Fine tuning

Belgrano completed their pre-season and returned to Cordoba where they will be intensifying their tactical preparation looking into the second part of the tournament. The balance of the pre-season is highly positive: with no serious injuries the squad responded well to the physical demands and they showed good form in their three friendlies. However, the coach is perfectly aware that there are several aspects that need work before the team takes to the pitch. There are new faces that are likely to take part in the opener (Berza, Lollo) and some other players that have bounced from the shadows (Bustos, Arriola) and are now being considered for a place in the first team.

It seems as if Gomez is (rightly) trying to look for the appropriate mix of skill, experience and form that will see the team get back within the top spots. Looking at the fixture, the first two matches are against higher-ranked teams and hence a great opportunity to put us back into contention. Then we have the minor derby against the soon-to-be-relegated Instituto. How it pans out, however, remains to be seen.

Suarez relishing the prospect of joining Anderlecht

The latest news on the transfer of Matias Suarez suggest the player would be very keen on joining RSC Anderlecht. Van Holsbeeck returned from Argentina without a deal with Matias Suarez, but the player seems anxious to join Anderlecht: "It would be like a dream come true. The problem is that I don't speak English."

"If the transfer continues, I'll start learning English. But right now, I want to focus on my team Belgrano", he said.

So there you go Belgrano fan, let's enjoy Matias in what will probably be his last semester with us. He said he wanted two things for this year: to beat Talleres in the derby and to gain promotion with Belgrano. That will make my day.


All set for Suarez transfer

When Armando Perez said last week that he had met with representatives from RSC Anderlecht, everybody knew the name on the table was Matias Suarez. Apparently, the negotiations went smoothly and, although the final transfer fee is still being worked out, everything suggests that Suarez will be heading to Belgium at the end of June 2008. Rumours indicate that Belgrano have set a minimum price of 1.2m euros and that the final fee could be decided at around 1.4m euros.

Although many fans are shocked at this decision and particularly at what they consider to be a ridiculous fee for such a talented player, the fact that Belgrano are in the second division and going through bankruptcy management limit the ability to negotiate a higher transfer fee. The buzz around the fans is that had the management waited for Belgrano to return to the top flight, they would have been able to sell Suarez for a considerably higher fee.

There are positives, though. Belgrano are inching ever closer to repaying the debt, have established a solid reputation for transfers to the international market (Bolatti, Peppino and Rios were transferred directly to Europe and Mexico) and will have certainly strengthened their links with European teams.

A good draw against the champions

In one of the scheduled friendlies, Belgrano faced Apertura champions Lanus earlier today. The teams never got going and the match ended in a goalless draw. Both Lanus and Belgrano played most of their main players. Although there were plenty of imprecisions and missed passes, each team managed to create a few scoring chances. Matias Suarez and Ezequiel Arriola were both denied by the Lanus keeper, while Sand and Acosta were very close to opening the score for the Apertura winners. Belgrano played their main squad including Matias Suarez, who originally wasn't going to take part due to a muscle strain.

Matias Suarez challenging for the ball
in yesterday's match against Lanus

It was a friendly for sure but it is certainly encouraging for us to snatch a draw against one of the best teams in Argentina. Meanwhile, Belgrano continue with their pre-season activity and will also face Huracan and Alvarado as part of their preparation. In other news, Belgrano are still looking into the possibility of signing a defensive midfielder to add some much-needed depth to the team.

Suarez on the move?

According to several Belgian newspapers, the rumoured transfer of Matias Suarez to RSC Anderlecht is likely to be agreed in the coming weeks. Herman van Holsbeek, the manager of RSC Anderlecht, traveled to Argentina to wrap up the deal that would see Suarez join the Belgian club. Suarez, 19, has been attracting the interest of several local and international clubs and is regarded as one the most promising youngsters currently playing in Argentina.

Matias "Oreja" Suarez

The Belgrano board had firmly stated in several occasions that Suarez would not be leaving before June and are keen on keeping the player, especially if Belgrano win promotion to Primera. However, their plans may be hampered by the tricky financial situation the Club finds itself into since the last word in any transfer deal involving a Belgrano player is reserved to the administrating judge. In any case, in light of the evidence regarding recent transfers from Belgrano to other clubs, everything suggests that, should the right offer come in, the judge will most likely authorize the transfer and Suarez will join RSC Anderlecht.

Link to the news:

The Magnificent Seven?

Not quite but they may well be in due time. The names are Pier Barrios, Franco Giufre, Bernabe Bourges, Julio Cesar Giuliano, Ivan Gonzalez, Adrian Maidana, and Pablo Chavarria. They all came through the youth ranks at Belgrano and have now been selected to go the pre-season training camp with the main squad. The lads will have 15 days to make their case and see whether they can win over the coach's confidence. They have already shown what they are capable of in the youth league, now it's big time. We wish them all the luck!

A total of 31 players will be training hard during two weeks in Mar del Plata under the supervision of Mario Gomez looking to start the season in the best possible shape. The coaching staff are trying to arrange some pre-season friendlies for the upcoming weeks. Before leaving Cordoba, the players, staff and the directors were treated to a great alfresco barbeque. They are certainly no lacking in motivation! Best of luck during the pre-season.

New year, new hopes.. and new posts!!!

Here's to my attempt of keeping this blog alive! Well, at least that will be my intention throughout this year. Now onto some interesting stuff.

Belgrano finished the year on a high with two (much needed) consecutive victories but still far from the top spots. It was clear that the six consecutive defeats had hit the team, fans and management hard. But by the end of last year, that seemed to be over and the new coach Mario Gomez looks now determined to make a big push for the title in the second part of the season. He announced that Caceres, Pages and Pietravallo (a real shocker) would no longer be needed and the club has since ended their contracts. On a different light, Belgrano's only signing so far comes from Gimnasia de Jujuy and has a vast experience. His name is Marcelo Berza and he is a defender. The coach and the directors have said that it may be their only signing despite the release of three first team players. Since there are a number of promising youths being observed by the coach, this seem to be a rather appropriate policy.

So there you go. Not much in the way of breaking news but a few interesting moves nonetheless. So we'll see how it goes for Belgrano this year but one thing is sure. While we will be most likely pushing for the title and promotion to Primera, our local neighbours will be in the desperate hunt for vital points to escape relegation!!!