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Sven’s Green Revolution: Doomed to Failure?

blanco and sven2 225x300 Svens Green Revolution: Doomed to Failure?

Sven Goran Eriksson confers with Cuauhtemoc Blanco/Reuters Photo

El Tri’s come from behind victory against Honduras in the first match of group play Wednesday at Azteca should not be an occasion to gloss over the very real problems CONCACAF’s traditional superpower faces. Honduras’ ability to control large portions of the match at Azteca with a squad that was built to counter attack. Particularly impressive were Amado Guevara and David Suazo. Mexico’s problems continue to be apparent from match to match. Wasteful possession, an emphasis on theatrics and an inability to control the midfield. Mexico’s teams have recently become less and less competitive on the world stage. Recent losses to Guatemala, Honduras and Panama (within the last three years) highlight that CONCACAF’s midddle tier may not have caught Mexico yet but on any given matchday they can beat El Tri.

Sven Goran Eriksson was hired as the new Mexican Head Coach to help solve these problems. Eriksson’s resume is long but his success as an international manager is thin. In Sven’s first competitive match in charge Mexico looked flustered and confused at times and played with a lack of composure. Youthful starlets Gio Dos Santos and Carlos Vela were both ineffective and seemed to lack ideas in the area. Andreas Guardado another youngster whose play elevated Mexico youth teams to among the world’s best recently has had more bad giveaways in the last three Mexico matches I have watched than Michael Bradley has for the United States.

The recall of Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Guille Franco indicate a certain degree of dissatisfaction by Eriksson with the youngsters. Pavel Pardo who scored both late goals against Honduras and Jared Borgetti who probably should be recalled for Mexico’s next qualifiers are not going to be around much longer. Mexico’s youngsters however have shown an immaturity and a lack of understanding of international football to be successful. Under a manager like Eriksson who failed to get the best out of a very talented England team between 2001 and 2006, my guess is that Dos Santos, Vela, Guardado, and Guillermo Ochoa will not achieve what they are capable of as internationals.

The fear factor that Mexico held over Central American opponents for some many years has dissipated. Baring some sort of revolutionary tactical sense instilled by Sven Goran Eriksson or a sudden surge in confidence, Mexico appears to be on a downward swing that cannot be stopped. Hiring a foreign manager whose understand of Mexican football is minimal and whose accomplishments with England were virtually non existent could simply accelerate this process.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

24 Responses to Sven’s Green Revolution: Doomed to Failure?

  1. witness says:

    i dissagre on the contrary .the mnt el tri has come up with a new soccer style but yet very mexican. it took usa and central america 20 years to figure out how to beat mexico. for what i witness with no desrespect to any one , be ready for another 20 ….witness…………………………

  2. witness says:

    i dissagre on the contrary .the mnt el tri has come up with a new soccer style but yet very mexican. it took usa and central america 20 years to figure out how to beat mexico. for what i witness with no desrespect to any one , be ready for another 20 ….witness…………………………

  3. Matt says:

    This has to be one of the most incoherent and biased articles I have read in some time. To say that Suazo was impressive and that Hondures did a well job against Mexico is absolutely laughable. Suazo struggled all game to recieve one good pass from his teamates, and so did Giovanni and Vela. It is annoying to read these type of articles considering that Giovanni and Vela are still under 20, and that Mexico is still restructing after their fallout with Hugo Sanchez. To make quick critiques on Mexico's current status as a team and it's future can only be described as UNFAIR.

  4. marko says:

    Who wrote this ??????
    dont know about soccer….LOL

  5. Matt says:

    This has to be one of the most incoherent and biased articles I have read in some time. To say that Suazo was impressive and that Hondures did a well job against Mexico is absolutely laughable. Suazo struggled all game to recieve one good pass from his teamates, and so did Giovanni and Vela. It is annoying to read these type of articles considering that Giovanni and Vela are still under 20, and that Mexico is still restructing after their fallout with Hugo Sanchez. To make quick critiques on Mexico’s current status as a team and it’s future can only be described as UNFAIR.

  6. marko says:

    Who wrote this ??????
    dont know about soccer….LOL

  7. Soccer Guru says:

    If Mexico was so good why did were they down 1-0 at Azteca in the 70th minute?

    Honestly, Mexico's recent loses to Guatemala twice and to Honduras have me thinking they are far below the standard they've established.

    It's refreshing to see this from an author who previously was so biased towards anything Mexican as recently as two months ago stating the US had maybe one player who could play for Mexico.

    Maybe you are just unhappy about Sven's hiring, but if a Mexi-snob like you wrote this, it has to be true!

  8. Soccer Guru says:

    If Mexico was so good why did were they down 1-0 at Azteca in the 70th minute?

    Honestly, Mexico’s recent loses to Guatemala twice and to Honduras have me thinking they are far below the standard they’ve established.

    It’s refreshing to see this from an author who previously was so biased towards anything Mexican as recently as two months ago stating the US had maybe one player who could play for Mexico.

    Maybe you are just unhappy about Sven’s hiring, but if a Mexi-snob like you wrote this, it has to be true!

  9. Robo says:

    you gotta be kidding me, Mexico has arguably one of it's best generations of players. Several are playing abroad and at a good level.
    You fail to mention the advance other nations have had in recent years. Saying Mexico is having trouble beating these teams not because those teams are now better than in the past but because Mexico's is not as good as they used to is a disrespect to all the other nations, the US included.
    The reason Mexico has more trouble beating teams that it used to beat on in years past is that those teams are better and the gap is closer than ever.
    If you fail to see this is because you are just too biased or simply refuse to aknowledge it.

  10. Guys if you'd read some of my old pieces you'd see that I believe Mexico has maybe 5 times the talent of the US and actually believe Honduras and Canada currently have more talent than the US also. Check out my piece on Gio and Vela on the EPL Talk archives. I'm not comparing Mexico with the US. Any fool knows Mexico is much much better despite the results, but I am saying that central American nations are catching up with Mexico thanks to the FMF's ineptitude. Part of the reason the US employs such cynical and negative tactics is that the US isn't good enough even to beat Canada playing a straight game. Bradley deserves credit for realizing that a combination of a bad domestic league and out of form players abroad equals the need to pack the back and play negatively to get results. But Sven doesn't tactically set Mexico up the way he should and Guardado has had more than one bad game with Mexico. After a promising start with El Tri more often than not he gives the ball away in dangerous areas and also runs out of ideas in the final third.

    Marquez, Pardo, Osorio, and Salcedo are the core of your team not these youngsters who have not proven anything and seem to have Sven's faith without earning it. That's really the point of the story. Honestly if you had kept LaVolpe, you'd be dominating CONCACAF. But allowing your media to dictate his firing and putting Hugo Sanchez in and now Sven who is out of his league in CONCACAF are possibly fatal mistakes.

  11. Rafa says:

    look people i am mexican and have to admit this piece is more accurate than you may think. hiring sven over a mexican manager was a mistake and he has chosen players based on their reputations in Europe, not their form in the FMF. Also blanco plays in the trashy American division and cannot be considered a true footballer going forward.

    the US is not very good either honestly. I think Honduras or maybe even Trinidad who has so many players excelling in England are going to shock people the way Costa Rica did in the 2002 qualifying when they smashed both mexico and the usa and ran away with the final qualifying.

  12. JGuerra says:

    Soccer Guru:

    Mexico was down because of wasted opportunities. Arce hits the post, Marquez hits the post, and Franco misses a wide open shot late. This article is laughable. This may be a pro-Mexico journalist that was mad because it was not a 4-1 game, but some of the critiques are childish. For Example: “Honduras ability to control large portions of the match..” FALSE; “Mexico’s teams have recently become less and less competitive on the world stage…” If being knocked out by Argentina in extra time on WC 06, again in Copa America 07 (3rd place), and being runner up for the Gold Cup 07 is what you are basing this on (their last three International tournaments) they this writer is a bafoon. If they could find a way to beat Argentina, and be cautious of all of the CONCACAF opponents which have gotten better they will deliver the silverware.

  13. Robo says:

    you gotta be kidding me, Mexico has arguably one of it’s best generations of players. Several are playing abroad and at a good level.
    You fail to mention the advance other nations have had in recent years. Saying Mexico is having trouble beating these teams not because those teams are now better than in the past but because Mexico’s is not as good as they used to is a disrespect to all the other nations, the US included.
    The reason Mexico has more trouble beating teams that it used to beat on in years past is that those teams are better and the gap is closer than ever.
    If you fail to see this is because you are just too biased or simply refuse to aknowledge it.

  14. Guys if you’d read some of my old pieces you’d see that I believe Mexico has maybe 5 times the talent of the US and actually believe Honduras and Canada currently have more talent than the US also. Check out my piece on Gio and Vela on the EPL Talk archives. I’m not comparing Mexico with the US. Any fool knows Mexico is much much better despite the results, but I am saying that central American nations are catching up with Mexico thanks to the FMF’s ineptitude. Part of the reason the US employs such cynical and negative tactics is that the US isn’t good enough even to beat Canada playing a straight game. Bradley deserves credit for realizing that a combination of a bad domestic league and out of form players abroad equals the need to pack the back and play negatively to get results. But Sven doesn’t tactically set Mexico up the way he should and Guardado has had more than one bad game with Mexico. After a promising start with El Tri more often than not he gives the ball away in dangerous areas and also runs out of ideas in the final third.

    Marquez, Pardo, Osorio, and Salcedo are the core of your team not these youngsters who have not proven anything and seem to have Sven’s faith without earning it. That’s really the point of the story. Honestly if you had kept LaVolpe, you’d be dominating CONCACAF. But allowing your media to dictate his firing and putting Hugo Sanchez in and now Sven who is out of his league in CONCACAF are possibly fatal mistakes.

  15. Rafa says:

    look people i am mexican and have to admit this piece is more accurate than you may think. hiring sven over a mexican manager was a mistake and he has chosen players based on their reputations in Europe, not their form in the FMF. Also blanco plays in the trashy American division and cannot be considered a true footballer going forward.

    the US is not very good either honestly. I think Honduras or maybe even Trinidad who has so many players excelling in England are going to shock people the way Costa Rica did in the 2002 qualifying when they smashed both mexico and the usa and ran away with the final qualifying.

  16. JGuerra says:

    Soccer Guru:

    Mexico was down because of wasted opportunities. Arce hits the post, Marquez hits the post, and Franco misses a wide open shot late. This article is laughable. This may be a pro-Mexico journalist that was mad because it was not a 4-1 game, but some of the critiques are childish. For Example: “Honduras ability to control large portions of the match..” FALSE; “Mexico’s teams have recently become less and less competitive on the world stage…” If being knocked out by Argentina in extra time on WC 06, again in Copa America 07 (3rd place), and being runner up for the Gold Cup 07 is what you are basing this on (their last three International tournaments) they this writer is a bafoon. If they could find a way to beat Argentina, and be cautious of all of the CONCACAF opponents which have gotten better they will deliver the silverware.

  17. The truth is from 2000 to about 2003 Costa Rica had hands down the best players and coaches in CONCACAF. Many people forget they ran away with things as you mention Rafa in 2002 qualifying and had they been in a different group in Korea/Japan (ie in the groups the US or Mexico were in) they probably would have gone further than either.

    However, while I like Honduras and feel they have superior talent to the US at the top of their pool they do not have the resources or FA structure to replicate Costa Rica's success.

  18. Jose says:

    Man you have no idea what you are talking about. The only thing Mexico lacks is chemistry and thats because they never get to practice together. They have to fly in from Europe to play a last minute game. Your an idiot for making assumptions about an International team who played with a young strike force and a veteran defensive core. Yeah I'll admit Vela and Dos Santos did not play to the best of there abilities but they are young and they are gaining much needed international experience. At South Africa 2010 you will see why Mexico is one of the top football countries in the world. As for the coach, with the talent Mexico has, a monkey can coach the national team.

  19. The truth is from 2000 to about 2003 Costa Rica had hands down the best players and coaches in CONCACAF. Many people forget they ran away with things as you mention Rafa in 2002 qualifying and had they been in a different group in Korea/Japan (ie in the groups the US or Mexico were in) they probably would have gone further than either.

    However, while I like Honduras and feel they have superior talent to the US at the top of their pool they do not have the resources or FA structure to replicate Costa Rica’s success.

  20. Jose says:

    Man you have no idea what you are talking about. The only thing Mexico lacks is chemistry and thats because they never get to practice together. They have to fly in from Europe to play a last minute game. Your an idiot for making assumptions about an International team who played with a young strike force and a veteran defensive core. Yeah I’ll admit Vela and Dos Santos did not play to the best of there abilities but they are young and they are gaining much needed international experience. At South Africa 2010 you will see why Mexico is one of the top football countries in the world. As for the coach, with the talent Mexico has, a monkey can coach the national team.

  21. Kartik says:

    Seriously we've already ascertained that the US is not very good, but if Mexico consistently loses to the US and also mixes in embarrassing losses to Guatemala and Honduras why should we have any faith. I know the U-17 WC in 2005 was a big national moment, but honestly the team has no chemsitry and no tactical sense. Every national team in the world save some countries which have all their players in their domestic league (like Guatemala and El Salvador) have the problem of globe trotting footballers.

    I'd still like an explanation why Mexico can never beat the US outside of Azteca when arguably only one American players could even make a 23 man squad for the US. I'm a US supporter and know every time we play Mexico we should lose 4-0 based on the talent yet LaPuente, Meza, Aguirre, LaVolpe and Sanchez all had trouble against a team with little to NO talent.

    Seriously if you cannot beat the US, how are you going to go to Toronto in qualifying and beat a Canadian team with a better starting XI than the US has ever had?

  22. The Gaffer says:

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  23. EL TRI says:

    Don't be so quick to rush to judgement. One practice as a team is not sufficient.

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