Juan Casado has been ruled out for a month after a scan revealed a tear in his left leg. This means a blow to the team who had gradually relied on Casado for the generation of play. The coach had made him an integral part of his team and now will have to look for a replacement. It is likely that there will be a change in formation as well as Ferraro may decide to go with a 442 instead of the preferred 4411 with either Gigli or Bustos replacing the injured Casado. It will be important for other players to step up in order to make up for his absence. But fear not, Belgrano has depth and quality players all around.
Three games into the season and Belgrano are already leading the table. While it's true that most teams are still in formation, only a few have appeared to be solid outfits. Belgrano is one of them and they have certainly gone from strength to strength. They followed a poor performance against Almirante Brown with a brave display against Chacarita and a consistent performance that saw them outplay Instituto. The players seem to be gelling together and the coach seems to know what his gameplan is. Furthermore, the fact that there are quality players beyond the first team adds a much-needed depth to the squad. Yet, there are still 35 matches to come and we'll have to see if Belgrano can keep their level. If they manage to do so, the promotion chances are better than ever.
Belgrano produced a solid and efficient display emerging victorious in the derby against Instituto. The albirrojos started better holding the ball and pushing towards the goal but Belgrano held their nerve. While Instituto had some half-chances Belgrano waited patiently for the counter-attack. The first goal came courtesy of a fantastic play by Matias Suarez dribling past two defenders and nutmegging the goalkeeper. What a player! It was 1-0, and in truth, it wasn't fair. Instituto came at us looking for the equalizer and they were lucky to get it after a confusing situation. Saad pipped Olave to the ball and scored. Belgrano didn't panic and regained calm starting to control the ball. In the 40th minute, Casado took the ball and carried it for 60 meters in a dazzling play that saw him one-on-one against the Instituto keeper. He slotted the ball in and gave Belgrano the half-way lead. The second-half started with Instituto were desperately looking for an equalizer but Belgrano were very solid at the back. The denied the Instituto forwards time and again. A key moment was when Lima was shown a straight red card. With the extra man, Belgrano passed the ball around and waited to launch the counter-attack. One such break saw Suarez drop into the box and scoring the third with a low shot. It was game over. Instituto kept on trying but Belgrano hanged on well. In the end, Belgrano got a deserved victory against one of their rivals. As a a sidenote, the sight of empty stands on the visitors side is a painful one to watch. This was due to the prohibition on away fans to attend the match. Shame on you AFA guys, you're killing the football folklore.
Well, not really much of a derby as one of our city rivals. Instituto hosts Belgrano in Saturday's clash and it promises to be a big match. Instituto are looking for their first victory and Belgrano are trying to build on their recent good form. Ferraro has confirmed that he will play the same team that defeated Chacarita Juniors, while Instituto may have some changes. Everybody is expecting a close match and we hope that the likes of Casado and Suarez are able to make a difference. Come on guys!!!
Belgrano is a football club. But is a whole lot more than that. Belgrano is history. Belgrano is passion. Belgrano is identity. Belgrano is a way of life. So much does it mean that a bunch of people have decided to start an interesting initiative. It's called Cultura Arte Belgrano and it aims at preserving the cultural and artistic traditions associated to the history of the club. Go check their website which is still under construction. You may look at the images below which are just a glimpse of their work. Fantastic job, well done guys!!!
Belgrano opened their home fixture in the best possible way by outplaying Chacarita Juniors and beating them by one goal to nil. Expectations were high and the fans wanted to see a good display by Belgrano. The players didn't disappoint as they started well controlling the ball in the midfield aided by Lux and Pietravallo. But it was soon clear that Suarez was not seeing enough of the ball and so chances were few and far between. Chacarita Juniors? Nil. With the defence and midfield doing well, all we needed was an extra man upfront. Ferraro decided to replace Lux with Gigli to aid his team's efforts. The gamble paid off as Gigli seemed to cause a lot more troubles to the Chacarita defense. Still, it was 0-0. The deserved goal came in the 80th minute after a perfect cross by Gigli which was headed into the net by our fast-rising star, Matias Suarez. Delirium in the stands, relief for the players and Ferraro. Chacarita could have levelled but Olave made two good saves leaving the score 1-0. Belgrano celebrated a deserved victory and their fans were more than happy with the performance. In fact, Belgrano should have won it by a larger difference.
After the somewhat disappointing draw against Almirante Brown, Belgrano are eagerly waiting for the next home match against Chacarita Juniors. The team is likely to go with a 4-4-1-1 due to the inclusion of Juan Casado (replacing Claudio Bustos) as the playmaker. Matias Suarez will be the man upfront. As always, Chacarita are contenders for promotion and we will have to play well if we want to get the three points. The match will be played next Saturday at the Gigante de Alberdi.
In the opening fixture of the campaign, Belgrano and Almirante Brown ended up locked in a one-goal apiece draw in what was otherwise a dull encounter. Almirante Brown started well trying to push Belgrano backwards but after 20 minutes, Belgrano started to control the ball and to create chances. Suarez saw two good chances went begging and it was Suarez who got brought down in the box nearing the end of the half. Bustos took the penalty well and gave Belgrano the lead. Things looked good for our team in the second half but for some reason Belgrano played poorly and unambitiously in the second half. Almirante Brown got a deserved equalizer after some sloppy play from our defenders. There were only a few other chances for each side to win the match but the draw seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Not the best start for Belgrano play-wise, but it is certainly a an away draw that may be significant come the end of the season.
I have had quite a few technical problems (PC broke down, new OS, lots of learning) over the last two weeks so I couldn't update the blog. Now that everything seems to be behind, we get back to business.
Belgrano open their promotion bid tomorrow against recently-prometed Almirante Brown at 20.35 pm (Argentinian time). Although the coach Ferraro has not confirmed the team, the likely eleven will be: De Giorgi; Martinez, Novaretti, Caceres, Pages; Mansanelli, Lux, Pietravallo, Garcia; Suarez and Bustos. The match will be played in Buenos Aires and Belgrano will fancy their chances against an inexperienced rival. We hope this the first positive step to gain promotion to the Premier Division. Come on guys! Let's get the ball rolling...
Belgrano have strengthened their squad with the signings of Guillermo Farre and Martin Crossa. Farre, a 26-year old cultured midfielder, arrives on a one-year loan with the possibility of a permanent move. The player had been playing at Central Cordoba de Rosario but said he was delighted to agree terms with Belgrano. The arrival of Crossa to Belgrano means promise of goals as the 30-year old experienced striker has had a long and successful career in several clubs from Uruguay and Europe. Both players had been in Pancho Ferraro's shortlist and will play this season for Belgrano. It is rumoured that Belgrano are looking to sign a goalkeeper as a replacement for the likely departure of Montoya. We hope these two players will contribute to our cause, which is none other than winning promotion to the Premier Division.
The transfer of highly-rated keeper German Montoya to Velez Sarfield is "almost done", according to Velez's president Balestrini. Belgrano had declared a $ 1.1m minimum price for the keeper -which Velez has offered- but said that they would like to see offers around the $ 2.5m mark. The complex judicial situation of the club makes everything more difficult. For instance, while the player and the judge are willing to accept the offer, the chairman Armando Perez has declared himself disgusted with the pressure being put on him to sell the player. Most likely, Montoya will be transferred, we'll have to look for a replacement, and the relationship between the management and the judge and trust will reach a worrying low. We are happy for German Montoya, who has certainly a great future, but we are unhappy at the way these transfers have been handled.
Luis Fabian Artime, known simply as el "Luifa", retired from football two years ago but never had the chance to say goodbye to the Belgrano fans. Next Sunday he will finally get to have his deserved farewell game. Organized by World Eleven, the match will see several former players and friends of Luifa play for the fun of it. Tickets are selling fast and a full house is expected. It has also been confirmed that el Luifa will arrive to the Stadium mounted in a firecar following a one-hour long procession escorted by the cheers of the fans. It should be quite an event. The kind of event one of our greatest glories deserves. Gracias Luifa!!!