With the first month of the season complete it is time once again for a look back and the task of deciding who wins the Golazo Awards for August. As always, we remind the big stories over the past few weeks and of course choose the Player, Manager and Goal of the Month! READ MORE TO FIND OUT….
A month in, the transfer windows closed here and in Europe, and so we now have a slightly clearer view of the contenders in this year’s Torneo Inicial. As expected, Newell’s Old Boys look strong despite the loss of Tata Martino and Nacho Scocco and will certainly be the team to beat. The serious challengers at this stage are more difficult to see. River Plate have looked feeble so far, Boca adjusting to the large scale changes made in the break and San Lorenzo and Lanus proving a little inconsistent. Surprisingly, at this stage, it is Argentinos Juniors, Colon, and newly promoted Gimnasia who are up there for the time being. Whether they can maintain their starts is questionable.
August also witnessed a historic weekend in which all 5 of the ‘Big 5’ were defeated in the same round for the first time. San Lorenzo, River, Boca and Racing all lost their Primera Division matches and Independiente have carried their woeful form with them into the Nacional B. Both Avellaneda clubs have started their campaigns woefully and it has cost both managers their jobs. Racing lost patience with Luis Zubeldia and have replaced him with Carlos Ischia and Independiente’s winless start to life after relegation has led to Omar De Felippe taking over from Miguel Brindisi.
Earlier in the month, we also had an International Friendly in honour of Pope Francis as La Seleccion travelled to Rome to face Italy. Without captain, Lionel Messi, Argentina defeated their hosts 2-1 with goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega. This week, World Cup Qualification continues as Argentina are inches away from booking their place in Brasil next summer.
MANAGER OF THE MONTH
Perhaps with Newell’s sitting top and still playing the fine football that we associate with Tata Martino, his replacement Alfredo Berti would have been an obvious choice. However, somewhat surprisingly Argentinos Juniors have enjoyed a fine start to the Torneo Inicial and so Caruso Lombardi is Manager of the Month for August. Slightly unhinged and not the purveyor of the prettiest football, Caruso has been very effective so far. After opening day defeat to Godoy Cruz, Argentinos have gone on to win 3 on the trot (in August) without conceding, including a 3-0 demolition of title candidates, San Lorenzo.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
With Argentinos Juniors defensive solidity being the corner stone for their early season success I have gone for full back, Julio Barraza. 3 clean sheets in August, Barraza is key to Caruso’s lineup. The big, strong full back is also a threat at the other end and a target for Caruso’s set pieces. He has already scored 2 this season with headed goals in the wins of Colon and San Lorenzo.
GOAL OF THE MONTH
Arnaldo Gonzalez’s superb volley to give Quilmes their 3-2 win over San Lorenzo was a wonderful strike but I have opted for David Trezeguet’s first goal since signing for Newell’s Old Boys. The goal illustrates how dangerous Newell’s can be on the break as they sweep forward at speed and Trezeguet’s volley is finish the move is outstanding. Still playing more of a subs role for Newell’s at present, they will be more than happy if he can continue doing this from the bench!