Gallardo had a bad time at 1-1 with Atlético Tucumán. Photo: Marcelo Carroll
Argentine football is like a roller coaster. And emotional changes can also reach what, due to its presence in the game, is considered the best team. But despite that difference, it also experiences ups and downs like everyone else. And pronounced. And go from high level football to low flying from one week to the next. This is Marcelo Gallardo’s team. What’s the problem River?
As much as he has had very good games so far this semester, the feeling is that this River is not the same as at the end of 2021, when he won the League and Champions Trophy. Although he sometimes releases the hierarchy he has in his squad, the level of many players is uneven and the collective functioning sometimes suffers.
Last week, River experienced local tournament matches. From a very difficult victory with Banfield to a defeat with substitutes against Talleres in Córdoba and an draw against Atlético Tucumán at Monumental, again with the starters on the field. He has everything to keep showing up and ensuring qualification for the Professional League Cup, but as Gallardo said, he passed it “like an ass”.
Gallardo can’t finish finding the best version of his River. Photo: AFP
The River coach speaks even on the face of his body and in the actions he made in the match against Atlético Tucumán it was clear that he did not like what he saw from his team. In addition, he is usually self -critical and in his press conferences he gives a summary of what is happening on the pitch.
“From what we’ve shown in recent games, we’re faced with the decline of football. And it’s not bad to admit. I didn’t camouflage anything. When I sit here I don’t lie to them. In Córdoba there have been a lot of changes and against Atlético Tucumán, with a break, we should have worked better and we didn’t, this is the truth ”, the dolls. And I added: “We need to study why it happened to us or why it happened to us.”
And with this happening at River there is a logical quota of coach responsibility. While it’s commendable that he doesn’t discuss his idea and he always presents his proposal to continue to attack and play at very high intensity, there are times when the team needs a break and better manage the moments and rhythm of games.
Lower the head. This is how River players left the court after Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Monumental. Photo: AFP
With full-backs thrown as wingers permanently and central markers often passing through the middle of the pitch and often falling in front of the ‘5’ line, opponents will find space. If River manages to end the play, nothing will happen. But if you quickly break into game circuits, the setback is very long. And the wearing, overwhelming. Unlike other times, he didn’t retrieve the ball that quickly when he lost it.
So, when they arrive, rivals are looking for spaces to define. To make matters worse, Franco Armani was not in a good moment, he came from several consecutive mistakes. And on the other side of the court there is also no efficiency. Against Atlético Tucumán, it’s hard for him to create goal opportunities and when he’s developed a lot, he doesn’t always convert in relation to what he’s doing.
In that sense, Julián Álvarez entered a drought. Spider has not converted for a month and a half. And even if he was in a good version to pivot and when he backed off he helped as happened in the game before the penalty made against Matías Suárez against Atlético Tucumán, the Manchester City-bought youngster needed a goal. And River needs his goals. As a result, Gallardo cried out for Julián to carry out the maximum penalty on Sunday to end the streak streak.
The high intensity River suggests with each game added to the string of games can also be an explosive cocktail at some point. All teams experience double competition, but the team dolls, because of the strength he wants to play and train with, seems especially confusing. The team looks physically and mentally tired, thick and unpredictable.
Julián Álvarez enters a scoring drought after an unforgettable 2021. Photo: AFP
Then the injuries appeared. And some players have suffered muscle aches. Like Esequiel Barco (a tear in the right biceps femoris, although he is already available for the Copa Libertadores match tomorrow against Colo-Colo), Juanfer Quintero (torn hamstring in the left leg), Javier Pinola (strain in the right biceps). femoris), Jonatan Maidana (left adductor strain) and Enzo Pérez (contracture). In addition, against Banfield and Talleres, Álvarez could not play due to overload on both legs and they had to take care of him.
Because they should also be wary of Matías Suárez, who, although he is back at a very good level, his chronic problems with his right knee mean they have to give him a dose in a few minutes. Nicolás De La Cruz is in a similar situation, he also has problems with his right knee. And what’s more, Robert Rojas broke his tibia and fibula and Gallardo lost an important defense.
In any case, the coaching staff knows that, with a schedule full of battles and a very strict calendar, there can be injuries. For this reason, Doll requested several reinforcements and brought in seven players to strengthen his squad at the beginning of the year. Also, to provide a higher quality jump to a champion team. But, for now, it’s not like the Dream Team dream.
Soon we will see another River
By Norberto Alonso
I’m not worried about River’s gift. He continues to rely on himself in all fields and is a permanent star in all competitions, especially in the League Cup and in the Libertadores.
In addition, Gallardo teams always know how to get up whenever they need to stumble.
That is why I maintain that there is no reason to be alarmed. I have full confidence in the coaching staff led by Muñeco and the players, because it is a hierarchical team.
Some of the players still need to adapt to what the club is, something that is not easy, but when they regain their level, we will see another River. To all of this, we should add that the institution is organized because things are done properly. It is to have a little patience, these falls happen. Soccer is like that.