“This no longer works. When I return from Spain, we finish with this story”.
The phrase, words more words less, corresponds to Juan Román Riquelme. Her classmates heard her Football Council, Raúl Cascini, Marcelo Delgado and Mauricio Serna. The vice president-idol, who was preparing to take a flight to Madrid to attend the centenary of Villarreal, had already decided to fire Hugo Ibarra. Also, who was his favorite to succeed his friend: Gerardo Martino.
It’s more, although it transpired during these hours that last night was the first contact with the Tata, there was already a poll last week. Of course, the Rosario strategist made it clear that he would in no way sit down to negotiate while a colleague was working. The coach, who led the Argentine, Paraguayan and Mexican national teams, agreed to listen. It seems difficult for him to assume against Monagas, on Thursday in Venezuela. It is more probable that he makes his presentation to Columbus at the Bombonera. As long as, of course, the talks come to fruition. His coaching staff has already landed in Argentina. Behind is José Pekerman, one of Román’s soccer fathers.
There is a phrase that helps to understand why Riquelme decided to throw out his former partner, with whom he has a great relationship and that explains why he did not send his staff to a service station to resolve the issue as happened with Sebastián Battaglia. Ibarra himself said it in Chaco, a while after his last game, the victory against Olimpo (2-1) for the Copa Argentina: “This is a political year”.
It is true that Román is thinking about December and some elections that promise to be hot. Because beyond the fact that she repeatedly said that he was going to win “85 to 15”, the announcement that Mauricio Macri he will leave the national scene and will compete in the internal xeneize made noise indoors. The former president, as he was able to find out Clarion, evaluates being the head of the opposition list. And he would communicate it shortly before the closing of the payroll. Today, he supports Andrés Ibarra, who was secretary during his management at the club and was in charge of the Ministry of Modernization in the government of Cambiemos (today Juntos).
Román was clear that Ibarra, who had not found a way around the team, did not guarantee him a great campaign. In fact, he had just lost two straight games in the local tournament (against Banfield and Instituto), and there were two other situations that pushed him to cut the link: the photo with Rafa Di Zeo, who went viral at this time, and the whistles that spread in the Bombonera after the fall (3-2) against the Cordoba.
Moreover, there is an eloquent image. After La Gloria’s third goal, at the start of the second half, Román turned around and left the box. All an indication that the Ibarra cycle was finished. Boca needs to be the protagonist in the Libertadores and Riquelme also requires the team to generate expectations to affirm his dream of staying 20 more years at the club, as he declared two weeks ago.
There is another detail: the players had already lost confidence in Ibarra. And the last straw was that at halftime of the match with Instituto, Leandro Gracián, one of Negro’s collaborators (the other is Roberto Pompei), gave the technical talk. The triple command was something he did not conform to. You need a coach who lowers the line, who generates respect. The footballers, who tend to look the other way when the results are not given, made it known. Darío Benedetto’s statement after the victory against the Bahians was very clear. When asked about the future of Ibarra, he said “that is a decision of the leaders.” There was no backup.
Without the support of the soccer players or the leaders, even friends, Ibarra raised his voice, but his future was resolved in advance. The gesture they expected, a resignation, never came. And as Serna said last night, when he stood up in front of the journalistic guard at the Ezeiza Training Center, “we are here to make decisions.”
He is the third coach to be devoured by the Football Council: Miguel Angel Russo, Battaglia and now, Ibarra. The fans were already beginning to be critical of football decisions. They made it known via social networks and also, it is said, with the disapproval on the field. Seeking to give a coup de effect, Riquelme will go for a consecrated coach. If he does badly, no one will say that he brought an inexperienced person. The players will be more exposed, then.