Argentina has named its new manager and at first glance he looks to be a good fit for the AFA. Here’s a look at why.
Since Gerardo Martino was let go, Argentina team has been on the search for a new coach in the middle of an institutional crisis for the AFA. The working conditions, needless to say, have not been ideal.
Edgardo Bauza has now been chosen and will fulfill the lifelong dream of leading the Agentina national team.
At age 58, after having trained six clubs and having twice won Copa Libertadores, the Paton meets all the conditions required by the office.
Here are five reasons why he’s the logical choice.
1. A logical progression: In 1993 after retiring as a player Paton started work as reserve trainer in Rosario Central. One year later he took charge of the youth divisions and, after four years as the Canalla’s top academy man, took over as first-team coach. He spent three years at the helm, taking them to the final of the Copa Conmebol and a Libertadores semi. After that first experience Bauza spent time at Velez, Colon, Sporting Cristal (where he finished league runners-up) and in 2006 landed in Liga de Quito. In Ecuador he lifted the local title and the big prize, the 2008 Copa Libertadores.
2. Prestige: The Santa Fe native has shown that his Liga success was no one-off. Six years later, and after a second spell with the Ecuador side that saw him take another league crown and the Recopa Sudamericana, Bauza took over at San Lorenzo. He not only kept the Primera champions at a high level, but improved on Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side and won the Libertadores for the first time in club history. He left in 2014 at the end of the Club World Cup, where he lost to Real Madrid, and at the start of 2016 began work at Sao Paulo, where he once again reached the Libertadores semis. He is the only man to take four different teams to the penultimate stage of the competition.
3. Group leadership: While he had the luxury of taking the reins at San Lorenzo after winning the title, he had the presence of mind to give the likes of Leandro Romagnoli, Nestor Ortigoza and Juan Mercier leading roles on and off the pitch. He took the Ciclon far, culminating in the Libertadores crown. His players respect him and believe in his playing style.
4. Balance: It was what Argentina lacked under Gerardo Martino, and what the Argentine FA needs institutionally. Bauza is known for his organised teams, with the heart of his strategy two banks of four men, two holding midfielders and two wide men. You need to score in order to win, but you also need to protect the result from start to finish. Argentina’s lost finals in the World Cup and the last two Copas America show the team is unbalanced and Bauza, despite his reputations as a defensive coach, managed what Argentina most desires – to win.
5. Respectful and respected: Paton is a man who keeps a low profile, and stays away from rash declarations. Accessible to the press and an organised worker, he has never been involved in fights with players nor in scandals. All those who work with him see him as a great coach, from whom they learned a great deal, and he always puts the footballer center stage. He is a coach capable of convincing Messi to come back to the national team and of restoring confidence to players like Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.