When a talented player is surrounded by individuals who are less well blessed the net result is either i) a collective lift in the whole side, inspiration flows through the team and permeates every position. Where once there was a hoof into the stands now there is a feint, a drop of the shoulder and the ball is carried up the field. Alternatively ii) far from being inspired by the challenge, lethargy, resentment and mediocrity reign. This situation is by no means unique to football of course; compare Paul McCartney's work in The Beatles to his later rather feeble offering when teamed up with the Frog Chorus.
For Snr.Ortega his exile in Mendoza with Independiente Rivadavia seems to have been of little benefit to either the player or his latest club. After 25 games, 4 goals (3 of which came from the penalty spot) and 3 Red Cards he'll be heading back to the big city. The relationship was ended by mutual consent earlier this week. Vice President Nicolás Becerra commented that there had been 'good and bad things' about the whole affair and added 'for a star like Ortega it's not always easy to fit into a team playing at an inferior level'. Very diplomatic. The patience of the fans however was wearing thin. On a positive note he at least seemed to keep his alcohol problems under control whilst in Mendoza and has been receiving treatment in Chile.
So the Messiah is set for a return to River two months before his loan spell was scheduled to end - he wont be able to play in the Clasura as he's not currently registered. Even so his presence alone may deflect some of the flak that's still flying around in light of their embarrassing exit from the Copa Libertadores. The bright lights of Buenos Aires could once again prove too much for him. For those of us who wish he'd bow out gracefully I suspect some more interesting twists and turns before he finally draws his pension.
Genius at work. Why we love Ortega:
Caution: This may cause offence. Macca and the Frog Song: