I didn't even have to see the headlines or see the posts in Big Soccer. I can guess the subjects.
Everybody wants Hugo gone.
How could Mexico not even qualify for the knockouts in an Olympic tournament in the minnow infested CONCACAF?
Nothing less than Hugo Sanchez's immediate resignation is the only thing that can possibly begin to dull the pain of such a humiliating exit.
Does that sum it up?
Is Hugo the only one to blame? Hardly. This latest in a long series of setbacks for Mexican footie has its genesis in the core of the sport in Mexico and how it relates to its federation. To put it simply: Hubris.
Aside from all the goals missed, the defensive breakdowns, the lapses in judgment, and questionable substitutions, it is Mexico's arrogance toward its own Confederation that did them in this time. Did Mexico scout Canada, Guatemala, or Haiti? Did they study their tendencies? Did they exploit any weaknesses while neutralizing strengths? No. "We impose our style on the pitch" is what Hugo says. Hugo is a winner, but perhaps he can be bothered to study how other winning coaches have succeeded. In a word: preparation. John Wooden says: "when you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail." This was not more evident than what we saw last week in LA.
I know that the Olympic team took 6 weeks to prepare, they played a litany of games. But what did they accomplish? They learned that their forwards were not up to the challenge. They went on a traveling show to sell tickets and make the FEMEXFUT money. It is hard to develop any kind of rhythm and consistency when you are living out of a suitcase. The travel will wear on you. I have no issue with playing the games, but why so many, and why was every game played in a different city? In other words, these boys were tired.
As much as Hugo is this week's punching bag, the onus has to fall on the players as well. The failure to finish in one thing, but the lack of communication in the defense on every goal that was scored proved to be even more fatal. Those are the things that need to be worked out before taking the pitch. But since no one bothered to scout the opponents, and Mexico is just so superior, there is no reason to take any precautions. right?
Yes, I know that Mexico has long been the "giant" of CONCACAF. Someone forgot to tell Guatemala and Canada, as they both took pages out of the US handbook and exploited Mexico's major weaknesses -- counterattacks and set pieces for their well earned points. So they had a gameplan, and they executed brilliantly. They also knew that mexico can be easily frustrated to the point that they beat themselves. What did Mexico know about either Canada or Guatemala? Not much.
So in the aftermath, the fans, the media, and even some decision makers will want Hugo Sanchez's head on a platter. And it may well happen. But is missing the Olympics really that much a big deal in mexico? It is not a if Mexico has a glorious history in the Olympic tournament.
And what will come of Hugo. He says that he will honor his contract, he understands that you have to fail in order to be successful. What will FEMEXFUT say? If the stay true to form, they will sack him, and then install who at the helm? One of the many coaches who have been recycled over and over again in the league? Please. Javier Aguirre? No chance. How about one of the euro heavyweights? As much as I would like to see the Special One in his $5,000 suits on the sidelines at the Azteca, it won't happen. But it could happen. FEMEXFUT can has the financial muscle to make an offer obscene enough for him to say hmmm, but their greed and lack of vision will intervene long before that is considered
What about a young, up and coming coach who has risen through the ranks and is now ready to take the great leap forward. Oh, I forgot. Because the teams in the Mexican recycle coaches so much, the last whipper snapper that came through got as far away from mexico as he possibly could. And that was 7 years ago.
It looks like, despite the failures, the arrogance, the lack of preparation, and questionable judgment Hugo will remain at the helm. Is he humbled by this? How could he not be? He is at the crossroads. Will he learn from his own mistakes, or will it be business as usual?