Salmon! Oh yeah! Weekend round-up

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The suits are what’s wrong with football, right? Blame the Glaziers, blame Florentino Perez, (until Calciopoli) blame Inter’s Massimo Moratti. If they stopped putting their noses into club affairs, the club would a) be more successful or b) not have a debt that rival that of several small nations put together.

Chacarita don’t even have their own stadium, and to give a sense of perspective in their aspirations, the stand that has just been completed for the new ground holds less than 6,000. They are not big hitters, so internal club politics isn’t exactly the story of the year.

Nonetheless, facing relegation, the board decided they knew what was best. They told Fernando Gamboa to drop the keeper. “Why am I the coach,” Gamboa reasonably reasoned, “if they are just going to tell me who to pick?”

Gamboa was having none of it and was consequently sacked, via voicemail. So it was up to 35-year-old Mauro Navas, who readers might but probably won't remember from a spell at Espanyol.

Taking charge of a sinking ship halfway through the season in your first gig in top-flight football, and winning your debut game is one thing. Another is winning when you are 1-0 down at half time. Another is coming back and winning a stunning 4-1.

And another thing altogether is winning 4-1 on your debut coming back from a goal behind at half-time to beat Boca Juniors, one goal shy of the club’s record win over the Xeneize and 10 years after their last such win of any kind.

Navas may point to beginners' luck, but he may also point to the board. He went where Gamboa wouldn’t, dropped Cejas, brought in Nicolás Tauber, and won. He’s now talking about playing like Barcelona and escaping the drop. OK, maybe he’s not that ambitious, but he promises they’ll play good football, “or else I’d just stay at home.”

Chacarita’s win, meanwhile, provoked crisis number 1,496 of the season at Boca. “Why are you taking me off when we’re losing?”  is what Martín Palermo supposedly said to Abel Alves, as the centre forward left the pitch with the game at 2-1.

From the TV footage it’s impossible to see whether that really is what Palermo said, but several pundits had it ‘confirmed’ to them by their n‘source’, so we’ll take it as truth.

The high of beating River in the superclásico on Thursday was levelled by the most almighty comedown with the defeat to Chacarita. Had Matías Gimenez scored three, and not just one, of his chances in the first half then the story would have been very different. He did not, though, and the story was the same.

"Don’t go looking for controversy, hermano," Alves said to a reporter who, judging by the relationship, didn’t look like family. Alves claimed he had to take Palermo off because it was the second game in three days. But not so long ago he also said that Palermo would have to beg him 10 times for him to substitute him.

While the authority of Alves is chipped away with this defeat, nobody came out of the game worse than Saul Laverni.

The referee correctly awarded a penalty and sent off Boca’s defender for a foul – as the last man – in the area. The problem was he sent off the wrong one. Centre-back Julio Barroso did the crime, right-back Ezequiel Muñoz did the time. To make matters worse, Laverni consulted his linesman, who evidently was just as clueless.


John Toshack can take credit for popularising, or at least broadcasting, the phrase "no estamos fuera del bosque todavia" with his literal translation of "we’re not out of the woods yet." Argie Bargy isn’t sure whether the Welshman ever said "saltó como un salmon," but he would have if he’d seen Marco Torsiglieri’s header for Vélez.

Independiente boss Tolo Gallego says that he left this game thinking that his side  "are definitely going to challenge for the title," after going three points clear at the top with a draw at Santa Fe. (Colón boss Mohamed wasn’t so happy: "They had one free kick and a goal. Nothing else. We had at least 20 shots on goal,” suggesting that its time to start working on shooting.)

Mauro Boselli is exciting and worrying Premier League scouts. Exciting them because he’s scoring lots of goals; worrying because the fee for his services may price out certain clubs in England. Oh, and because he missed another penalty at the weekend.

San Lorenzo lost to Arsenal for their sixth defeat in 11. Diego Simeone may be out of work by the time you read this.

And finally, Leonardo Madelon has returned to Central after Ariel Cuffaro resigned on Friday. So there's no hard feelings between Madelon and the club, who got rid of him after he saved them from relegation the last time round, two years ago.

He's a popular man though. “It’s like I’ve got an ‘available’ sign on me. Tigre called me, Godoy Cruz called me... I said I wanted a rest." He’s back at work, but he needn’t worry. He makes his debut next weekend against Boca...

All the goals… click to watch

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