In just 42 days, Mexico’s national soccer team has gone through four managers. With the surprise release of Victor Manuel Vucetich on Friday after a two-match run with El Tri, Miguel Herrera is the next man in line to see how far he can get El Tri back on track.
Jose Manuel de la Torre, Luis Fernando Tena, Vucetich and now Herrera. The first three all failed to get a club packed with talent to play as one unit. The only thing that Herrera can rely on is that he will have at least a month with the club — they do not play their playoff match against New Zealand until November 14. The second leg will be on November 19, but after that, Herrera will be easily dropped from the position should Ricki Herbert’s side win.
Not easy conditions to work under. They have no doubt lent a hand in creating a lot of Mexico’s problem on the pitch. The players are playing as individuals, and without having any consistency on the sidelines, it doesn’t seem like any one individual could walk in those doors and change things around in less than four weeks, not to mention in just two matches. Vucetich made sure to part with some snarky wisdom for the incoming boss: “The fact that you have strong character means that you can make smart decisions. Just because you yell, that doesn’t give you strong character. There is such a thing as bad character,” Vucetich said in an ESPN Radio interview.
For a club struggling for identity and cohesion, even losing together as a team could have helped build some bonds. Bringing in a new face — not so much.
Vucetich seemed a good fit for the club, and his tremendous career accomplishments were something El Tri looked forward to experiencing themselves. But he was only given two matches to prove his worth. “I feel upset because one cannot grade a coach in just two games. That’s impossible. I am talking about anyone; it would be impossible to qualify a coach in only two games. One cannot ignore in an instant the vast coaching career where one has many accomplishments,” said Vucetich.
Mexico has backed their way into the World Cup playoff thanks to the United States’ impressive stoppage-time victory over Panama Tuesday. It would be no surprise at all if the much lower-ranked New Zealand handled Mexico with ease and earned their second straight World Cup berth and third in their history. And at the rate Mexico is going, they likely already have a list of able candidates to replace Herrera should that happen.