In Mexico's embarrassing 2-0 loss to Colombia, the word "sloppy" is what comes to mind. It perfectly sums up what was displayed on the field. While they dominated in the beginning, Mexico’s sloppiness cost them what should of been a relatively easy victory.
I am going to start by addressing the elephant in the room: What is the deal with Carlos Vela’s absence from the roster? He had a rough time clocking minutes for Arsenal, but his loan has worked wonders and he is slowly regaining his magic. He is a young star that is just starting to tap into his potential and will be a perfect addition to the 2014 World Cup team.
Also, why has Nery Castillo been neglected yet again?
Setting football politics aside, has his brilliant performance at the 2007 Copa America really been forgotten? One of Mexico’s strengths is that it has a deep playing pool (something that is keeping the Americans from being world class) and Chepo needs to utilize it. Some might argue that after a brilliant record in 2011, he has the flexibility to work things his way. However, after last night’s performance it is clear that there needs to be more effort into player selections. Rafa Marquez is clearly past his prime, and some of the domestic players that were chosen are simply not going to cut it. It goes without saying that the Mexican defense needs some serious revamping to say the least.
Now something that needs to be cleared up upon critiquing this performance by El Tri is that one of the major flaws is outside of their control. I am of course referring to Giovanni Dos Santos and his lack of playing time at club level. Vastly talented and capable of great things, Gio made a move from Barcelona to Tottenham Hotspur about four years back and ever since has struggled to get time on the pitch. This was painfully obvious yesterday, as he effectively froze the midfield and caused many mistakes that the Colombians capitalized on. Although he has made it clear that he wants to permanently leave London for a Spanish club, Redknapp has done everything in his power to make this as difficult as possible. If Mexico is going to realize its full power, they are going to need an in-form Gio that can produce the goals he scored at last year’s Gold Cup, not the sloppy mess that was on display yesterday.
This is the same thing that happened to Carlos Vela under Wegner and is almost the same thing that is happening to Pablo Barrera and Efrain Juarez.That is a prime example of one of the saddest things in football, young talent going to waste. These youngsters cannot produce results if they are warming the bench (or not even making the bench) for their respective clubs.
All in all, a disappointing game for El Tri. Chepo will have to go back to the drawing board and make some changes before their next friendly match against Wales in May. I hope that the players who are abroad have better luck finding time in the pitch or Mexico is going to have problems qualifying for the World Cup (something that should never be a problem for them in the CONCACAF region). Additionally, it should be noted that while this was by far not Mexico’s best game, Colombia played great and deserved the win. Although it pains me greatly to say it, they were the better team last night and credit should not be taken away from them. Their play-maker Radamel Falcao is one of Athletico Madrid's best strikers and a force to be reckoned with, something that I (and the Mexican team) learned the hard way. It will be interesting to see how they will continue to grow under Jose Pekerman.
On a side note, am I the only one that thinks that Salcido needs to be pushed up? Sure he can defend, but at times he seems to have more control of the ball up field than some of the offensive players. This is not the first time I have noticed this. Let me know if I’m not the only one or if I am just crazy.
And finally, if you are going to comment on how overrated you think Mexico is, go elsewhere because quite frankly I don’t care; if you truly think that then you are reading the wrong article.
Thanks for the read!