It was little surprise to see San Lorenzo dispense of Jorge Almirón after six dismal months in charge and now calling on a familiar face Juan Antonio Pizzi must oversee a swift turnaround to see Los Cuervos back near the top.
It wouldn’t be the first time Pizzi has changed the fortunes of San Lorenzo and while the club are not in the relegation trouble they were when the former Spanish international forward took over in 2012, a similar change in momentum is required.
During that year in charge, Pizzi led San Lorenzo to the Torneo Inicial title and while he sparked anger from supporters by almost immediately quitting to take over at Valencia it did lay foundations for Edgardo Bauza’s historic Copa Libertadores winning side the following year.
Now with a chance to set the record straight, Almirón has surprising left Pizzi with a San Lorenzo side still in this year’s Copa Libertadores ahead of next month’s last 16 clash with Cerro Porteño.
It is about the only positive to come from Almirón’s spell in charge. Despite succeeding Claudio Biaggio with a still glowing reputation from his time with Lanús, Almirón was never able to match that success and a record of only four wins from 25 matches in charge only partially illustrates just how poor San Lorenzo were during his tenure.
El técnico campeón del Torneo Inicial 2013 vuelve a #SanLorenzo
¡Vamos por más éxitos, Juan Antonio Pizzi! 💙🏆❤️ pic.twitter.com/QlxOrD1Ws9
— San Lorenzo (@SanLorenzo) May 31, 2019
One Superliga win in fifteen saw San Lorenzo finish one point off the bottom of the table and a failure to score in 14 of the 25 games provided further evidence of the lack of ideas and creativity in Almirón’s system.
To only make matters worse Almirón had been given the green light to bring in a number of his own transfer targets, just as he had done with the same woeful results at Atlético Nacional before. The Colombian club will have been relieved to see their departed manager take a number with him to Bajo Flores as part of a botched transfer window but it made results with San Lorenzo all the more galling.
If these dealings and Almirón quite publicly stating that the club’s youth players were not up to the mark weren’t bad enough, the success of the reserves only contradicted the manager.
An extra-time win over Estudiantes on Sunday saw San Lorenzo’s youngsters lift the reserves Copa Superliga to follow up a league campaign in which they strolled to the title, losing only once all season.
💙📸❤ ¡DESDE BOEDO SALIÓ EL NUEVO CAMPEÓN! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/yQARsTjQqV
— San Lorenzo (@SanLorenzo) June 2, 2019