After winning the Copa Libertadores 2018 in a historic match against his eternal rival and taking the club he loves, River Plate, to maximum glory, Marcelo Gallardo faces a new challenge: to keep his players competitive.
Throughout the years at River Plate, Marcelo Gallardo has shown a great capacity for forming solid teams with great collective performers and mentally strong players who know the message of their coach well and fulfil it perfectly. This has led him to win nine titles since his arrival at the Nuñez team with two Copa Libertadores’ included, becoming the most important coach in the history of the club.
But he has always had to fight against challenges such as the loss of valuable players and now it will not be the exception with the sale of a historic defender Jonathan Maidana who moved to Toluca de Mexico and his best player Pity Martinez who moved to the MLS. Also, with the retirement of Rodrigo Mora, Marcelo Gallardo yet again needs to shuffle and re-form a competitive team that delights its fans with new conquests.
The task will not be easy, the transfer market did not bring to River Plate great arrivals, Matias Suarez, Jorge Carrascal and Robert Rojas do not seem to be names that can bring great quality to a team that is a little advanced in age and that seems to weigh the fact of having reached the top of the mountain in the Bernabeu.
The three consecutive losses at El Monumental after the start of the season in the Argentine League are a clear sign of a team that looks relaxed and without big objectives in sight, still celebrating the historic game against Boca Juniors.
Away in the local tournament, Marcelo Gallardo must seek the formula to convince his players that you always have to go for more, that a club like River Plate should always go out to win, regardless of the opposition and whatever competition. Maybe the search to win the Copa Libertadores in 2019 is the engine to return to work from the collective and the individual, perhaps trying to get as many points as possible to enter the Copa Sudamericana is a good incentive, but Marcelo Gallardo must find the solution quickly and re-present a competitive team to his fans.
Marcelo Gallardo has gone through this previously and managed to get out of the situation. Often, he had to use his maximum intellectual capacity and his tactical wisdom to form new teams after players after winning important trophies. This time, he should do it as soon as possible, the glory achieved was great, the fans will be eternally grateful but they will not tolerate playing not for anything for a long time. Surely Gallardo’s legacy will make him immune to criticism, but players could be up for criticism. They will be affected and could fall on an endless slope. Gallardo has the key in his hands, as always and should hit the exact lock once more.
Marcelo Gallardo has won everything that was put in front of him, he only has to win a local league and he has become an idol of River Plate as a player and as a head coach. He has the backing of the entire Mundo River and has already gone through similar situations previously, it is always easier to re-arm a team from the glory that the historical feats give like the one obtained in the Bernabeu, for that reason they all trust that they will achieve it and River will quickly forget these three defeats and the bad experience in the Club World Cup to be what they were crowned in the winter, the best team in South America.
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