ERIC WEIL in BUENOS AIRES: The complaints of many Boca Juniors fans about coach Carlos Bianchi and the team, who have won only two of their first six matches in the Final Championship, are overblown.
Their three defeats have all come by only one goal which means there cannot be all that much wrong.
In any case, too much importance is afforded here to the coach. Fans and officials give them 80pc of a team’s success or failure while many coaches assess their importance at only 20pc and even less during a game.
True, Boca are not playing well but no other team look good either since they are all beating each other.
One problem is that Boca have scored only five goals in six games though one would think that Bianchi, once a free-scoring striker, should be able to fix that.
If he lacks the right players, it is partly his fault after he released some who are now playing better at other clubs, while others left because of the bad atmosphere within Boca.
The latest mistakes were letting striker Nicolas Blandi go to rivals San Lorenzo and not only failing to bring in the available Ever Banega but letting him go to title rivals Newell’s. But Juan Román Riquelme is presently fit and still useful in organising a disorganised team on the field and they should improve.
What Bianchi cannot seem to manage is building a team in every sense of the word and while Riquelme may be his talisman on the field, he has also been blamed for causing rifts off the field which, of course, transfer onto it.
Last Friday, at a specially-convened press conference, he chided journalists for revealing long-running internal rifts. He challenged them to name their informants – clearly not aware that journalists do not reveal their sources – and to tell him by the weekend.
Failing this, he said, Boca players would not talk to the media any more season. That is no big deal. Players mostly talk trash anyway when confronted by the media.
If Riquelme wants to keep internal problems internal – although this is not easy when things have gone on far too long – then players such as midfielder Pablo Ledesma should not have publicly accused goalkeeper Agustín Orión of being the mole.
The first thing Orión did when he came back from national team duty was to physically attack Ledesma which left him in no condition to play at the weekend while Orión himself hurt a hand.
So what is often called the ‘Boca cabaret’ continues and the media can hardly be blamed this time.