With this statement, expressed in the press conference after River’s 2-2 draw against Vélez at Amalfi, Martín Demichelis exposed a situation that is already invisible: the mistakes of Franco Armani they are costing their team points.
And it draws attention, of course. Why the goalkeeper has earned a reputation for being unbeatableafter being one of the protagonists of the Copa Libertadores 2018 and having continued on the same path in recent years, beyond a temporary decline.
So much so that just six months of superlative performance at River brought him to the national team, where he made his debut at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. And then he continued in the path of Lionel Scaloni to become world champion. First as a starter and then on the substitutes’ bench as a first substitute option after the appearance of Emilian I drew Martinez in the preview of the Copa América in Brazil 2021, to which the goalkeeper arrived after suffering from the coronavirus.
But let’s go back to the present. Armani is the first to know that he’s not having fun. And don’t dodge the situation. Quite the opposite. In fact, after Lima’s failure against Sporting Cristal – as Clarín was able to ascertain – he spoke in the locker room andHe apologized to his teammates. He showed commitment and humility. And on Monday evening he quickly left the pitch of the Amalfitans chewing anger because he knew that he could have taken Ortega’s shot which became 2-2 for Vélez.
“Franco is the first to admit his mistakes. And he is very obsessive. He also annoys him when he fails to achieve an impossible goal, he imagines now, he is angry with these goals and wants to turn the tables quickly”they commented clarion from the archer’s environment. The same person has excluded that there is a personal matter in reference to Demichelis’ sentence. “It’s Only Football”he assured.
Armani had returned to the revitalized River after the conquest of Qatar. With his chest full of pride, the tributes were repeated in the beginning of the years not only by the Núñez institution but also by others for being the only world champion footballer in the Argentine league. And he will continue to be. No mistake will take away the medal.
However, in recent months the superhero cape has remained in the locker room. And adverse situations have arisen that are not typical for the original version of Armani. At Liniers, with River’s 2-1 win, the experienced 36-year-old goalkeeper was exposed again in Vélez’s equaliser. He wanted to put his chest on a strong cross from Francisco Ortega when perhaps the game required him to stretch his arms and the ball went through and he found the net.
The former Atlético Nacional de Medellín came from other mistakes made in the victory against Platense and in the draw against Sporting Cristal for the Copa Libertadores. In the 2-1 draw against Calamar, the goal for Vicente López’s side, led by Ronaldo Martínez, came after a false start by Armani: he was in midfield and the header went past him. And that angle came from a bad delivery of his feet.
Enough, the issue of bottom-up exits is also a theme. But in which only Armani is not involved. The River Centrals haven’t delivered the ball well lately. In some cases they even give him a left foot, the least skilled leg of the Rossoneri goalkeeper Millionaire. They are game situations that, however small they may seem, can influence subsequent errors.
In Lima, although Sporting Cristal’s goal error is exclusive to Armani, Paulo Díaz hastily fired back a bouncing ball, also a product of the poor condition of the pitch, and the goalkeeper’s clearance rebounded onto the chest of Yoshimar Yotún, who was given the ball to finish and score the partial goal of 1-0. Then, Rodrigo Aliendro stamped the tie.
Although Armani had come to retaliate with a couple of first-half saves on Liniers, especially when he took a bomb from Prestianni at the near post and had nothing to do with Lucas Pratto’s goal which made it 1-1 partial, his little reaction in the decisive conquest clouded his task. AND Armani himself was dissatisfied with his performance.
Up, it comes from not having been called to the Selectioneven if beyond the drop in their performance, both from their environment and from the Argentine technical staff they ensure that this situation had already been discussed and that like when the friendlies of the new FIFA appointment are played (against Australia in Beijing and the ‘Indonesia in Jakarta to be held in mid-June) will enter the final phase of the championship and since they are long away games they did not want to create complications, apart from the rotation and substitution that Lionel Scaloni will try to carry out.
However much Armani, like his entourage, and the coaching staff led by Demichelis are confident that the situation will soon turn around. Furthermore, even in a moment of fragility, the goalkeeper continues to be essential for the millionaire. For example, in Lima he avoided defeat by managing to clear a cross from Sporting Cristal striker Joao Grimaldo, who then hit the post. If River manages to qualify for the round of 16, that game will become decisive.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.