The only thing that is known so far is that Boca does not have a coach. Mariano Herrón will lead the team today against Barracas Central and on Wednesday in the visit to Monagas de Venezuela for the debut of the Copa Libertadores, but what happens next is unknown. That’s where the information comes in. Everything that comes from now on is a mixture of speculation, analysis, biased data and other issues that could depict the football moment of the club quite well, perhaps of Argentine football, or perhaps of Argentina as a whole.
For a more personal than economic issue, or to avoid getting into the lion’s den of a high-impact electoral year, with Mauricio Macri and Kirchnerismo playing their cards to win over a club that has more influence –at least in its visibility– than many provinces, Gerardo “Tata” Martino rejected the offer this week, which opened many question marks and a range of possibilities.
The negative response from the former coach of Newell’s and the Argentine and Mexican National Team surprised Vice President Juan Román Riquelme and the Football Council, which was overflowing with optimism. Riquelme wanted Martino, 60, to be Boca’s coach for a long time: at the Ezeiza property they pointed out that the departure of the unforgettable right-back was accelerated precisely to go in search of Tata, who was willing to listen and negotiate, but that there was no way he was going to do it while the team had DT. Tata listened, evaluated himself, but finally dismissed the possibility.
Now, in a search that includes a range of candidates, there are two coaches who head the list: Diego Martínez, current technical director of Tigre; and Alexander “Cacique” Medina, without a club since Vélez removed him from his position at the end of February, precisely after the 2-1 defeat against Boca in Liniers for the fifth date of the Professional Football League (LPF).
Meanwhile, the technical acephalia has an impact on an electoral campaign that will heat up tomorrow, Sunday, the day the club turns 118 years old. “Experienced and serious coaches will not go. They know how Riquelme is managed ”, they release from an opposition that is setting up its campaign behind the former Minister of Modernization, Andrés Ibarra, and that points to Riquelme because they know that he is the rival to beat: the idol who has the votes.
“We have to get the coach right”, they allude to an officialism that is also stressed for these and other reasons, more of a political or management nature than sports. They know, however, that a good football season paves the way for re-election.
“I understand that the boys (of the Council) were in a difficult situation to support what was being said, it is very difficult when shots are received from all sides,” Roberto “Tito” Pompei, Ibarra’s assistant, acknowledged Thursday.
The climate of the Bombonera and the defeats or victories, at this time, quickly become arguments to direct votes. And although Ameal-Riquelme’s management is successful in football -Boca won five titles out of nine disputed-, there are those who question the choice and the subsequent departure of the coaches: first Miguel Ángel Russo, then Sebastián Battaglia and now Ibarra.
A visit to Barracas
At the end of a hectic week due to the dismissal of its DT Hugo Ibarra, Martino’s refusal to succeed him and the confirmation of Mariano Herrón as interim coach, Boca will visit Barracas Central today with the mission of recovering after two consecutive defeats.
Although Boca is the current champion of Argentine soccer, his meager campaign in the tournament, with just 11 points and two losses in a row, against Banfield (1-0) and Instituto de Córdoba (3-2), accelerated the times, and “Negro” Ibarra was fired 15 days after winning the Argentine Super Cup.
Herrón will appeal to the most experienced players and put Figal on the right side, where neither the Peruvian Luis Advíncula nor Marcelo Weigandt gave enough guarantees.
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