A Big Fat Zero

SGE was the last coach that was fired by the FMF. Despite his many shortcomings, he was able to win all his games at the Azteca. Bora Milutinovic was fired back in 1997 because Mexico wasn't playing a pretty enough brand of futbol, even though he qualified Mexico without any problems at all for France 98. Enrique Meza fell victim to the Aztecazo, and it took a miracle for Mexico to make the World Cup in Korea.

Yet none of them have had Mexico play as badly at what once was one of the most feared stadiums on the planet as Chepo de la Torre has. De la Torre's incredibly stubborn, low-percentage, highly predictable, ultra conservative style of play has emasculated Mexico at the Azteca, where the opposing teams have all looked to be the stronger sides in all three games of the hex. If Mexico want to return to Brazil next summer, they will have to collect a minimum of 8 points in their last 4, while putting on their cutest cheerleading outfits in hopes that the US and Costa Rica win their remaining matches vs Panama and Honduras.

In other words, Mexico's World Cup campaign is in real trouble.

It has gotten so bad, that some Mexican fans have wondered about the availability of the eternal fireman, Javier Aguirre. The same coach for whom they ended their salute with "...and the horse you rode in on" as Mexico crashed out of South Africa. Ahhh, Mexico!

And the man in charge says he is not going anywhere. "I am not leaving. I am not spending my time every day preparing to win just so that I can step aside." How is that working out for you, Chepo?

The real stakeholders, the television companies, may have a different opinion. A World Cup without Mexico would be a financial catastrophe for them as their ad sales would dwindle down to nothing. Remember, they have fired people for less. And what would they do with all those commercials they have already shot?

Time will tell if Mexico can overcome this crisis like they did in 2001 and 2009. But back then, the Azteca was Mexico's most important team member. Now it appears to be nothing more than an anchor weighing down Mexico and their World Cup hopes.

Mexico hasn't played the November friendlies the past couple of years. This year they may not have a choice. How long is that flight to New Zealand anyway?