5-Step Plan for Getting Mexico Ready for the World Cup
Mexico need to defeat Panama Oct. 11 at the Azteca if they want to have a chance to qualify to the 2014 World Cup. They need to secure at least fourth place in the six-team group in order to get into a playoff with New Zealand for the last spot from the region.
After the Mexican Football Federation dismissed Jose Manuel de la Torre, Victor Manuel Vucetich was appointed as the new coach and savior of El Tri.
Now, his task is no other than to take the team to Brazil, but what does he need to make this happen?
5. Inspire the Players
Mexico's footballers seem to have lost their path and are frustrated. They run around the pitch with no strategy and with urgency.
Jose Manuel Vucetich needs to inspire his players in order to get the best out of them—especially from those who play in Europe and who have not had as much continuity as the ones playing in the Liga MX.
There is a lot of talent. We saw it in 2011 and 2012 when they won all but three of their games against Brazil, the United States and Colombia.
4. Previous Milestones Should Not Cloud the Team's Judgment
What Mexico accomplished in 2012, 2011 and 2005 was huge.
The team managed to secure the Under-17 World Cup twice (2005 and 2011) and the Olympic gold medal in London (2012).
Lately it seems that the team has been defined by these achievements, instead of focusing on the present.
Players like Giovani dos Santos, Hector Herrera, Diego Reyes, Javier Aquino and Hiram Mier proved to be valuable assets in those competitions. However, it is time to get past those moments and start working toward the World Cup.
Vucetich needs to find the way to make those episodes a motive of pride, rather than the definition of national football.
3. Reconcile with the Players
It has been two years since Carlos Vela appeared with the national team. Guillermo Ochoa had the chance to line up against Japan at the Confederations Cup in July, but is hardly ever a starter.
Vela and Ochoa are two key players who can help the team in times of need. They have been cornerstones of their clubs and have also proven to be ready to face the best.
There is no doubt that Vucetich needs to make some adjustments; bringing them is a good way to start.
2. Understand That There Must Be a Team Effort
Mexico must play as a team. In the last couple of games we have seen great individual performances, but there is no collective effort.
If El Tri want to qualify to the World Cup and subsequently have a good participation, they must work as a team.
A play by Giovani dos Santos or Oribe Peralta can make the difference, but they need help. Also, the team has to be flexible and have more options to score.
1. Play for Pride
It is time to remember why these footballers play with the national team. It should have nothing to do with sponsors or money.
Wearing the green jersey has to be a matter of pride, not of economic status. Only 23 players make the roster, so it is only fair that they give their best.
In a country where the king of sports is football, those that have been called up of El Tri must take it as an honor and prove it on the pitch.