Reviewing Mexico's 2009

I was given the opportunity to be a featured blogger back in January. I appreciate everyone’s clicks, comments, and support this year. I am humbled. So I thought it would be a good idea to do a year in review of sorts through the words of the blog and its subsequent comments.

Tumultuous is a good ten dollar word to describe Mexico’s year, as far as the national team, at least. My first blog that was featured on the home page dealt with Nery Castillo.

Positive results in the Ukraine will surely be rewarded with a call-up for Mexico. Mexico desperately needs Nery to rediscover his scoring touch, and Nery needs the qualifiers to prove to himself, to his club, and everyone else that he can make a difference. Will he make a difference? We'll see. One thing to be sure, though, the cold in Columbus won't affect him.

Unfortunately for Nery and Mexico, he has fallen further into the depths of the unknown. He has barely even seen the bench while on loan to Dnipro. Rumors are rampant that a team in Mexico will bring him on board so that he can at least get some minutes. I say the company who stands to gain the most from a Nery resurgence, Televisa, should pony up the dough and send him to the city of his birth, San Luis.

As February rolled in, the Mexican National team, who had to rely on Canadian alternates to make sure Jamaica didn’t score anymore goals in November to qualify for the hex, were not gelling at all. Their only friendly before the hex didn’t sooth the jangles nerves.

Unfortunately, no amount of sunshine pumping will change the fact that Mexico has looked less than mediocre, played poorly, and has lost an alarming amount of confidence and heart. Mix that with their traditional defeatist attitude, and it could all add up to not just a long night in Columbus, but a nail biting hex. But (if you’ll indulge me one last little pump) winning is a great deodorant, and taking 3 points in Columbus would lift the awful stench that has settled over the team.

Mexico did not win in Columbus, no big surprise there. And so started another hex campaign with an uphill climb.

So now Mexico faces an uncertain future with their coach, and a crisis of confidence with the players. It would not be a surprise of SGE is showed the door, but that wouldn’t really solve anything. It is the Mexican MO, after all. While Mexico has been busy popping their shirts and proclaiming how good they are to anyone who would listen, their compatriots in CONCACAF continue to improve. The US has proven time and time again that they are a more than just a worthy adversary. Costa Rica and Honduras get their chance next month.

Rafa Marquez was shown red for a brutish foul on Tim Howard in the game, which proved to be the last time he played for Mexico until October. Clint Eastwood had this to say about Marquez at the time.

Mexico really need to ask themselves if Marquez is the right man to be captain of the team. He's a fantastic player. I think he's the best player in CONCACAF. But in big games he seems to lose his mind.

I can’t say I disagree. Marquez is having a hard time coming back from the knee injury that sidelined him last spring. And if teams like Atlante can expose him now, I can’t even imagine what the French, Charruas, and even the bafana bafana would do.

SGE’s less than lackluster performance had many wondering not if, but when the ax would fall. We rated the possible replacements on the Scoville Heat Index (measures the spiciness of peppers), to see who would make the most sense.

Jorge Vergara wanted to bring a heavy after Hugo left. They got SGE. Are there any other heavies he might go after again? He has been conspicuously silent lately after being the most vocal critic of both La Volpe and Hugo. Which is more deafening? We’ll give him the Merciless Pepper of Queztalacatenango for not having the guts to support the guy he brought in.

That leaves us with the habanero. The sure fire guy who will come in and right the ship. Sadly, I can’t think of anyone other than Aguirre. He says he has learned from his mistakes, but he never felt more pressure in his life than coaching the national team. He says he didn’t like the politics of the FEMEXFUT, but he feels he has unfinished business with the Tri.

Of course, if SGE manages to keep winning, then all this is moot.

He didn’t, and it wasn’t. He only lasted two more games.

Here was Superdave’s take:

When SGE was hired, I saw the logic in it. Mexico had probably gone as far as it could with a purely "Latin" way of playing and doing things. And with the Velas and Castillos coming up and more players in Europe, a European coach, they figured, would retain the essential Mexican characteristics and ADD to them, add a European mentality, diversify their style, add some mental toughness and ability to grind it out when necessary.

Instead, it looks to me like the reverse has happened. SGE has killed off the best parts of the Mexican style and retained the weaknesses.

Various Styles had a differing, yet equally valid opinion:

It is no secret that the majority of MFL club owners are business men with little knowledge of football and most of their decisions are made with the team’s profitability in mind. You can blame the players all you want but what do you expect to happen when there is constant changes being made. Svenny's head was in the chopping block the minute he signed to take over. Aguirre will not have that problem because at this point in the qualifiers the FMF officials can not afford to look more incompetent; they will have their own news outlets give the Tricolor the backing they lacked since Hugo began the cycle.

Up next, a summer of discovery.