Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Search for Vasco

Tuesday's cover of Guadalajara sports daily Cancha.

The story isn't so much about Hugo Sanchez, as he'd been written off by many Mexican pundits since the Olympic qualifying debacle. The focus is now on who will guide the team in qualifying and beyond.

To me, the best candidate for this job is Javier Aguirre. He's a proven winner and a leader, two qualities FMF officials said they required from the next coach. Aguirre has not coached in Mexico since 2001 but has won a league title and played in the league and likely knows the depth pool very well.

However, I don't think the job would appeal to "Vasco" Aguirre much. Aguirre coaches Atletico Madrid and has had success in La Liga, both in his current post and with Osasuna. Both he and Sanchez set high standards for themselves, but Vasco did so with actual on-the-field results, not words. The pressure then would be immense for Vasco to deliver not just a World Cup group winner but more than that, not just winning but winning with flair and I'm not sure how realistic that is.

Still, Vasco would know how to handle the pressure and scrutiny. He crashed out of the World Cup to the US in 2002 but somehow managed to maintain his level of popularity despite an early exit. Perhaps it's because Vasco was only on the job for about a year and turned the team around substantially in that time. Enrique Meza did his best to drive El Tri into the ground but Vasco righted those wrongs, rather quickly too.

The great equalizer, however, is money and the FMF has plenty of it. With enough money and some conversations with old friends, maybe Vasco could be swayed into taking over El Tri once again.

ADD: According to Cancha, other candidates the FMF will pursue are Frank Rijkaard, Jose Pekerman, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlos Bianchi.


The Hammer said...

I still think it's sad that people like to pretend that Hugo has accomplished nothing to merit his hiring. Once upon a time he was about to get the boot at UNAM, he was in a situation much like the one yesterday and he was given the deadly "vote of confidence" -- after that, UNAM picked up and won back to back Mexican league championships in 2005. It was the first time and the last time any team [and any coach] has done it in the short-tournament era.

I'd like to see Aguirre take over but knowing FMF, I'm sure they're going to blow it.

James said...


I think Aguirre is a great choice, but, like you said, he's to comfortable in Spain. And also, while he is able to deal with the media, I don't think he wants to.

I remember an article Mark Ziegler wrote that said Aguirre got along better with members of the press from the US...not Mexico.

Mexico may want Vasco, but Vasco ain't coming, IMHO.

Nice article on SI, btw.

soyjimador said...

carlos bianchi = larry david

hammer, you bring up a good point as to hugo's bad-to-good times with pumas. who's to say how long we should end up waiting, especially considering that we MUST qualify for the world cup (as that's pretty much all we have to look forward to).

a change needed to be made. we have to much talent on this team to be wasted on a coach that hasnt produced results.

and for the record, no way vasco leaves atletico. they're on pace for champions league qualifying next year.

im completely fine with giving chuco the opportunity to work here. he's proven he can win with the youngsters and they know his style. this can work.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to downgrade the quality of the Mexican nats, admittedly they have a very talented pool, but Vasco works with world class players. I think he will have a hard time achiving success with the mexican nats then Atletico.

Anonymous said...

Can you say....Steve Sampson?

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

How about...Ruud Gullit?

I mean, if they're considering Rikjard....

Then Hugool can get the job he really craves: director technico de la chupada galactica.

Anonymous said...

Vasco already had a shot and failed, now it's time to go with a proven (actually win international competitions) national team coach that knows how to work with the youth and big egos..I give you Jose Pekerman.

Anonymous said...

Wow...you need to go back and read up on your history. Vasco did not fail.

Soledad said...

Cancha is ridiculous. Rijkaard? that's even more laughable than Mourinho (whoever pulled that one out of their ass).

But as long as we're playing, I say let's take Scolari. He's good and I wouldn't mind him being stuck in that shitstorm. Bianchi too, but he's not as good.

Really, almost any choice would be an improvement on Sanchez.

Anonymous said...

I give Vasco credit for turning Mexico around and qualifying for the to the 2002 WC, (especially after Meza's blunder), but I still can't understand his "brainfart" during the Mex vs US game when he subbed Luis Hernandez?!?! WTF was he thinking??
That could defenitely be considered a "fracaso".

L.B. said...

Yeah, that substitution was pretty bad. Equally as bad was bringing in Sigifredo Mercado at halftime and leaving offense like Francisco Palencia and Gabriel Caballero on the bench.

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