5 Players Mexico Need to Axe Following 2014 World Cup Campaign
Miguel Herrera managed to turn around a team that had had its worse World Cup qualifying process in 32 years. Despite the good results in Brazil 2014, there are several players who should leave the team, either for their performance or their age.
Herrera needs to continue working with those who brought brilliance to the team; we are talking about players the likes of Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Jose Juan Vazquez and Andres Guardado.
On the other hand, he needs to think of the future and assess which players need to leave El Tri in hopes it can have a historic performance in Russia 2018.
Perhaps Carlos Salcido's name was the most surprising on Miguel Herrera's 23-man list for the World Cup.
The 34-year-old defender played less than five minutes against Cameroon and completed the match against the Netherlands only because Jose Juan Vazquez was suspended.
However, Salcido's golden years are well past him. There is no doubt that he is an experienced player, but he lacks fitness and speed—two key components for Herrera's dynamic squad.
This is the right time to leave El Tri, for whom he has appeared 124 times.
Francisco Rodriguez's performance was superb throughout the World Cup.
During the tourney warm-ups he wasn't as sharp as he should have been, but ultimately he put his mind at rest and surprised the fans and media.
Mexico have promising defenders, like Hiram Mier and Diego Reyes, and it's time to trust them and allow them to play as much as possible.
The 32-year-old Rodriguez has given El Tri as much as he could, and now it's time to pass on the torch to the next generation.
Alfredo Talavera didn't play, granted, but he did have a chance to prove himself in the warm-up match against Bosnia, and he blew it.
The Toluca goalkeeper has only played one international tournament—the 2011 Gold Cup—and he is not getting any younger.
Despite his performance in the Liga MX, he has a lot to prove with the national team, especially since Guillermo Ochoa's performance in Brazil.
Talavera is fighting for the third keeper spot, and he is not the only one—Moises Munoz almost made the World Cup team.
Also, note that Mexico have always had good keepers; several youngsters could push their way in, for instance Leon footballer William Yarbrough, who was capped for the 2007 U-20 World Cup CONCACAF qualifying tournament.
Yarbrough has proven to be a safe keeper, having won two Liga MX titles at age 25.
Javier Aquino has been fantastic with Villarreal, but he has not found a clear shot with El Tri.
He was part of one of Mexico's most successful generations, as he won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics; that same year he also secured the Toulon Tournament with the U-23 squad.
However, the midfielder has yet to prove he belongs with the senior team. Perhaps a few more seasons in Europe can help him mature.
His speed and dribbling abilities could come in handy through the right flank as soon as he shows he is up for the challenge.
Miguel Herrera's 5-3-2 system allows the team to have a tight defense, but also to attack when it becomes a 3-5-2.
This means the wing-backs have to be atop because they will go up and down the whole match, plus they have to feed balls through the flanks in a regular basis.
Miguel Layun was erratic in all four games when it came to diagonals and crosses. From all El Tri players, he had the lowest percentage of pass accuracy.
According to FIFA.com, he completed 101 passes, which means he had 67.3 percent effectiveness.
The website also reported that Paul Aguilar had 67.8 percent accuracy in that department, but he recovered 17 balls and won three tackles, in contrast with Layun's 15 and one, respectively.
The Club America defender needs to step up and show the level he had before the tournament started if he wants to be considered for the team.