“I am an optimist by nature and I am ambitious. I look for the game identity for my teams.” Few believed in these words that Alexander Medina spoke for the first time at the Mundo Talleres, on June 7, 2019, on his first day before the Albiazul squad. Those same words were the ones he delivered in the press conference after the 2-1 match against Colón de Santa Fe, at the closing of the Diego Maradona Cup.
Of course, he was 40 years old and he was coming to an unknown environment that he had only lived as an Arsenal player, when that National de Montevideo striker began to think about retiring. The president of Talleres was playing his riskiest bet: he thought to recover the identity and prominence that had been achieved in the Frank Kudelka era, but with a Uruguayan coach, for the first time since he was president.
Between one expression and another there were achievements that established a direct relationship between what was seen on the court of their workshops with the result of each match. Usually. The “almost never surpassed us” and the “we maintained a style of play, even in defeat”, of the first stage, eliminated the “almost” and “even in defeat” for the second year of the “Cacique” in the Garden neighborhood club. From a squad decimated by the operations carried out by President Andrés Fassi to prioritize the sports health of the club, a team came out with a demanded and achieved identity.
Talleres finished eighth in the 2019-2020 season (Superliga plus Superliga Cup) and entered the South American Cup that he will play since April; in the Copa Diego Maradona was third and one point behind Banfield, the finalist in Zone B and which he beat 3-2 on the penultimate date.
- Total: 37 games. They were 16 won, 10 tied and 11 lost.
- Goals: 53 goals for and 41 against.
- Points: 58 of 111
- Effectiveness: 52%.
8th already the South American Cup
Medina managed to get the team to be international again by 2021, after passing through Phase Two and Three of the Copa Libertadores 2019. Moreover, when the season was cut by the pandemic, the team had raised, it was eighth in the table general and was heading to the qualifying position zone towards the aforementioned continental competition and towards the chance of being able to fight for the Super League Cup title. As for the game, it was also seen that people identified with an aggressive style and that they registered the best start of Workshops after returning to First in 2016.
“Medina along with Gallardo (River’s coach) and Heinze (left Vélez) are the best coaches in Argentine football,” Fassi was able to say to World D.
Fassi gave him the youngest team in Argentine soccer and since he started his tenure as president (at the end of 2014), since he averaged between 23 and 24 years per game. For Fassi, Medina fulfilled that objective and that of empowering the players (making a player with six points become seven), in addition to forming his character. For the campus, depending on the case, Medina was DT, father and partner. The most eloquent example was lived with Nahuel Bustos, Talleres scorer and who was “the” sale of the club’s history.
Fassi already considered him a leader, with the lineage, with the character and with the personality he acquired when he was a tremendous scorer who was several times champion with Nacional de Uruguay, Liverpool and Fenix, and who also played for Arsenal de Sarandí.
Guido Herrera; Nahuel Tenaglia, Rafael Pérez, Facundo Medina and Enzo Díaz; Tomás Pochettino, Andrés Cubas, Franco Fragapane and Guilherme Parede; Nahuel Bustos and Diego Valoyes was the “11” of the 3-0 to Huracán. The changes? ST, 18m José Mauri by Andrés Cubas, 20m Dayro Moreno by Franco Fragapane and 34m Juan Cruz Komar by Rafael Pérez (T).
68% Bravo (21 games)
59% Pedernera (18)
54,28% Medina (35)
54,24% López (59)
52% Flavorful (119)
51% Kudelka (57)
49% Labruna (92) pic.twitter.com/3rJdQS9AEV
Third in the Cup, there in the final
He could not be a finalist for very little. After the fans were analyzing the points that Talleres lost, they realized the feat of this Talleres de Medina. When the preparation of the Diego Maradona Cup began, he did not even have a backbone. Workshops was news for the market of sales and transfers of President Fassi, but little and nothing of what he brought. “The greatest economic resource will be for 2021”, said Fassi.
Mauricio Caranta; Nahuel Tenaglia, Rafael Pérez, Juan Cruz Komar and Enzo Díaz; Federico Navarro, Tomás Pochettino and Juan Ignacio Méndez; Diego Valoyes, Favio Cabral and Lautaro Guzmán was the 11th against Newell’s, on the first date of the Maradona Cup. The modifications were: ST, 19m Mateo Retegui for Cabral, 25m Joel So Señora for Guzmán and 35m Augusto Schott for Tenaglia.
It had only five starters, such as Nahuel Tenaglia, Rafael Pérez, Enzo Díaz, Tomás Pochettino and Diego Valoyes, from the last 11 against Huracán (the first and only Super League Cup date) and who had started their takeoffs, but within a different structure. They were joined by the substitutes Mauricio Caranta, Juan Komar and Juan Méndez, plus the youth players Federico Navarro, Lautaro Guzmán and Favio Cabral.
That was the base to which were added Franco Fragapane (he returned from Fortaleza and started on the second date), different “9” as Mateo Retegui, Carlos Auzqui and even Guilherme Parede (he also returned from Brazil). Later, Marcos Díaz (instead of the injured Caranta) appeared and, later, Joaquín Blázquez, a goalkeeper of his own.
That was the starting point for a Medina who decided to demand identity, commitment and conviction from them. I asked that team that had never played together more than the one that had disarmed. And he did. The “T” imposed conditions almost everywhere and, when it was wrong, it ran more than it thought to match. Because physically it was an airplane. It was to be the Transition Workshops and it was a respected and admired Workshops. He was at the door of the Cup final. But he was overcome, without a doubt. Same as Medina.
Marcos Diaz; Nahuel Tenaglia, Rafael Pérez, Piero Hincapié and Enzo Díaz; Juan Méndez and Federico Navarro; Diego Valoyes, Tomás Pochettino and Franco Fragapane; Carlos Auzqui was the last formation against Colón. ST entered, 23m Augusto Schott for Tenaglia, 35m Joel So Señora for Pochettino and Guilherme Parede for Fragapane (T), 36m Mateo Retegui for Auzqui and 48m Joaquín Blázquez for Marcos Díaz.