It has been far too long since I visited these pages and written a single word about my beloved Newell's Old Boys. It has been far too long since we last claimed a title. The later was fixed mid-week when Lanús handed Newell's the Torneo Final 2013 title by losing to Estudiantes 2-0, but we do not owe them any thanks. I wish they could have won that game, so that La Lepra could have won the title tomorrow by beating Argentinos Juniors at home. Now that final game will be one big party, but it would have been far wilder, far more enjoyable had we claimed the title on the field.
Nacho for all his goals he certainly is significant. But when Super Scocco, as I took to calling him on Twitter, was rested for the Copa Libertadores (a front we are still fighting on) it was Maxi Urruti that stepped up mostly coming on as a late substitute.
La Fiera Rodriguez was certainly a force to be dealt with. Minor injuries and being rested for the Copa gave room for the likes of Victor Figueroa and Martin Tonso to step in and have their moments of glory.
Same thing can be said about El Gringo Heinze. In the matches he missed it was up to the rest of the defense to make up for the hole his absence left, with Victor López and Guillermo Ortiz taking his place.
Some will say that it was Tata Martino as coach that made the difference, and certainly he had a huge influence on this team. Fielding a team that was often said to be a 4-5-1 formation, it more often looked like they were in an old school 4-3-3, the formation that was used by the first group of Leprosos to claim a title. While other teams that were playing in both the Torneo and the Libertadores concentrated on the Copa at the expense of the league, Tata rotated players so that, having claimed the domestic title, we could see the team claim a double. Or, it could be claimed a double should we beat the Torneo Initial champions Vélez Sarsfield on June 29 in Mendoza. (It is only a game played for pride, as AFA now have backed away from the original plan of this one game crowning one single champion for the 2012/2013 season.)
Pablo Perez was a huge factor on the right side of midfield. Early on Fabián Muñoz made his mark before sadly going down to injury. The Peruvian international Rinaldo Cruzado did not play often, but certainly had an impact.
All three of our defensive midfielders played their part. Lucas Bernardi has been as good as he as ever been. Hernán Villalba almost made us forget that Bernardi was serving a suspension early on, but sadly was not available due to injury for the rest of the season. Diego Mateo filled in when needed.
The play of goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán has gotten stronger with every game he has played. Certainly he has some credit for Newell's winning the title. His back up, Sebastián Peratta, he whom I still call San Peratta filled in and put in his usual solid performance in a number of games.
So who gets the credit for winning this title? No one, but every one. Every player, Martino and all of his coaching staff, the grounds keepers and the fans. No one deserves to not take some credit for this achievement. May this be the beginning of a new golden age for the team.
Dale Newell's! Dale La Lepra! Dale Campeon!
Now let's see about lifting that Libertadores trophy, shall we?