Jose Manuel de la Torre has run out of time and options. As a result, his position as Mexico national team coach has become untenable.
Mexico limped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Panama in their first match of the Gold Cup. It's never good for El Tri to lose to a country like Panama, but what was more distressing was the fact that Mexico continued to look listless on the pitch.
Panama are a good side, but El Tri should have had no problem beating them by at least a couple of goals. Instead, Panama were the aggressors, moving the ball up the pitch and creating the opportunities in the final third.
If this was just one match, it wouldn't be a huge problem. It would be embarrassing, but largely written off. Instead, this was just a continuation of what has been plaguing Mexico for the past few months.
It has all been building for quite a while, making De la Torre a marked man for Mexico supporters.
Fox Soccer's Kyle McCarthy reported that "Chepo" had to leave the pitch with fans in attendance throwing things in his direction.
Chepo leaves the field under a hail of flying projectiles. Another setback for his tenure. How much longer can he survive? #GoldCuponFOX— Kyle McCarthy (@kylejmccarthy) July 8, 2013
Beyond the Pitch suggested the manager would have to channel his inner Snake Plissken.
Chepo is going to need the "Escape from LA" eye patch and soundtrack now ... the birds are circling— Beyond the Pitch (@BeyondthePitch) July 8, 2013
At this point, the only decision left is for the federation to sack De la Torre right now. It's the only choice. The group has to get rid of him. As Mexican football expert Tom Marshall pointed out, De la Torre has no intention of resigning.
Will that be the straw that broke the camel's back for Chepo? He's said before he won't resign.— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) July 8, 2013
The biggest problem with sacking De la Torre now is that there's less than a year before the 2014 World Cup. Replacing a manager now is not a great move in terms of stabilizing an already fractious national team.
However, how much better are things going to get under "Chepo" in that time?
De la Torre has constantly tinkered with his team, but nothing has worked. You look at how the United States has improved as Jurgen Klinsmann has made a couple of changes here and there and wonder why Mexico can't do the same.
El Tri have the most talent of any CONCACAF team, and yet all of that talent is being squandered because of a hapless coach.
The Confederations Cup was a letdown as Mexico continued to look disorganized and thoroughly outclassed by better opposition. World Cup qualifying has been a struggle, too, as Mexico can't break down organized defenses that bunker down.
Now the Gold Cup is starting, and nothing has changed.
De la Torre hasn't found a solution, and chances are he's not going to before the World Cup.
Should Mexico sack de la Torre?
Fans can see Mexico don't have a leader on the pitch, and when a problem is this apparent, you have to wonder why the manager hasn't done anything to stop it.
There isn't a player who is calming down his teammates and trying to pick them up when things start going wrong. Everybody is just looking at each other on the pitch, wondering who might step up.
This is the point when a manager might try to inspire his squad and pick out a player to become that type of leader. Instead, De la Torre stands on the touchline continuing to look hopeless as his team continues to unravel around him. Far from being a stabilizing force, he is only bringing more drama to a team that already has its fill of off-field issues.
Most Mexico managers don't get beyond a year or so before the supporters turn on them, so getting a new manager for about 12 months makes a lot of sense for Mexico.
Plus, just about anybody else could be better than De la Torre.