Do I have time?
Taking charge of a club that is already two thirds through the season is always a challenge, it’s even worse when said club are bottom of the table. I never had that worry though, with manager José Nabor Gavidia heading to Fortaleza, he left the side in an incredibly promising position.
I’ve taken over Estudiantes De Merida while they sit top of the Venezualan Copa Tracki, after winning the opening stage of the season, with only one game left of the closing stage, it puts us in good stead to finish top once more. Securing a 3rd place finish has meant we qualified for the 2018 Copa Libertadores.
I don’t officially take charge until the start of the 2018 season but I’m working with the players and the club to establish a relationship with the squad ready for next year. We lose several players during the off season but due to the clubs continental qualification, options should come flying at us.
Last game of the League season – Atletico Venezuela; Away
Second from last game of the season & cruising at the top of the league, it took all of 3 minutes to break through the Athletico defence. A rare goal from Andris Herrera goal gave us a very promising start. Athletico are have proven to be a very inconsistent side throughout the course of this season with some very strange defensive displays. This proved to be no different here because on the 8th minute, the Athletico centre back decided to play a pass back which left the keeper incredibly short leaving inform Over Garcia an easy job. We went in 2-0 up at half time, a very good performance could extend our unbeaten run & take us 15 points clear. The last goal of the game came in the 50th minute, sublime free kick from Mr.Garcia himself. His second of the game.
What happens next?
The board have asked me to start ASAP, the interim manager feels like it’s too much as asked to resume his Assistants role so I thought it was fair for me to take it. The only issue is now that I have to take the club on during Cup Semi-Finals, League Semi-Finals and through a battle to win the overall league stage.
We have 23 players off contract during the summer, leaving us with no option but to reboot the side and give them a full new starting XI. The biggest loss for me with easily be Over Garcia, on the way to where we are today, he scored an incredible 37 times with 19 assists on top of that.
I realise this is a short post, class it as my introduction to the madness that is Football in South America. Next update, I will run through the final games, the team, tactics and player profiles.