Monday, October 20, 2008

Sven update

I'm writing my PE column on Mexico and Sven Goran Eriksson, the now under-fire Mexico head coach.

Just had some thoughts I'm writing on here that may or may not make it into the piece.

First, last week I wrote about how Mexico might not qualify but odds are against it happening. Mexico has a plus four and Jamaica a minus three and barring two lopsided routs Mexico could lose and still get through.

Of course, the fact that Mexico has not qualified yet is enough for concern and FMF people have the right to be upset, which is one of the points of my column.

Anyway, here's a possible scenario that could see Jamaica through and Mexico out. If Honduras beats Mexico 3-0 and Jamaica routs Canada 5-0, Jamaica and Honduras go through.

How likely is that? Not very likely, according to history. Mexico has lost a World Cup qualifier by three or more goals at least once, but that was way back in 1973. They've lost by a pair of goals a few times since but not by three or more.

However, Mexico has not fared well in Honduras in their last two trips there. In 2001, Mexico lost 3-1 and in 1996 they lost 2-1. In 1993, though, Mexico won by 4-0 down in Tegucigalpa.

A Honduras victory is possible especially since Honduras was 20 minutes away from achieving as much in Azteca. But I guess it depends mostly on which Mexico team shows up, and that will depend on how Eriksson prepares for the match.

Is it possible Eriksson doesn't survive the year? Yeah, sure but I think Mexico would have crash out of qualifying for that to happen. To me, Mexico will probably get a draw down in Honduras and qualify for the Hexagonal. If that happens, the pressure will remain on high - could we call that an orange threat level? - for the winter and until the Hex begins.


starinyourfire said...

i think it's possible that he could get fired since they are not winning in dominant fashion, and that mexican officials/media & fans are not too happy with the results because they are expecting better.

i don't think he should get fired since he's a proven coach, just schedule friendlies on FIFA Days and work the kinks out so that he can please his critics.

man-from-michigan said...

It is a good sign to have all the FMF team owners have Sven's back. The players are at fault for the results so far and not Sven, IMHO. I think Sven is the best thing that could have happened for the MNT. No matter how we have played these couple of matches, I am confident of a MNT win over USMNT this time around!


CACuzcatlan said...

Unrelated, but it looks like Chivas don't even pretend to care where their players are from, they are trying to sign Nery Castillo.

Although Nery was born in Mexico, his parents are Uruguayan.

CACuzcatlan said...

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

The fact that people want Erickson fired after one loss -- one loss!!! -- to Jamaica demonstrates the fantasyland in which many Mexicans live regarding soccer. They leave Hugooool alone for months and are willing to dump Erickson after one game? Please....

The days of outright Mexican dominance in CONCACAF have been gone for several years, now, and aren't going to return.

BTW, re Castillo: If he's born in Mexico, then he's Mexican, people! What, you Guadalajara fans going to let his parents' status deprive yourselves of a needed offensive threat, and a pretty good one, at that? I mean, I understand national pride but this is ridiculous....

man-from-michigan said...


Please don't let your hate for anything Chivas make you ignorant. I have read many of your posts, and though we may disagree on some, you are very knowledgeable. This one though, thumbs down Bro.


P.S. Citizenship is what matters, not birthplace.

Anonymous said...

man-from-michigan's right

CACuzcatlan, chill

Joseph D'Hippolito, who the hell are you arguing with?

you know damn well chivas fans want nery on their team

seriously some of you guys try to hide your ignorance with decorated words and pseudo-intellectuality

The Hammer said...

Joseph D'Hippolito, you've lost your mind.

Hugo Sanchez was not favored by any of the owners and they were waiting for any justification to take him out.

The team played much better under him than they do under Eriksson. Unfortunately, under Sven the team lacks a sense of direction and most efforts seem to have come from individual flashes of competence rather than the collective play.

Hugo's teams played well, including the team that did not qualify for the Olympics. When you have 10 opportunities per game in the qualifiers, it ceases to be the coach's fault. His firing was political though. Hugo talked too much about people who ultimately determined his fate.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

OK, Hammer, let's say you're right about Mexico's performance under Erickson. If you fire him, then whom do you hire? Ferretti? Arias? Meza (again)? It's not that simple.

Unless there's a massive player revolt, which would indicate a severe problem with morale, then Mexico should keep Erickson. They could do a lot worse. The Galaxy certainly has....

The Hammer said...

Oh, no! Look, it's a red herring!


I never said Eriksson should be fired. I simply said that the team was playing much better under Hugo Sanchez. Hugo Sanchez had ONE bad performance in the three tournaments he coached. 4 of Lavolpe's 6 tournaments were bad and he kept getting reinstated.

My point was: If you think FMF favored Sanchez, you lost your marbles.

Anonymous said...

It is the players fault. Always has been and always will be. With the lone exception for Mexico being 1994 vs. Bulgaria, where a pretty good coach made the monumental mistake of his life by not introducing even one substitute through 90 minutes, extra time, and pks', through heat and humidity, with world class players on the bench.

Mexican players need to take responsibility and quit being babies. Coaches can be geniuses but mostly they are coaches, they aren't your pal at that level, the shouldn't be your drinking buddy or father figure, nor should they be the #1 nationalistic patriot, etc...

If your part of the best 11 on that particular day than it's your responsibility to not get overpowered by the Ali Gerba's of the world.


Anonymous said...

Hammer how can you say Hugo's teams played well .

Just look at how Mexico played against Argentina when Lavolpe coached and when Hugo coached, big difference.

Sven is the last person to blame here.

He knows very little about Mexican soccer , he hasnt had any time to work .

The problem here are the idiot suits who have no sense of planning nor a contigency plan if the Hugo experiment failed.

From the get go , Hugo was not a good choice.His player legacy and two titles with Pumas did not make him a good candidate but since he represented a lot of money ,and he probably wasnt going to shut up , they gave him a shot.

After the bad results came in , the suits panicked about qualifying to 2010, so they gave him the boot.

A proper contigency plan wouldve called for somone to take over asap and somone familliar with mexican soccer.

Imagine if in 2001 , when Mexico was in s.o.s. mode , that they wouldve brought in a forgeinner like Cesar Maldini instead of Aguirre.

The worst thing that can happen right now is Sven getting the boot.

I am not a well respected journalist nor Mexican soccer suit, but I know that after five games ( the chile game was a throw away) you cant make any proper judgement, especilly in Sven's case.

These idiot pundits asking for Sven's head have their own intrests in minds and some are even motivated by xenophobic sentimments against Sven becuase he is white.

Anonymous said...

Hey Luis why havent you posted any posts about the Goats road to the playoffs. I know you have an obession with working the Galaxy, but you are still a journalist and you like to call yourself fair and objective.

Quite frankly I am suprised you havent posted somthing about the Galaxy still having a smalllllll chance of making the playoffs and THUS coming up with all sort of inate scenerios like saying they can make it if so many teams drop out or forfeit haha.

Luis Bueno = Galaxy Lover

CACuzcatlan said...

Anonymous, the Galaxy have absolutely no chance to make the playoffs. And if you have a problem with the way Luis reports, why bother coming to the blog?