Independiente confirm manager as Ariel Holan performs U-turn

Even by the standards of Independiente it has been a tumultuous couple of weeks but following the high of lifting the Copa Sudamericana and the low of Ariel Holan’s departure, El Rojo were able to announce that the title winning coach has gone back on his resignation and will continue leading the club into 2018.

Less than one week ago, Ariel Holan delivered a bombshell on Independiente as supporters were still celebrating the club’s Copa Sudamericana triumph in the Maracaná. The 57-year-old announced that he would not be continuing due to concerns for his family over threats made by the barra bravas.

There were clearly problems with members of his backroom staff, namely trainer Alejandro Kohan, also but Holan kept that to himself and explained that his family were the priority and in the current situation he felt unable to carry on.

Following several years of disappointment and relegation in 2013, supporters were dismayed at the decision after a return to the Copa Libertadores had been secured and for the first time in seven years, a trophy had been added to the cabinet.

President Hugo Moyano and the board were forced to seek alternatives but discovered that finding a replacement would be complicated – Matias Almeyda, Antonio Mohamed, Pablo Guede and Eduardo Domínguez would all be difficult to persuade and with no realistic option in sight there was even talk of Walter Erviti retiring to take the role.

Moyano hadn’t given up hope and amid rumours that Holan was regretting his decision, the pair met to discuss the possibility of his continuation. Following those discussions, the club announced that the Copa Sudamericana winning coach would indeed be staying.

Days after posting his letter explaining the decision to leave, Holan wrote on Twitter: “I want to thank the club and the president, Hugo Moyano and especially the Minister of security for the Province of Buenos Aires, Cristian Ritondo, who have assured me and my family of our peace of mind.”

These assurances over security and the club’s dealings with the barra bravas will have been a major factor but so too will be the fact the trainer Alejandro Kohan has left. With their relationship having broken down in the weeks prior to the Copa Sudamericana final, Kohan, his son Tobias, Gustavo Satto, Juan Branda and Javier Telechea have all left Holan’s extensive backroom staff.

A new trainer, Pablo Blanco, who worked under Alejandro Sabella at Estudiantes and Argentina has already been hired and now Holan can begin planning for an important 2018.

Ezequiel Barco will almost certainly be sold with the Atlanta United offer still on the table but the youngster is not alone in attracting interest with Nicolás Tagliafico the subject of bids from Europe.

Holan will hope to keep the squad together as much as possible with the Recopa against Grêmio in February, a Copa Libertadores campaign and a possible Superliga title challenge.

However, the club will also be looking to bring in reinforcements and one name that Holan already suggested was San Lorenzo playmaker Fernando Belluschi. Chances of landing the veteran appear slim but the best news for Independiente is without question that they are no longer looking for a manager.

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