Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Apertura 08 - Midseason Grades

On the eve of Newell's mid-week game away to River Plate I thought it would be a good idea to look at the main players on the roster and do some mid season grading. As a whole, I think we have to admit that the team has done better than we could have dreamed of them doing before the season started. Gamboa was put in place as coach with no experience, last season was a struggle to keep from being relegated, star goalkeeper Justo Villar and striker Santiago Salcedo were gone, just what the future held was anyone's guess. For gaining 19 points over 11 games I'd have to say that rates as a solid B+.

Now, on to the main players:

Goalkeepers:

Sebastián Peratta 32 7 games. After spending most of his time in the role of backup 'keeper with Velez Sarsfield, he seems to have gained the #1 slot in the eyes of Newell's coach Fernando Gamboa. I've seen better in my time, but I've also seen a lot worst. I haven't seen him come up with a save that's knocked me out of my chair, but neither have I seen him make any real blunders. Let's give him a B, shall we?

Germán Caffa 28 4 games. I haven't seen any of the games he's played in, to be honest. Even if I had, are 4 games enough to judge any player? Incomplete.

Defenders:

Rolando Schiavi 35 11 games 3 goals. A target player on freekicks, he takes penalties, and he does the job defensively. Frankly, he's 35, but playing like he's in his prime. A+.

Pablo Aguilar 24 9/0. Really can't say much about this man. After 9 games he hasn't stood out either way, as far as I know. C+.

Germán Ré 27 11/1. He's only 27, yet it seem that he's been with the team forever... and if only that could be true. He's the cornerstone of the defense. A.

Juan Insaurralde 24 8/1. What can be said, he got his chance and now it's going to be tough to get him out of the line up. B+.

Nicolás Spolli 25 4/0. Like Ré he's been a part of the Rojo y Negro defense for his entire career. Missed most of the season so far due to injury. Now that he's back, can he reclaim the position he lost to Insaurralde? Incomplete.

Midfielders:

Hernán Bernardello 22 11/1. It's not often that I think this highly of a holding midfielder, but he's more than that. He's distribution has been just as good as his defense. A.

Leonel Vangioni 21 8/1. Good, solid player, nothing more, nothing less. B.

Leandro Torres 20 9/0. For an attacking midfielder in his first full season as a starter he's shown more poise and better playmaking than a lot of veterans in his position. A.

Gastón Machin 25 7/0. So far, he fills the gap in the right side of midfield. That's the best I can say about him to date. C-.

Pablo Pérez 23 6/0. Pablo, Pablo, Pablo... he showed so much promise in previous seasons when he was given playing time, but now? D.

Forwards:

Cristian Fabbiani 25 8/3. Slow, methodical forward, but he's been getting the job done. Every time he touches the ball the announcers on the broadcasts I've seen say is name as if he's about to do something fabulous, or hazardous, and they're not sure which. B+.

Diego Torres 26 10/2. This is the man who makes the team's offense tick. When he's on, look out, but he has been known to disappear in matches (second half vs Boca Jrs for example.) B+.

Juan Carlos Ferreyra 25 6/1. So far in his career he's been at a new club almost every year. For someone to have been at 9 clubs (including two spells with San Martin( at his age does not exactly lead to confidence in a player. So far, though, he's been a solid sub for when the other two forwards miss a game. C+.

Héctor Steinert 22 Reserve. Steinert is a player that I'd personally like to see more of, and that's the only reason I'm even mentioning him. His only problem over the years has been a tendency towards being injured. Considering the way Fabbiani and D. Torres have been playing together, I doubt he'll get another chance with the first team again any time soon.

Coach:
Fernando Gamboa 38. First year in charge of a team, anywhere. So far, I think we're getting more than we could have ask for out of him. A.

So, tomorrow it's River, at El Monumental. I don't care that River are tied with Central at the bottom of the tables, this is not going to be an easy game. Today is Gamboa's birthday, though, and I can think of no better gift the players could give him than a win against Los Millonarios... well, I can, but we'll get to that game when it comes up this weekend.

Meanwhile, in the only game of consequence tonight Tigre beat Independiente 1-0 to take over the top of the standings, at least temporarily.

Oh, yes, and some will say that I'm neglecting to give a grade to our 'beloved' presidiente Eduardo Lopez. For all his lies, cheating, and skulduggery over the years, there simply isn't a grade low enough to give the rat bastard.

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

Pretty good grading, although I think you were to kind to Machin and Ferreyra. Machin had one good game and is a space waster since. Ferreyra is a warrior, but has done almost nothing positive this season.

David Phillips said...

Yeah, but some would say that I graded everyone a little high. Still, a C- and a C+ aren't exactly ringing endorsements.

The B+ for Fabbiani and Diego T. could be argued to be high by someone who hasn't seen them play and is just judging them by the goals they've scored.

If I was grading Lanús, would I give Sand an A because he's scored 12 goals? Probably, but I haven't seen him play, really. If I gave him that mark, someone might say it was way high, if his play while not in scoring position has been poor.