Uncertain times lie ahead for River Plate, as a calamitous season draws to an end and Club Presedential elections loom, Ramon Diaz admitted that he was unsure over his future come the end of the Torneo Inicial. With this in mind and the utterly abject performances on the pitch, the leading Presidential candidates have made noises over their preferences to succeed Diaz, and it makes interesting reading….
Hopes had been high for River this season, after finishing runners-up last time out and bringing in several new faces but the majority of those have failed to live up to their billing and River sit embarrassingly in 17th position. Without a win in 10 and and an attack which was managed only 10 league goals all season, River have looked woeful.
Understandably for a club of River’s stature this has created some tension in the stands, and although mostly aimed at out-going President, Daniel Passarella, it did prompt Ramon Diaz to answer questions on his position during his most recent press conference.
“I’m very concerned because clearly we are not playing well and when the team does not get results , it is the responsibility of the coach.” With this not looking to change anytime within the final 2 league fixtures, Diaz added, “When we finish the championship we will see what decision to take. We are going to do the best for the club.”
This has left open the possibility that Diaz will follow Passarella out the door in the coming weeks and so the political jousting of those vying for the role of President has begun.
Rodolfo D’Onofrio, one of the prominent candidates sent a potential warning to Ramon by saying, “I’m not going to convince anyone , just see if you have the confidence to continue.” Confidence is not something that Ramon Diaz has ever lacked so this would not be the reason but the list of potential replacements mean that a new President could make a fresh start with their own man at the helm.
Clarin reported that 3 of those names are the highly decorated, Marcelo Bielsa, former River player, Marcelo Gallardo and Argentina and River legend, Hernan Crespo.
Bielsa would seem a long shot and the other options, despite strong ties to the club offer little in the way of experience. Gallardo has only experience as Coach of Nacional in Uruguay and despite winning the championship, the River job would be a considerable step up. Crespo has no experience and River went down this route of former players taking the job when they appointed Matias Almeyda, before deciding he wasn’t right for the job.
Carlos Avila another of the candidates mentioned Ricardo Gareca, who is currently at Velez. Gareca has earned plenty of plaudits while at Velez and could present a more realistic option.
However, most of the candidates took the opportunity to focus solely on the 2 remaining games. It will be an interesting couple of weeks in El Monumental and speculation will be rife.