Tim Vickery’s Notes from South America: Ecuador coach Quinteros feels the heat

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Rumours are rife that Edgardo Bauza is about to be sacked as coach of Argentina – however he isn’t the one one in danger after the final two rounds of World Cup qualifiers. Ecuador coach Gustavo Quinteros can be hanging by a thread, with a six-man nationwide group committee assembly to debate his destiny, and a choice anticipated by Tuesday.

Rumours are rife that Edgardo Bauza is about to be sacked as coach of Argentina – however he isn’t the one one in danger after the final two rounds of World Cup qualifiers. Ecuador coach Gustavo Quinteros can be hanging by a thread, with a six-man nationwide group committee assembly to debate his destiny, and a choice anticipated by Tuesday.

Quinteros, who has been in cost for slightly over two years, might be a sufferer of his success of their early a part of the qualification marketing campaign. His group shot off like a prepare, profitable the primary 4 video games. At that time they stood proudly on prime of the desk with 12 factors. However the subsequent 10 rounds have introduced simply eight extra. The latest defeats away to Paraguay and at residence to Colombia have plunged the group to sixth place, exterior the qualification slots.

So the place has it being going unsuitable?

A debate is raging within the nation about whether or not the altitude of Quito, normally Ecuador’s mountain fortress, remains to be a major benefit. An growing variety of the nation’s gamers are primarily based overseas – in the previous couple of years England and Brazil have each been shopping for from Ecuador.  The group are clearly stronger than they was once away from residence – beating Argentina in Buenos Aries within the opening spherical of the marketing campaign, and solely taking place to slim defeats of their final two visits, to Uruguay and Paraguay.  However they aren’t as robust as they was once at residence – that defeat to Colombia signifies that they’ve solely gained two of their final 5 qualifiers in Quito.

Maybe extra related is the indisputable fact that the group depends on a handful of prime class performers.  If they’re absent or out of shape, then the standard of play inevitably declines.

A very powerful participant within the group might be central midfielder Cristian Noboa, whose splendid vary of passing signifies that he serves as the provision line for the damaging wingers.  Noboa missed the loss to Colombia by suspension, and proved unimaginable to exchange.

Dow the precise there’s the rampaging energy of Luis Antonio Valencia, who can carry appreciable swagger as a consequence of his success with Manchester United. He has missed three of the latest defeats. On the opposite wing, Jefferson Montero was the star flip at the beginning of the marketing campaign, torturing opposing proper backs along with his tempo and trickery. However then he bumped into harm issues, and – save for a five-minute look off the bench away to Paraguay – he has not appeared because the eighth spherical.

Noboa distributes, the wingers get good service into the field and a centre ahead takes benefit. In the beginning of the marketing campaign that was Felipe Caicedo, deputising for the injured Enner Valencia. On a sizzling streak for the last few years, Enner Valencia’s kind has suffered of late.  However he’s faster and extra athletic than Caicedo.  There was a bent, enhanced by accidents and suspensions to different gamers, to area them each in among the latest video games, and this has seldom labored.  It has normally left the group trying prime heavy.

This can be a downside as a result of Ecuador’s checklist of main gamers doesn’t embrace any of the defensive unit – with the attainable exception of veteran left again Walter Ayovi, whose energy has all the time been going ahead. At centre-back nobody has emerged to exchange the good Ivan Hurtado, the Bobby Moore-esque determine who held the defence collectively for some 15 years.

Quinteros has introduced the line of defense increased up the sector. It retains the group extra compact and signifies that the likes of Luis Antonio Valencia don’t have to drop thus far when the group loses possession. However it does imply that the dearth of defensive tempo may be uncovered, particularly if the road up is prime heavy. Final Tuesday Colombia gained the sport by getting behind the Ecuadorian line.

Can Quinteros get issues proper earlier than the subsequent spherical on the finish of August? And can he be give the prospect? The strain is now on, with the group very probably needing three wins from the ultimate 4 video games – a run which begins with the go to to the all conquering Brazilians.

Ought to the Ecuadorian FA see the scenario as so determined that solely a change will do, then the possible alternative is Pablo Repetto, a Uruguayan who led little Independiente del Valle to the ultimate of final yr’s Libertadores Cup.  He’s free after a brief, unsuccessful spell with Olimpia of Paraguay. However whether or not he is available in or Quinteros stays, the previous altitude specialists from Ecuador now have a mountain to climb if they’re to make it to Russia.

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