22 Striker Corinthians Paraguay
2014 has been...
At the turn of the year, we spent a lot of time weighing up the merits of two young Paraguayan footballers to decide which was worthy of a place in the #IBWM100. Both played for the same club, Cerro Porteño, one was a striker, one a creative midfielder. Oh, and they just happen to be twins.
Of the brothers Romero, we opted for Ángel the striker rather than Oscar and in early 2014 that looked an increasingly smart move. Already a veteran of 50+ appearances for Azulgrana, Ángel Romero was in magnificent form in the early part of this year. Having notched fifteen times in 42 appearances during 2013, the young striker really stepped up a gear, hitting an impressive 11 from 12 to set Cerro away.
His goal scoring record at this point did enough to convince Corinthians that they needed to act as quickly as possible and by June, the striker had added his scrawl to a five-year contract. While it would be reasonable to accept that it would take time for Romero to acclimatise to a new a club, a new country and a new division, he has required some serious patience from Corinthians supporters.
Fans of Timão have had had reason to be optimistic this season. Although Cruzerio have been crowned champions, Corinthians put in a good shift and managed to beat A Raposa both home and away in the league. However, it’s inconsistency that has let Mano Menezes side down. Four defeats in nineteen is a very respectable record, but when you consider that all four of those defeats were inflicted by teams in the lower half of Serie A you begin to get a handle on the problem.
With the Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero in excellent form throughout the campaign and a mean defence keeping things tight at the back, Corinthians really needed more firepower to make a difference. In signing Romero, they thought they’d obtained just what was needed. Fools.
And that’s what has been so disappointing about Angel Romero this year. He arrived in perfect condition and was scoring from just about every angle in Paraguay. Joining a settled and well-organised side should have been the platform to excel, but he just hasn’t delivered. Involved in twenty Serie A matches, ten of which he started, Romero has contributed one assist and no goals to a team trying to become champions. Considering the opportunity he’s been given, and the form he was in previously, that’s just woeful.
Corinthians need a new striker, that’s obvious, and while hope remains that Carlos Tevez will return it won’t be happening just yet. In the meantime, a decision needs to be made regarding Romero. Menezes was exceptionally patient with the striker, who certainly wasn’t a passenger, but didn’t do anything like enough to guarantee his future in São Paulo. Ironically, Romero’s redeeming quality may be Corinthians' long-term pursuit of his brother Oscar.
With a verbal agreement in place, a deal for a second Romero looks likely, but this being Brazil cannot be guaranteed just yet. Oscar will provide further creativity for a team that got close this year and Corinthians fans will hope that some brotherly love will spark their misfiring forward into action once more.
Ángel Romero is a good all round striker and recently found the net once more for Paraguay, but with Menezes’ future at Corinthians still undecided, a new coach may be a lot less forgiving than the former Brazil boss.
"Impotent, sadly, at least in terms of goals! A real shame because he might have made a huge difference to Corinthians. Still think he's worth persevering with." - Jeff Livingstone
D For the love of god man, score!
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