River’s DT, true to his style, left no topic untouched in the press conference before the first leg of the Copa Libertadores round of 16
Marcelo Gallardo has been giving a virtual press conference every month from the Ezeiza RiverCamp after the resumption of football. For the third time, River’s coach did it in the preview of a match for the Copa Libertadores. In September it was before the meeting with San Pablo in Morumbí; in October before playing with Liga de Quito the last match of the group stage and this Monday, the day before the clash with Athlético Paranaense for the first leg of the round of 16 of the most important tournament on the continent.
As for Tuesday’s game against Athlético Paranaense, there are outward doubts about how Gallardo is going to plant his team. But there are still no certainties. The Doll continued with the mystery in the conference. “As for the team, I have some ideas on how to play the game and handle alternatives but I prefer to save them so as not to give the rival options,” said the coach. Millionaire.
And surprised. “I do not rule out that Ponzio plays from the start. Ponzio could have been one of the footballers who suffered the most from this extensive standoff and yet a situation like the one we are experiencing did not make him lower his arms. That’s because of his great mentality and being part of a group of players competing for something. “
Gallardo also elaborated on the meeting: “I analyze the context of the game, the global, not just the beginning. Because sometimes you stay with how the team initially poses, but you have to take into account everything that can happen during 90 minutes. And we are a team that has no problem playing with different systems. And the idea is the same: that the rival does not conditions us and that we try to be protagonists. Beyond the game systems, the idea does not change ”.
Whether with a line of four defenders or with three central markers and two lateral, the idea will not change. River will try to stand in the Arena de Baixada de Curitiba and be the protagonist.
Robert Rojas is supposed to have earned a spot after his performance against Banfield. It will be necessary to see if he plays as a libero or as the first central marker, next to Javier Pinola. If the Doll chooses the first option, Paulo Díaz would also be in the team to set up the line of three central markers. And if he does it with four, Ponzio will join the middle. In any case, the one who would come out is Julián Alvarez. Or could there be another surprise? With Gallardo you never have to rule out anything …
The other names seem to be defined. They are: Franco Armani, Gonzalo Montiel, Pinola, Milton Casco, Ignacio Fernández, Enzo Pérez, Nicolás De La Cruz, Matías Suárez and Rafael Borré.
“There are strong teams in the Cup and it is true that from the second round there are not many chances. If you make mistakes you can pay dearly for them, there is no chance of recovering. There are clubs with great history and we may get carried away with that, but you have to see the moments of each team. We must take into account the last five games of all the teams that we have been playing and not so much get carried away by the history of each club. Then there is the personality of each team that usually has a presence in these instances and even if they do not come in handy, they can impose that personality. We will be attentive to see who can function better in a complex year because of everything that happened. It is all to be seen”, Analyzed the Doll regarding what is coming in the Cup.
And, promptly, about his team, he remarked: “We are fine. There were two moments that we had to go through. The very long stand, first. When we returned we showed the desire to play in a competition that we are passionate about and we like as the Copa Libertadores is. And we even had a better version. Then the local League Cup began and the team had to be rearmed among players who went to the selected and injured. We did not show the best game and it could have been a delicate matter but in the end we were fine ”.
Gallardo also came out a bit from the soccer analysis of the Libertadores and pointed to the politics of Argentine soccer when they asked him about that phrase of “the miseries of others and their own” that he manifested after the defeat against Banfield on the Independiente field. And once again – like so many others – he was very critical of the organization.
“It was about that in an Argentine football where there is a lot of political thread, where everyone seeks to gain an advantage, you have to end all that. You have to evaluate other conditions, be serious, not look like them, but be them. I feel sorry for Argentine football. Argentine soccer had entered into total decline and you are seeing what you see. A flat football in which you don’t play for nothing and you don’t see entertaining matches. They are ugly games, in a context where they play without an audience and on fields that are not visually good. They are all flying ideas. You have to go for something better, ”said Gallardo.