I am not the typical Anti-Passarella River fan. Although I do think it is time for a change, I do not have the urge to go out and bash Passarella game after game. Sure, I've been angry at him several times before, but I also think many fans were wrongfully outraged. He was often blamed when making a wrong tactical change in matches that we lost, but in general they were the right changes to do at the moment (of course if we would have won those games, people wouldn't have said anything).
In his second cycle coaching "los Millonarios", Passarella left both positive and negative points. I've tried summing some of them up, and this is what I got:
Positives (things people fail to see):
- Discovered Gonzalo Higuain, Juan Pablo Carrizo, Augusto Fernandez, Diego Buonanotte, etc. All these players ended up being stars, with a tremendous future. With other coaches, who knows if they would have even debuted yet.
- Gave opportunities to other great players such as Andres Rios, Rene Lima, Matias Abelairas, Nicolas Domingo, etc. I wouldn't go as far as saying they are stars, but they are all great players who will almost surely have a great future. Other youngsters such as Mussachio, Oliva, Lizio, Sciorilli, Valencia, Antonio, Burzac, etc. were able to debut on the first team thanks to the "Kaiser", but did not get as much continuity.
- Resurrected Ariel Ortega. The same player that was in a hospital recuperating from an alcohol problem is now the star and leader of our team. With another coach, his return might have not been assured. Passarella is like "el Burrito"'s dad and helped him progress tremendously.
- Brought back the best Falcao. Despite the Colombian underperforming for a long time, Passarella insisted on bringing his old form back and continued getting minutes. Guess who is now the top-goalscorer of the team.
- Pretty much brought Fernando Belluschi, Mauro Rosales, and Leonardo Ponzio - all three now being very important players to the team. Daniel insisted tremendously that all three of them arrive at "la Banda" until his wish became a reality.
- Literally "owned" Boca Juniors. He did not lose once, winning twice and tieing the same amount of times.
- Managed the team for two years but did not win a single tournament. In his reign he played 4 Argentine tournament, 2 Copa Libertadores, and 2 Copa Sudamericanas. Surprisingly enough, we did not see the team lift the trophy in ANY of those eight tournaments.
- Lost to many small teams such as Caracas, Almagro, Tigre, San Martin (SJ), Gimnasia (JJ), Arsenal, etc.
- Gave away German Lux, a goalkeeper with tremendous skill, by seperating him from the first team. Lux later let his contract expire and joined Mallorca of Spain.
- Was eliminated in the first round of the Copa Libertadores 2007, as well as in the Copa Sudamericana 2006.
In the end, we have been left with good moments and.. well.. let's just say not-so-sweet moments. Time has passed and it cannot be reversed. We cannot do anything but move along and look for a new coach.