One step at the time
After the win against Gimnasia, @VelezInEnglish takes a look on the game and what lies ahead for the team.
Vélez needed to win. I needed Vélez to win to start my holidays in a proper way. And this game bring back some nostalgic feelings Young people might not remember it but during the nineties games against Gimnasia had a bit of an edge. Not a derby nor a rivalry, but there was something different. I don't know whether it was that our friendship with Estudiantes back then, the unlikable players that Gimnasia had like Dopazo and the Barros Schelotto twins, the fact that their respectable coach made Ferro successful, the time we pipped them to a league title on the last game... It faded away with time, but this Gimnasia team has a coach in Troglio who builds decent teams but I have never quite bought into his public persona and there's also mercenary Silva, who used the club as a leverage to get a better deal elsewhere. We ended up getting Pratto that time so it turned out well for us, but his sight is repulsive to me since then. Anyway, Vélez had to win.
I wrote here last week that for Vélez to have consistency in the pitch it should come from the sidelines too: Heinze apparently isn't reader of this space (Thankfully) because although the Ramis return allowed to go back to a familiar setup in attack but in defense he decided to tuck Gimenez between Laso and Abram, meaning that Vélez would play something like a 5-2-3 without the ball and 3-4-3 in possession. The rationale of this choice became obvious as soon as the ref whistled: Gimnasia start sending long balls to take advantage of the size of their attacking duo, which meant that Laso and Abram had their hands full with that. In addition to sweeping loose balls, Giménez presence helped to build play from the back as Gimnasia tried to apply pressure on goal kicks. That strategy almost paid for Gimnasia in the first 20 minutes, but as the game went on, Vélez took over control without creating much. El Fortín eventually took the lead after 63 minutes when Ramis didn't manage well a counter, but his shot found a weak response from Arias anyway. It was a deserved goal for him because he tried to make things happen upfront, specially when Bouzat and Mainero weren't having productive performances and Robertone seemed to be off. After Piovi's dismissal, Vélez could and should have close the game but in the end got the job done.
With Vélez hovering the Copa Sudamericana places, the question around the beat started to arise about the goals this team should have. The answer will be found in the matter discussed two weeks ago: Consistency. Vélez home form is very strong but has little to show for when playing away. Also, it seems that the team still struggles to score and has to play a lot better than the opposition to win close games. As things stand, Vélez will be far from the battle to avoid relegation, but between that and continental qualification there's a intermediate stage, which is midtable. An improvement in away form is a must if Vélez wants to aim higher. I'm optimistic about this, but I'm trying not to believe the hype yet.
As I said before I will be holidays and I won't be able to update this space. However, I'll be supporting the team from somewhere else. Vamos Vélez carajo!