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The Least Balanced Rivalry in the World

The Clásico Platense is known in South America as the least balanced rivalry in the world for a reason: as Estudiantes has 1 World, 4 Continental and 6 National titles, Gimnasia has nix. In this saga, Gimnasia makes one last attempt for some dignity.
Started on 27 May 2020 by Tango
Latest Reply on 18 July 2020 by J_ames
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02: Not that bad of a start


Note: I like to include some links directing to images picturing what the text is talking about, such as player attributes, match stats or any other illustrations. It looks good on the text and helps me having a cleaner post. Feel free to click them if you want to know better.

After a decent pre-season tests against lower tiered teams, we are finally good to go. It is usually difficult to keep a cool head in the moments before a debut, but the moments before a debut with so many uncertainties are nerve-wracking. So many reasons for pre-season anxiety: we are the worst team in the Promedio table, and the press is being on our shoulders telling how incapable of great accomplishments we are.

The worst part of listening to daily bullshit from the media is that they are right. This team is not exactly brilliant. At least we could have a test at the Copa Argentina 6th Round before the league starts, so we can have a nice measurement of how competitive we can be. As we are not expected to deliver anything out of this competition anyway, we can ease the pressure on our backs.

Copa Argentina debut


At least that was what I thought until the results of the draw.


Picture: Diario As

As the journalists were thrilled, the Pincharratas showed no emotion to the draw whatsoever. For them, it looked like routine: face Gimnasia and defeat them in the Clásico. Again.

As I try to keep my poker face, I hope that no one knows how pissed off I am. Jeez, a Clásico Platense now? I don't think I'm ready and this squad is definitely not ready. I was expecting to be more prepared to a Clásico as we go, but that's not how it works, I guess.

More than that: seeing how they don't seem to give a damn about this draw makes me angry. Being looked down upon is annoying in any situation, but being looked down upon by our rivals, the ones we live to face and defeat, that makes me angry. My blood was pumping: we have to defeat these guys.

You know whose blood was pumping too? Tijanovich's. Estudiantes' Lucas Rodríguez received from the all time legend Javier Macherano and got clattered from behind by our winger. 6 minutes in, red card for Tijanovich. It doesn't get any easier, does it? All I could do right now was park the bus and hope for a miracle.

The miracle didn't came, as Iván Gómez took an inch-perfect free kick on Carrizo's top right corner at the 18th minute and scored the solitary goal of the evening. We managed not to concede afterwards, but ended up being completely harmless to Mariano Andújar's net. As the match stats show, we were lucky by not being totally thrashed by our rivals.

San Esteban's Clássico Platense count: 0-0-1

Superliga Argentina: first semester of the 19/20 season


On the other hand, I'm glad to announce that we didn't do bad at the Superliga. We started up with a 2-1 win over Newell's away from home, which apparently was far from expected. I'm glad for such colorful color palette, with some greens and yellows among the reds.


We are still no match for the best teams in Argentinian football, as we went far from causing Boca, River, and San Lorenzo any upset. The lowest point of the semester was the crushing 4-0 defeat against Argentinos Juniors away from home, but the totally unfair 0-2 upset against Banfield was the defeat that infuriated me the most. I know, it happens.

Fortunately, we have some upsides to present. We can be glad that we grabbed some wins, including an unnecessarily emotional 3-2 win over Unión, if you don't bother winning always by the tightest of margins. We have also achieved some heroic achievements, such as the bizarrely late winner against Arsenal and the undeserved tie against Lanús after being 2-0 down. Lucas Barrios, the veteran, has been our top scorer, finding the net 8 times.

San Esteban's Clássico Platense count: 0-1-1

Standings


Note: I'm not finding the printed screen of the Promedio table at this point nowhere in my PC, and there is a high chance I forgot to print it in the first place.

This better-than-expected first semester puts us in the very last spot of the Copa Sudamericana qualifying berths:


The calendar, however, is not our friend. We are yet to play away from home against Huracán, Aldosivi, Racing, and Talleres. The only team that I expect to beat is Aldosivi, but as they have being overachieving this season, not even this match is a guaranteed win. We have only two home games left, against the top-flight Independiente and the wonderkid-wonderland Vélez Sarsfield, and I don't expect to win any of them.

Our children are our future


If our adults are pretty much rubbish, I'm very pleased - and relieved - to see that there is actually some talent in our youth academy. The latest shipment brought to our side of La Plata a lot of useless players, but the presence of Horacio Bauzá made my sunshine brighter. There is plenty of expectation over this boy, and he could even be leaving us for some top-flight European football in the future.

Other talented players, not as promising as Bauzá, but with a great potential for the Argentinian football are the strikers Tomás Muro and Ivo Mammini, and the right back Rodrigo Rodríguez. Any suggestions on how to better polish these gems would be welcomed.

Replies


Questions about the Promedio: I've seen that the peculiar relegation system of the Argentinian football has risen some curiosity. I will answer directly your questions, and, if you want me to, I could gladly find some time to write an article about how it works and what do I think about it.

  • @OneMoreGame: the Promedio system defines the relegated teams only. Titles and continental berths are defined through different methods.
  • @Griffo: that is a very good question that actually demanded me some research. And no, if you get back to the highest level, all your past sins are expunged and you get a fresh start.

General replies:

@ScottT there is a lot of things I like and I dislike about this system. During the first seasons in FM it's a bummer, because the game is less balanced than real life and recently-promoted teams are fatally more prone to relegation than they would be

@CAJ1924 pensa pelo lado positivo, to levando LA PASIÓN SUDAMERICANA pro mundo hahaha

@trolie this is a story of underachieving sides, so of coure you can cheer for el Ciclón

@OneMoreGame thanks! :)

@Zed thanks mate, gonna try it out

@TheLFCFan thx mate, you won't regret it... I hope

@Justice thank you!

@Griffo being the one for a tale of mediocrity is quite an achievement, actually

@Jack at least it is all going fine, let's hope he can keep it up!
A good start so far breaking into the top half. One more good result could see you challenging for the top 6, however, with a tough schedule every game is going to count!
An impressive start I have to say. I think there can be a lot of pleasure taken from the start to the season thus far.
This story is so fresh and new, I love it, taking bitter rivals to the next level and keeping track of the head to head at all times... only reason for existence is TAKING THEM DOWN! haha
Genuinely intrigued, will be following.
When you win, you win dramatically with just one goal (especially against Sarandi) which is fun for reading, but not for playing :D

Also another question about the league - so if you have 2 really bad seasons and 1 in which you go into Copa Sudamericana you can get relegated and play in the Copa, right?
Tango's avatar Group Tango
5 monthsEdited

03: All over the place



Our preparations for the upcoming games have been made bearing in mind that we would experience tough times. We had three friendly matches, two against top Chilean sides and a last one against a second-tier Argentine.

Transfer-market-wise, we've been working with the resources we have to increase squad's quality. After some disappointing conversations and several break-downs, we managed to secure the services of the 23 yo defender Tomás López and the 27 yo right back Fernando Torrent for the next season only. We've also worked to sell some players in order to make some cash.

Superliga Argentina 19/20: the final games


As expected, we had it rough. A series of 8 winless games, considering the games from last semester, made the fans furious and the press wouldn't leave me alone. In the end, my future at Gimnasia was hanging by a thread, until we finally got the news that we had avoided relegation.


It was definitely a tough calendar, but our poor efforts haven't made it any easier. We barely lost to Huracán in a game that we were overpowered, and even in the games that we scored a point, such as the tie against Vélez, we didn't deserve more. At last, we managed to play good football and grab a win agains Talleres away from home. This victory did nothing for our championship ambitions but managed to calm the fans down and secure my job.

Final Standings



Our winless streak shoved us away from the continental qualifying berths in the goal difference criterion thanks to the marginal wins and the huge defeats. Worse than that, we lost our spot to the Pincharratas, who will laugh at us for one more season. We still have hopes of playing continental football in 2021, but it will depend on the champion of either Copa Libertadores or Copa Sudamericana being one of the 12 Argentines above us.

Far away from us, we had a sensational four-way battle to the final round of the league for the title. In the end, Racing managed to beat Colón away from home and grabbed the second Argentinian title in a row. Surprisingly, Argentinos Juniors overpowered our rivals Estudiantes 4-0 in the last round - the same score they crushed us with - and stole the second place from the giants River Plate.

Also far away from us - this time for a good reason - the relegation battle has seen the shock relegation of Newell's Old Boys, after awful displays season-long forcing the Leprosos to the last spot in the table. Central Córdoba, after a not-that-bad 19th place, was relegated due to an unbalanced season in which the teams on the top scored too many points and the ones at the bottom scored too little. The last relegation spot was taken by Arsenal, who played awfully and was sent back to where they had just come from. These three teams were sentenced to the hell-hole of the second tier, and will battle for promotion against other 33 teams next season.

The season is not over yet. The Superliga Cup is coming and we can definitely make some noise there. Good results mean a favorable Promedio for the next season, so we will be playing it seriously.

Copa Argentina 2020 draw - 5th round


Note: yes, the league follows the European calendar but the Cup doesn't. Don't ask me why.

The Copa Argentina represents a solid opportunity for teams like Gimnasia to win some silverware and play continental football the next year. We can start to think dearly of this competition now that I know the squad and we have been aiming for a certain development. If we get a comfortable draw for the 5th round, we can take it easy and think about the 6th round, which will start only next season. As there are 64 teams to be drawn, there is a good chance that we will have a favorable set up. Let's move on to the result:


You've got to be kidding me.

Replies


@TheLFCFan well, I guess we went the other way

@ScottT it was definitely more pleasant than the rest of it

@Griffo I don't know how it is in Europe, but in South America teams wouldn't push so hard if they didn't have their rivals to mock

@Oz96 thanks mate, I appreciate

@OneMoreGame oh, it looks good on the screen, doesn't it? Answering your question: indeed. We can even go farther with a real life example. Tigre ended the 18/19 season 8th, won the Superliga Cup, and got relegated with the Promedio. Now they are playing the second division and the Copa Libertadores simultaneously
You'll need luck against Boca, that's true. Congratulations on avoiding relegation!

About Horacio Bauzá, i saw that he have a resilient personality, you should put a tutor on him (any player that have professional mentality) to make him develop the real potential.
What a shame to lose your spot to your rivals. That will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of Gimnasia supporters.

I'm very surprised to see Newell's relegated!
Newell's went down :( Boca will be a tough challenge for sure but wow! Losing that spot to your dearest rivals has got to hurt, but there will be a time for revenge, I'm sure.
Congrats on avoiding relegation! Not the reward you were hopeful of though in getting Boca in the cup!
Relegation avoided, and a decent finish in the league. Not the best run of form in the end but you have plenty of highlights to look back on with happiness. As for the draw against Boca....
So the competition structure changes each year in FM until it is where they wanted it?
Tango's avatar Group Tango
5 monthsEdited

04: A turn out point?


After avoiding relegation, I could feel way better than I was feeling then. And I mean not only mentally, but physically as well: I can breathe better, I can enjoy my leisure days, I don't feel like I have a burden over my shoulders.

The Superleague Cup is a chance of playing some football without risking a relegation, and maybe to lift some silverware and play continental football in 2021! The best thing of the SLC for teams like Gimnasia is that giants like Boca, River, and Racing usually have their future guaranteed by then, so the cup means nothing to them. As the cup has a reduced significance for them, they normally use it as a chance to give some playing time for their future stars, which opens space for other teams to fight for the title. The only problem is that River Plate didn't qualify for the group stage of the Copa Libertadores in the league and this is their last shot.

Copa de Superliga Argentina 2020 - Group stage



Much, much better. With the downside of the quick drop in form from the veteran Lucas Barrios, Jhonatan Agudelo took over and led us to a very good campaign. We profited from a young Boca side and beat their kids rather easily. As you can see, we finally got to beat someone by more than a goal, getting to score 4 over Colón and even 2 over a strong Vélez side.

On the downside, we had an upset against Lanús at home, in a stage when I thought we would be far off the semifinals. We managed to play strong football in the Clásico, but a late equalizer has seen us not winning against our rivals one more time.

This increased quality in football came after a change in tactics, listening to the fans who were criticizing my strategies more than comfortably. This change has made our team more present at the attack, and not that unguarded as I thought we would be. This leap in quality got us the first place in the group, facing Huracán in the semifinals.

San Esteban's Clásico Platense count: 0-2-1

At the overall table, we couldn't do much. We could only improve so far, and we finished 11th.

Copa Argentina 2020 - 5th round


Let's say that the draw was unlucky for us. We faced the giants of Boca Juniors, and they wouldn't make it easy for us this time. For this game, I decided to guard my defense slightly more, trying to hurt Boca on the break. For most part of the game, nor Boca managed to harm us, nor did we manage to harm them.

With an ineffective attack, our defense held the powerful attack of the bosteros until the 73', when the Colombian winger Sebastián Villa upset us with a strike to Carrizo's right bottom corner. Our efforts to wake up and respond were fruitless, and Mauro Zárate finished it off during injury time, making it 2-0 and waving us bye-bye from the cup once again.

Copa de Superliga 2020 - Knockout stages


Our best shot at lifting any trophy so far, we would face Huracán in one semifinal as Lanús and River Plate would fight for the other place in the finals. In a weird two-legged neutral-ground encounter, we got into the bus for the metropolitan party of Banfield for two matches.

Absolutely nothing happened in the first leg, really. Boring piece of football. Let's jump to the next one.

In the second leg, a lot happened. We started badly as Ojeda got Huracán the first goal in the 15th minute and Garro found another one for our opposition within 31 minutes. We did manage to fight back and get a quick response with a header from Agudelo at the minute 33, but the red card of Franco Mussis in the 53rd minute cut our chances short. After that, Huracán made themselves at home and Garro got another two goals, wrapping up a hattrick.


The tale of mediocrity continues.

Around the world - a season recap


At the end of every season, I will make a small recap in order to satisfy the curiosity about whoever lifted silverware in the leagues I loaded. Please note that in South America, continental and national competitions follow a year-long calendar, except for the Superliga Argentina. The results that define whether Gimnasia will play continental football in 2021 are not the ones from 2019, but from 2020, and those competitions are not over yet.


With that being said, we had some interesting results. River lifted their 5th Copa Libertadores in history, falling now only one cup behind their rivals in La Boca. Botafogo, the Brazilian version of the tale of mediocrity, managed to lift the Copa Sudamericana trophy and broke their karma before we could even fight.

In Argentina, Boca lifted the Copa Argentina and River the Copa de Superliga. The Argentinian clubs in the Copa Libertadores 2020 will be: [GROUP STAGE] Racing Club, (2018/19 Argentine champions), Defensa y Justicia (2018/19 Argentine runners-up), Boca Juniors (2019 Copa Argentina champions), River Plate (2019 Libertadores champions, Atlético Tucumán (2018/19 Argentine 5th place), Tigre (2019 Copa de Superliga champions), and [PRELIMINARY ROUND] San Martín de Tucumán (who I have no idea why or how is set to play this competition in the game). We will see not one, but two teams of the second tier playing the highest level of South American football.

In Europe, PSG finally lifted an European trophy - even though the Europa League - and Barcelona won the UCL for the 6th time, beating Manchester City for the title. In the national realm, apart from Inter breaking Juve's sequence of 8 titles in a row, nothing really changed.

Replies


@trolie can you believe that I don't have a single professional character in the squad? hahahahahah

@ScottT and @Jack if it's worth for any kind of consolation, there were so many teams from out of the top 12 in continental affairs that not even Estudiantes made the cut

about the relegation of NOB, the funny thing is that Newell's wouldn't have been relegated if the game could count the whole Promedio table with the Superliga Cup included

@TheLFCFan yep, they proved themselves too much for us

@Justice oh, for sure, I blame this awful final run on the schedule, that was a positive season in the end

@Griffo yup
Shame with the red card, could make a nice comeback out there.

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