Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Get over it

You're not that pretty. You're not that special.

Enough already with the "We are Mexico, inscrutable and impenetrable" act that some veterans on that national team have been pulling lately.
I'm not singling them out - I thought the same thing when Bruce Arena's time was up and players with the U.S. team were talking about how different American players were.
Sure, right.
In fact, every country has a certain temperament and style, but the ball is round and the game is 90 minutes long. The idea that professional soccer players are too "precious" to be coached by someone of a different culture, especially when so many aspire their entire lives to leave their home country and play abroad for a foreign coach is fairly ridiculous.
Yes, it might be easier to have perfect linguistic and cultural understanding, but what works and is worthwhile isn't always easy - especially when it comes to learning something new to push a team to the next level.
Sven Goran Eriksson may or may not succeed with Mexico. It's clear that there are challenges, but he has proven himself an able instructor. If players are willing to listen, he could lead them in a new direction. If they waste time on the drama of how they're not understood, or their Mexicaness isn't appreciated, or that Sven won't eat any mole or doesn't recognize a single Luis Miguel song, then they're in trouble.
As the U.S. would have been if Klinsy had taken charge of the team and run into a bunch of static for being German. It's just silly.
Because whether they're from the U.S. or Mexico, the one common point still stands between a squad and any coach. They are soccer players (or coaches) first and foremost. If everyone does their job well, that's all that matters. If the coach can't do that job, find one who can, wherever that individual may come from.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Andrea, being Mexican or from any great footballing nation means you have great pride in the rich history of your country's national team. I wouldn't expect you to remotely understand this, no offense. If the player's tone comes off as nationalistic it's because they feel there is plenty of capable coaches in Mexico, instead of an ignorant nationalistic view as you're trying to paint it. Eitherway, you have no history to judge their sentiments.

A.C. said...

You don't think England has pirde n being a footballing nation? Please. They turned to Sven because they wanted to get better, and they were willing to swallow national pride to do so. Now they've got Fabio Capello. It's a cop out for you to say I won't understand because I'm not Mexican - it's just more of the same, "We're different, no one gets us" excuses. I didn't accuse any players of ignorant nationalism - I'd say it's more a little laziness and unwillingness to move out of a comfort zone.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1:06am:

You're just making her point.

"Rich History' = Mexico is 2-9-1 v the U.S. in this century. Both wins are at Azteca. Mexico is the Bolivia of CONCACAF.

Mexico's myopia is stunning.

Hahaha

M. Verde said...

I am as mexican as they come, but I also happen to be a naturalized U.S. citizen. I absolutely agree with you, but I must say that the players that matter the most, at least to me, with the exception of Guardado and sometimes Salcido ex.Marquez, Pardo, Vela, Castillo, Giovani, and Franco, plus a whole new generation of youngsters whom I sure Sven will be turning to, have not expressed any displeasure towards his appointment. If yo go to any of the blogs in the mexican newspapers you will see that a great majority of people are thrilled with Eriksson's appointment, and the ones who aren't, don't have any arguments that can stand on their own two legs. This is how I see it, if Mexico beats Argentina tonight, and then Peru on Sunday, and destroys Belize in the two WC qualifiers under interim coach Jesus Ramirez, then that would give food for thought at what might have been, and give support to the theory that maybe that was the way to go! But...that is all conjecture, and the deed is done! So Viva Sven!!!

Dan Haug said...

As an American fan, the thing scares me the most about Mexican football is the possibility that the players put their egos in check and adopt a cold-hearted approach to achieving victory. I think the arrogance of the coaches and players over the last 10 years is what has allowed the US to perform so well against EL Tri. If Sven can get players to improve their mental approach to the game (or bring in some of the talented young players with the right mental approach), I think the US will be in big trouble.

FC Uptown said...

I agree with Dan. In fact, Sven might have been an interesting US hire. Have to wonder what kind of approach Svenie might have taken coaching the US vs England the other day. One thing all new coaches do is clear out the "dead weight" - invariably fading veterans.

Anonymous said...

i follow both teams and lately have been in the US bandwagon but i tell you this appointment(all the old guys are the whiners and you just cut them loose anyway i mean borghetti come on he sucks)could be scary for the US if the mexican players take Sven seriously. best thing mexican soccer has done in a long time.

Anonymous said...

AC I don't disagree with your points. As long as the guy can coach it shouldn't matter where he comes from, but I also think that the players that were complaining the loudest for the most part were only a handful of mediocre players who I believe feel their place on the national team won't be an automatic like it would've been under a Mexican coach or a coach tied to the FMF.

What surprised me the most was Galindo, Osorio, and Salcido speaking out. These guys play in Europe, if they don't want to be coached by a European, then why go to Europe in the first place. But if you notice, guys like Guardado, Pardo, Castillo, Dos Santos, and pretty much everyone else, haven't spoken out.

Christian said...

re: anonymous

WOW! that's quite a HOME record you've got there buddy, now, remind me again when's the last time the US went to Mexico and got a win?? ohh, that's right, NEVER.

I swear, some of you guys put way too much stock on some friendly results and games that were ALL played in the US.

Let me know when the US wins the Confederations Cup, or when they don't embarrass themselves at Copa America or any international youth or adult tournament, better yet, let me know when the US is seeded for a WC it's not hosting.

Next time don't hide behind the "anonymous" tag and leave your name if you want to have a real discussion instead of throwing rocks and then hiding under bushes.

sigan participando.

:)

Mr. Snarky said...

Dan Huag, you are the man. That is exactly how I feel. However, I'm not a member of the Mexican National team and those guys will have to get over it. It's kind of ironic since so mant young MEx players dream of playing in.....Europe. A few have ahd sucess. WTF?

SGE might have another challenge and that's being undermined by FutMex and the Mexican media when bloated expectations aren't met. All things are possible. He can make them a top 10 team easy.

The future is looking good for Mexico.

rosyf said...

I am Mexican and find ridiculous the "He doesn't speak Spanish" excuse, I mean, these are players dying for an opportunity to play in Europe, C'mon guys! The world is a multicultural place! European leagues' players speak at least 2 languages, Why can't el TRI start taking languages lessons (English, Italian even German) instead of being a bunch of whiny babies?
"Double your languages double you fun"

Anonymous said...

mexico is not england... sven will not have his waterloo in mexico. i predict he will be a tremendous failure with the national team. we've been down this road before with menotti and we all know how that ended.

como mexico no hay dos.

saludos, d

Jon E said...

I'm with Andrea and the rest of y'all. It drives me batty when Americans pretend that we couldn't learn anything from the rest of the world (health care, incarceration rates, education, our own soccer program). And I think the old guard of Mexico players objecting to Eriksson are either being xenophobic or are making a cynical appeal to xenophobia because they know that a new coach without old loyalties will be unsentimental about cutting them if they don't perform.

Matt Y said...

I agree with Dan....if Mexico ever stops being their own worst enemy then they will be real tough to beat.

Having a foreign coach is a great idea...I'd actually prefer that the US do the same.

Both Federations suffer a bit from a "no new, same old ideas" type mentality so a fresh approach should work...if the players accept it.

PrimateWrangler said...

We generally tout our recent record against Mexico because even when games are played here the US is playing in front of a pro-Mexican crowd....I guess you wouldn't understand....what a useless quip. People need to at least attempt to help people understand.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." -Einstein

PrimateWrangler said...

That said, if you think we (US fans) are annoying now when we bring up records imagine how bad it will be when we actually outplay Mexico and win a game.

Chrisitian said...

You can pimp that record all you want if it helps you sleep at night. Fact is, you're still living off the WC run in 2002, it was great and I'm happy the US made it that far (although at the expense of my team) but some of you guys are right down delusional thinking you can compete with the best teams around the world.

Fact is, most of the global population thinks 2002 was a fluke, I don't necessarily agree but your recent results (over that past 5-6 years) kind of prove that same point. A decent team that good an accessible match-up in the second round and made the most of it.

Your record against Mexico the past decade is based on all the games being played @ HOME. LOL I mean, get a grip.

FYI, just because the stands are packed with Mexicans does not equal to home-field advantage.

Christian said...

primatewrangler:

Even in all those games we have lost, 80% of the time we outplayed you.

That's what creates this false sense of entitlement with you guys. You think because you bunker for 80 mins every game then score a goal off a counter or a set-piece and you beat Mexico, that you're automatically the better team. The thing is, in the long run those tactics aren't going to work and you've already been exposed @ the 2003 Confeds Cup, 2006 WC, 2007 Copa America, and last week against England. Not to mention the various youth tourneys which have produced the same crappy style of play you guys are known for.

PrimateWrangler said...

Christian,

I am not sure you actualy read what I wrote. I thought I distinctly indicated that the US has (to the best of my recollection) never outplayed Mexico in victory. I suggested that when that day comes US soccer fans will be even more vocal.

As far as where the games are played, I have never been to a US Mexico game in person so I don't know much about home field advantages. It seems for the last 10-20 years we have played the qualification games in the altitude and smog of Mexico City. Mexico has played the qualification games in the cold in Columbus once and Foxborough once and then in a bunch of temperate places with huge Mexican fan bases. I am not sure which games were qualifiers but I see Pasadena, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington, and some Texas games. At the very least those are neutral venues.....though not quite as neutral as Jeonju. Finally, no our results against Mexico do not help me sleep well at night. Unfortunately, as much as I love the game, it doesn't affect my sleeping patterns unless the World Cup is on at odd hours.

A.C. said...

The more I read Mexican player comments about the coach situation, the more I think some of it is connected to a lot of affection for Jesus Ramirez, who is a class guy and a great coach. But it's not Sven who messed up the situation for Ramirez - it was Hugo Sanchez, who selfishly took charge of the Olympic team that should have been the responsibility of Ramirez. Sanchez botched that, and ruined the short-term outlook for other Mexican coaches. The board of directors was definitely looking for a foreigner after that fiasco.

oddlou17 said...

I've been a Mexico NT fan my entire life, but am American by birth, so I cheer on the US when they're not playing Mexico. Borgetti, Salicido, et al. need to STFU and do their jobs, which is to play, not coach or select a coach. Borgetti probably doesn't want a foreign coach because he's career outside of Mexico was a joke. He's basically done playing for el Tri, so, honestly, who gives a bleep about his opinion. Salcido and others are probably just trying to stay on Chucho's good side. Wasn't it those two that had a problem with Hugo in the first place? Chucho sounds like a great guy and has had results with the youth teams, and I'm sure he'll get his shot. Hopefully he can be an assistant with Sven. For now, having a coach that can hopefully teach us to beat European teams is an absolute necessity. If we want to move beyond being the big fish in CONCACAF (except when we play in the US), we need to do something different.

As far as dominating the US and losing, it needs to stop. What needs to stop more is Mexico fans bitching and saying that we outplayed the US and that the US got lucky. Who cares. We keep losing. They keep winning. Excuses are like assholes, after all. I don't care where the games are played. El Tri has to be accountable for winning, rather than looking good in a loss. We've already perfected that art. Let's give Sven a chance to get us over the hump.

Anonymous said...

When did Mexico become a great footballing nation?

Anonymous said...

Eriksson must see that Mexico has a talent pool that is deeper and just as good as England's. And Mexico is far more supportive of El Tri than the English who eat their own alive. As for him being not being Mexican I think the idea is Mexico now wants to try something different to get them over the hump they seem to be stuck on. They had Menotti before but he wan't a European coach. And Sven speaks fluent Italian so I would think a working command of Spanish should not be too difficult for him. There may be a lesson here for the USMNT.

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