A first full month back for Argentine football and so comes the Golazo Awards for September. The Primera season is now in full flow and while Estudiantes find themselves out in front with a 100% record, the league remains as unpredictable as ever. There has also been plenty of Copa Sudamericana action and much to discuss where the national team are concerned. As ever we will briefly look back before deciding upon our manager, player, team and goal of the month.
September began with Edgardo Bauza’s debut as Argentina boss, Messi’s return from the most fleeting of retirements and a couple of big World Cup qualifiers. With the world’s best player back in the starting eleven, La Albiceleste beat Uruguay in Mendoza but after losing their captain to injury for the following trip away to Venezuela, Bauza’s side just about mustered a point.
The fitness of Messi has been a constant theme throughout the month and after suffering a further setback playing for Barcelona, Edgardo Bauza angered the Catalan club by suggesting that they don’t practice what they preach where playing Messi is concerned.
So with Messi absent for the forthcoming round of qualifiers, Bauza looks to a number of familiar faces after recalling Gonzalo Higuaín and Sergio Agüero recovering from his own injury niggles.
Away from international football and Argentine clubs have been in Copa Sudamericana action this month. After the preliminary round pit the six representatives against one another it was San Lorenzo, Independiente and Belgrano that prevailed but only Los Cuervos still stand.
Independiente and Belgrano both went out to Brazilian opposition on penalties while San Lorenzo made fairly light work of Venezuelan side La Guaira for a place in the quarter final.
Domestically, Estudiantes have made the best start to the season but fat sterner tests lie ahead for Nelson Vivas’ side and despite being only four or five matches in, there is already a familiar group forming just behind.
Carlos Tevez made the news with a foul-mouthed rant that earned him a red card and a three-match ban and we’ve also already had two managerial casualties. Vélez are a club in disarray but a poor start has led Cristian Bassedas to be replaced by Omar De Felippe and Eduardo Domínguez resigned from Huracán prompting the swift appointment of Ricardo Caruso Lombardi.
Manager of the month
Nelson Vivas would perhaps be the more obvious choice given the start that Estudiantes to the season but equally impressive is the turnaround that Diego Osella has overseen at Newell’s Old Boys. In the opening four rounds, La Lepra have already equalled their tally of wins from last season (three) and their unbeaten start has them in the chasing pack just off the pace of the league leaders. Maxi Rodríguez spoke about the importance of having a good preseason and it would appear that Osella has been able to instill a defensive organisation that has conceded only two goals while managing to get Ignacio Scocco back among the goals.
Team of the Month
Player of the month
There have been a number of impressive individual performances but none have reached the level and consistency of Racing’s Marcos Acuña. The 24-year-old has prompted murmerings over a possible national team call-up and will certainly be catching the attention of European clubs prior to the January transfer window. Four goals and three assists already mean that El Huevo has been directly involved with every Racing goal (prior to the win over Patronato on October 1st).
Goal of the month
As much as I would like to edit together a goal of the month video, Youtube often delete them so I won’t bother. Instead, here are FIVE to choose from….
A) Cristian Pavón – Boca Juniors v Belgrano
B) Sebastián Blanco – San Lorenzo v Vélez Sarsfield
C) Washington Camacho – Rosario Central v Patronato
D) Fernando Coniglio – Olimpo v Godoy Cruz
E) Darío Benedetto – Boca Juniors v Quilmes