Marcelo Gallardo

Marcelo Gallardo
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Marcelo Daniel Gallardo

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Current Club/Country: River Plate.

Previous Clubs/Countries: Nacional.

Honours: Argentine Cup 2015/16, 2016/17, 2018/19. Copa Sudamerican 2013/14. Recopa Sudamericana 2014/15, 2015/16, 2018/19. Uruguayan League 2011/12. Copa Libertadores 2014/15, 2017/18.

Marcelo Gallardo is regarded as River Plate's most successful coach of all time, despite domestic league success being conspiciously absent. His methods have brought regular continental trophies and domestic cups but have not yet been able to clinch the league title, despite initially taking over the reigning champions.

I am not going to try and pretend to have enough knowledge of the Argentine domestic scene to understand the anomaly, but it certainly does mean Gallardo's management career so far has a huge question mark hanging over it. Even when you factor in that he did win the league in Uruguay, before joining River, it is something that needs closer scrutiny.

Perhaps it is just that his tactical approach, which is very much akin to the way Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United team started last season in the Premier League, leaves them too open. An attacking 4-3-3 relying on taking the game to the opposition and beating them can struggle against a highly defensive system.

At just 45 years old, he is still young for a manager and learning, but how much longer will Gallardo be content to stay in Argentina before he wants to test himself against the best with better quality players to work with? Even though River are the team he supports, it is highly unlikely that he will stay with them for 20 years and there seems nowhere Gallardo can go to step up from River while in South American football.

By the same token, without proving himself by winning the league consistently which team is going to take the risk and employ him that is not going to feel like a huge step down from River? It might well be that he will have to learn to adapt his tactics more to get the right move for him. Either way it will be interesting to see where his career takes him in the future.

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