5 Resolutions for Mexican Football in the New Year
A New Year is coming and Mexican football surely needs some key factors to have a dream 2014.
Miguel Herrera managed to qualify El Tri in a two-legged playoff against New Zealand, but the real challenge is yet to come.
Herrera must work hard to put up a strong and competitive team for the World Cup.
To make it happen he must take into consideration the footballers playing in the Liga MX and the ones overseas.
Let’s take a look at five resolutions for the upcoming year.
Spanish sources cited in this article translated by the author unless otherwise noted.
Get Javier Hernandez Back
The Mexican striker has not been at his best lately.
Hernandez had been a thriving force for Mexico since he was first capped in 2009, but Chicharito hasn't had it easy after Alex Ferguson left Manchester United.
His playing time has been cut off considerably. This season Hernandez has been on the pitch 619 minutes out of 2,160 possible.
This situation has hurt his performance with the national team.
The last time he scored was in the 2013 Confederations Cup held in June. After that, Oribe Peralta took over and became the top scorer of the team with 11 goals in eight games.
He is fast, knows how to be in the right place at the right time and his mobility inside the box is great, which make him a very valuable asset for the team.
Play the Fifth Game of the World Cup
Mexico have only qualified for the World Cup quarter-finals twice, when they hosted both tournaments. They have been close to playing the so-called fifth match outside their home turf a couple of times.
Brazil 2014 will be a true challenge for El Tri. They will face Brazil, Croatia and Cameroon in the group stage, and if they advance to the knockout stage, they will probably face Spain or the Netherlands in the round of 16.
It won’t be an easy feat, but history tells us that Mexico play better against big teams.
In France 1998 they fought hard against Germany and kept the score tied to one goal apiece until the 86th minute.
Eight years later they faced Argentina and it took a brilliant long-distance shot by Maxi Rodriguez to give the Albiceleste the win in overtime.
Bring Back Carlos Vela to El Tri
The best Mexican abroad has not played with the national team since 2010.
Three years later, Vela has said that he will think of coming back if the coach takes some time to talk to him.
Not having Vela in the team would be a mistake. He has scored 12 goals and has six assists to his count this season. This season he has appeared in La Liga, UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey.
The striker has played 101 games with the Txuri-urdin, more than he ever played with any other club.
Get Major Rivals for the Preparation Games
Mexico must face tough rivals to get ready for Brazil 2014.
Their first test will be against South Korea in January; make no mistake about the Taegeuk Warriors.
They have a very talented team with young and clever footballers of the likes of Son Heung-Min, a key player for Bayer Leverkusen, and Lee Keun-Ho, South Korea’s top scorer in the World Cup qualification.
The other four opponents should have similar conditions to those that El Tri will face in Brazil. This includes at least one from Europe, Africa and South America.
Cap the Best, Not the Most Famous
Herrera can put together one of the strongest Mexican teams in history, but to make it happen he needs to find balance.
Oribe Peralta, Miguel Layun, Carlos Pena and Luis Montes are great examples of what the footballers playing in the Liga MX can bring to the team.
It is time for the coach to call the best players regardless of where they play.
It is no use for the team that Jonathan dos Santos, Andres Guardado, Diego Reyes and Javier Hernandez have contracts with European clubs if they are not playing regularly.
Hierarchy has to be put aside for the welfare of the team. This is an issue that has haunted Mexico constantly.
In South Africa 2010 Javier Aguirre decided to put Guillermo Franco, who was a member of West Ham United and hardly ever played, as El Tri's starting striker. By that time, Javier Hernandez was in better shape and had already signed with Manchester United.
Three years later, Jose Manuel de la Torre took the team to the Confederations Cup.
De la Torre appointed Francisco Rodriguez as Mexico’s centre-back for the first two games, but El Maza was not fit.
Against Italy he allowed Mario Balotelli to score the winner, and when Mexico faced Brazil he couldn't stop Neymar and Fred.
Ultimately, the coach allowed Reyes to start in the last match, versus Japan, and made quite an impression.