In the previous part of VivaGlobetrotting we ran through what happened since leaving Colombia after the 2026 World Cup. Catch up on that post here.
Alejandro Hurtado moved to Argentina as the opportunity to manage River Plate arose. Managing the most successful club in Argentina was the opportunity of a lifetime for young Chilean manager Hurtado.
In the following post, we will take a look at how Hurtado has got on in his first few months in charge of River, and going by the title not everything has gone as expected.
A Tricky First Few Months
Let’s start by running through the transfers made by River.
Alejandro Hurtado’s first signing in Argentina was of attacking playmaker Federico Romagnoli. Romagnoli was transfer listed by Paris Saint Germain and was bought for a club record fee of £8.75M.
I expect him to play a main role over the coming season.
River Plate’s second and final signing was unveiled through the official Twitter account @VivaLaVidaFM
Juan Jeraldino, Union San Felipe legend, has rekindled his partnership with Alejandro Hurtado, joining River Plate for a £1.6M transfer fee.
For those wondering, Ignacio Jeraldino has retired from football after leaving Union San Felipe. There’s now only Juan ‘Jeraldino’ left 🙂
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The First Three Matches
After a solid pre-season, which included a 4-0 win over Real Madrid, River Plate approached their opening three fixtures with confidence.
First up came the opening leg of the Copa Libertadores 2nd Round against Cruzeiro. This would be followed by the Supercopa Argentina Final against San Lorenzo before the return leg against the Brazilian champions.
The first leg against Cruzeiro could have gone better. We lead the match twice and conceded a disappointing goal just a minute after going ahead for a second time. Two away goals could be crucial.
Supercopa Argentina Final
This match will forever be remembered as one of the greatest matches in the history of the Supercopa (basically the Argentinean equivalent of the Community Shield).
Alfredo Sciutti, mentioned in the previous post for potentially being the leading star of our squad, scored a hat-trick to help us to a 4-1 lead.
San Lorenzo then bit back with two quick goals to keep the match alive.
But then came the introduction of Juan Jeraldino from the bench, making his River Plate debut. He scored a 15 minute hat-trick to put the game to bed. It really was a sensational start to his Argentinean career. I was delighted for him.
We came into the second leg on a high after that brilliant Supercopa victory.
But sadly it wasn’t enough as Cruzeiro made home advantage count.
First Nine Matches
Two wins from our first nine matches in the league saw us sit in 16th place in the table…
We were persisting with a 4-2-3-1 AM Wide formation that had worked so well through pre-season, but nothing worked. We’d kept just one clean sheet in competitive matches so far this season.
It was here that we changed our formation to a 5-1-2-2 as shown below:
The change worked
16 Matches Gone
Six wins from seven matches has seen River Plate move from 16th to 3rd in the table, albeit with many teams behind us having games in hand.
Notice that in these six wins we conceded 0 goals. Moving to 3 at the back seems to have solidified our defence.
However I am slightly worried in that we seem to score every chance we have. That seems like a good problem to have, but should our strikers lose their form then we could struggle to beat teams.
We’ve looked good at the back, if sometimes a little fortunate, but moving forward we don’t create too many chances.
Having run a poll on Twitter, I’ve decided to increase the number of posts I write per season. Through the Union San Felipe and Deportes Tolima eras, I wrote at max two posts per year.
With River Plate I will write between 3-4 posts per season. 1 post around 15 games in, 1 post with 10 matches left and then an end of season summary. I may well add in an extra post here and there depending on how the season is going.
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Thanks for reading Part 22 of VivaGlobetrotting.
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