argentina lately. Boca Juniors and Independiente, though, have been so upset with performances in the Clausura that their directors have both brought in new managers. At Boca, it’s newly-crowned champion Claudio Borghi who’ll seek to steady the ship. Whilst Independiente for some reason decided that fourth place, after languishing in mid-table (or worse) for the last few seasons, was a good reason to get rid of América Gallego. Daniel Garnero replaces him.

Garnero, the former Arsenal de Sarandí manager who now takes charge of a proper club in Avellaneda, had some interesting words on assuming his new position. ‘El Tolo [Gallego] did an amazing job,’ he told the press, who may have still been trying to work out exactly why Gallego had been let go. Having been assistant to Jorge Burruchaga though, he already knows the club and understands general manager César Luis Menotti’s plans for the future. ‘I want young players in the squad, to give them the chance [Menotti and I] had: to grow up at this club,’ he explained.

Borghi, meanwhile, has set himself a bit more of a challenge, insisting, ‘If I can, I’d like Palermo and Riquelme. Both of them.’ With Juan Román’s contract negotiations still looking complicated, the new manager might be able to sway him, but if one or both of the legends do leave Borghi will at least know he’s got the winter to work out an alternative plan. A good kick up the backside is just what Boca need, and it’s not hard to see why Borghi could be the man to deliver it: four straight Chilean title wins with Colo Colo weren’t given the credit they maybe deserved for having been won outside Argentina, but no-one can ignore a title win with a club like Argentinos Juniors at the first time of asking.

Combined with Ramón Díaz’s return to San Lorenzo, and Ángel Cappa’s promising start as River Plate manager, as well as Racing’s resurgence towards the end of the Clausura, might it be that we’re going to see the ‘Big Five’ all playing for something next time round? Watch this space…

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