Sunday, January 22, 2012

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Elections

Just a little over three years ago Guillermo Lorente took over as president of Newell's Old Boys. Elections are supposed to be held every four years, meaning that the team had best turn their fortune around quickly or Lorente will find it very difficult retaining his position with the club. That said, let us take a quick look at the man who held the position before Lorente took over.

For those who do not know, the previous president at Newell's was Eduardo Lopez. This bastard, by hook and by crook, managed to avoid having elections for some 14 years. Lopez did not leave office peaceably, the Barras Brava, who had been working as team security under the rat, took everything they could out of the clubs offices... computers, paper work, security cameras, desks, tables, and chairs. The only thing that seemed to remain was the building, and a few busts of team founder Isaac Newell, but even those were vandalized before the keys were turned over to the new president. The bank account was not only drained, Lopez left the team well in debt, the total figures took two years to sort out due to Lopez and his cronies leaving no records behind. The final figure was some 68 million pesos in the red, a figure that will take years to balance.

Sadly, the administration headed by Lorente seems to have gone backwards in terms of performance. The team Lorente took over did fairly well, players that were brought in early on did well. Since the disclosure of the debt, however, things have fallen apart. No one wants to sell or loan a player of quality to a team that is likely to not be able to pay a fair price. Hampered by his attempts to balance the budget has lead to some massive mistakes in player signing, and dare I say sales as well... the sale of Mauro Fórmica could have been handled far better, and the departure of Nacho Fideleff left the team with out a true left back...

And then there was the complete and total fiasco that was the attempts to sign Juan Manuel Cobelli. The young Cobelli was proving to be a force as a true 9 early on during the 2011 Clausura, which has been the area the team has been lacking since Joaquín Boghossian left for Europe. Problem was Cobelli was still on a youth contract, and it was not until he had scored three goals that the team tried to sign him to a full professional contract. This error was compounded when the player, on the advise of his agent and older brother Sebastián Cobelli, made his intentions to not sign known. Sebastián, who had played for Newell's himself, sighted interest from teams in Europe. Bad advise it would seem as Juan Manuel then sat out the rest of the Clausura, and is currently on loan to Chacarita Juniors in the National B.

So far I have not seen anyone step forward and state that they will be challenging Lorente for the top position with Newell's, but that does not change my feeling that he will soon lose that lofty position if the team on the field does not turn things around, and quickly. The opening of the 2011 Apertura had me praying for points so that Newell's would not be facing a relegation battle during the 2012/13 season. Not only did those points not come, but the team performed so poorly that now as the 2012 Clausura draws near there is the worry that the relegation battle may happen now... and Lorente will certainly not survive a drop to the National B.

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