Paraguay's national football team coach

Hear ye, hear ye! I am NOT going to pretend that Gerardo “Tata” Martino had been on my personal Barcelona managerial candidates list in light of the sad departure of Tito Vilanova following grave health concerns.

Nor am I going to offer a long list of reasons why he’ll be great, or why his ‘tactical approach’ will mind meld with the Barca first team, because I would be feeding you a line. It should be enough perhaps that Lionel Messi has given him a strong endorsement, although he would, wouldn’t he, based on his most recent club affiliation:

“I like Tata Martino. He is a great coach and he showed that in the Clausura with what he did for [Newell's Old Boys], the way it ended and how he did it. He gets his teams playing well and we all respect him.”

He was South American Coach of the Year in 2007. In 2010, he took Paraguay to the the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Africa, where they lost 1-0 to Spain. A year later (he had resigned after the World Cup but after agreed to stay on for one more year), he led Paraguay to the final of the Copa America against Uruguay without winning a single match—the side drew three times in the group stage and then nil-nil-penalty’d their way to a 3-0 loss in the final. Let’s just say my memory of that tournament is that Para didn’t exactly set hearts on fire with their positive, attacking approach.

Judging a manager by a national team is never the best policy, what with the short time they have with their players, and their limitations in selection. So what of the Old Boys? Well, in this last Clausura, they finished first with 40 goals for and 21 against. While not the most defensively solid sides, they led in scoring. However, the Apertura was a different story—Old Boys were 7th in the league on goals scored with 31. They lost the final to Velez 1-0.

So, you know, it’s hard to know what Martino brings to the table exactly. Reading through some old Zonal Marking round-ups, the take-away is roughly that Martino preferred a narrow formation with Paraguay at both the World Cup and the Copa, and were aggressive in pressing, but nothing too technocratic.

It will be interesting to see how the media will attempt to fill in the blanks on a possible Martino appointment, unless it goes to Luis Enrique.

Comments (10)

  1. Putting any store in the opinions of that faux autistic bellsniff Michael Cox – think the kids say “facepalm”.

    • ah but mr. Genius, ZF, what resource would you use to track 2-3 year old games that would describe formation, tactics etc. Richard made no conclusions based on this just provided a rough estimate of how Gerardo lined up his ex’s and oh’s.

      so, what is the better source of info?

      did anyone else think of this when reading Gerardo?
      ah eh,ah, Rico

  2. Hiddink just resigned as Manager of Anzhi. Coincidence?

  3. L”Equipe says that we’ve signed Brazilian international Bernard for 20m pounds and that he’s coming in for a medical on Friday (he has a Copa game on Wednesday).

    The story is probably BS, but I hope we sign him for two reasons: 1) he looks like a good player and (2) (Santi) Cazorla + Bernard= Santi Bernard. It’s too perfect.

  4. Gerardo “El Tata” Martino will fit right in.

    He uses a system where he likes both the right and left backs (Dani and Jordi) to go on the attack.

    He likes to have a holding mid (Busquets) just in front of the two central defenders. This mid fielder should be defensive minded but with great passing skills (Villalba in Newell’s Old Boys).

    In front of the holding mid, he likes to have 2 creative minded players with the ability to shoot from distance and with exceptional passing skills (Xavi, Iniesta). One of these two creative mids (Iniesta in Barca, Pablo Perez in Newell’s) will likely join the attack more than the other one, who will serve more of a distributor’s role (Xavi in Barca, Lucas Bernardi in Newell’s).

    Finally, “El Tata” likes to have 2 wingers with great 1-on-1 skills, that can score, and that can help in the creation of plays as well (Neymar and Pedro in Barca, Maxi Rodriguez and Figueroa in Newell’s). Last but not least, for Martino, the center forward should be one that is a scoring machine, can score from anywhere and most importantly, it should be a player that can participate in the ball circulation system, unlike big and bulky CF’s that are only there to tap it in. L10 Messi fits right into that description (Igancio Scocco for Newell’s – if you have never heard of this guy, I highly recommend you look up his goals from last season for Newell’s).

    I hope this piece shed some light on those who do not follow Argentine soccer. I don’t blame ya. Being from there, it often times pains me how low the domestic league’s level is compared to other times. This is why Martino was a such a breath of fresh air and will have the same if not a better impact on Barca for years to come.

  5. Scocco Highlights to complement the above.

  6. It’s done. El Tata is the new coach. Haters and ignorant fools can suck it!

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