Velez at the head of the (sars)field

Yes it’s an awful pun that may bring back memories of far eastern respiratory disease pandemics BUT my goodness it’s the best way of informing you that Velez are top, they missed out on the Apertura by 2 points on the last day but they look bloody fantastic at the moment, and they obliterated the Apertura champs Estudiantes by 4 goals to nil. Yup. 4.

I’ve waxed lyrical about their attacking prowess so I will prevent myself from purring on further in the loving fashion I tend to when I think of that midfield and forward line working together. In fact, talk about a bloody spanner in the (tank)works (does that work? probably not) but Santiago ‘el Tanque’ Silva is OUT. That’s right, bloody out for 2 weeks with an injury. Now the goggle-eyed Uruguayan is a couple of chips short of a portion but happens to be an excellent player so they’ll miss him and having sold Jonathan Cristaldo to somewhere very cold and far away in January (Ukraine if you didn’t know) they are evvvvver so slightly light up front. Although I rate JM Martinez, really rate him.

2 points back are River who’ll be hoping VS’s run in the Libertadores will affect their title hopes, do they have the squad to fight on two fronts? River are looking excellent under JJ Lopez and a big test was overcome at el Cilindro on Sunday with a vital win against Racing. Regrettably from a personal point of view, Racing couldn’t win, even with Teo’s suspension overturned, but there we go.

Then there’s a cluster of teams in the chase; Godoy Cruz are somehow right in the picture having lost their best players in January (to Velez), Lanús are an outfit I’ve been praising a lot and I fancy them for third. Olimpo ar yet to falter as many predicted but they’re not realistic title contenders, they are however, having a great campaign. Argentinos, San Lorenzo and Banfield are also about and of those I only think San Lore would have a decent tilt at top 3/4.

Boca drew with Independiente. Principally because they’re shit. Too many old players, regrettably for them, the ancient JR Riquelme is arguably their best player still, when he’s 100% fit. Otherwise he’s not much use, and being honest, he’s rarely 100% these days. Palermo scored but he’s also on his way out in June and the sooner the new breed comes through, including the outstanding Sergio Araújo (not even in the squad – such a joke), the better for fans of that filthy blue and yellow entity from the docks.

Newell’s won a game. But against Gimnasia who are dreadful, and Angel Cappa left in the immediate aftermath which leads me to my parting stat:

of the 20 coaches that began the Clausura, 12 fechas ago, only 6 remain.

Ludicrous. I feel an essay on short-termism coming on, where’s Rupert Fryer?


About Ed Malyon

Freelance sport and betting journalist. Specialises in Argieball, Eurostuff, and Quicket.
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