Last night Mexico played one of their World Cup warm ups, against non qualifiers Ecuador. Yawn. There wasn’t much to give Mexican fans any great hopes of success in South Africa. It was a tepid, dreary affair. If any Manchester United fans were watching, I dare say they’d have been less than impressed with their new, but as yet unseen signing, Javier Hernandez. Twas a goalless draw in New Jersey. Now if they played a few more games at home, which for the geographically challenged amongst Mexico’s FA, is south of the Rio Bravo, they might have a bit more passion, a bit more urge and a bit more success. But less money. So I guess any words of footballing wisdom will fall on deaf ears.
Still, at least Javier Aguierre can point to the missing European based players who have not yet joined the squad, who will add a good deal of extra bite, skill and experience when they arrive. It would be a fair point to make. What does amaze me though, is that the Mexican clubs allow their players to be withdrawn for ‘World Cup Camp’ a month or so before the domestic season ends. It really does mean that the Liguilla finale to the Mexican season fizzles out a bit as all the stars disappear. Can you imagine Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger’s reaction if the English FA told them they’d lose their star English players for the climax of the season, as they had to go join the national team in their preparations? I don’t think such a suggestion would go down too well.
I’m not entirely convinced of the benefits of it either. I understand the need for a bit of rest, and the desire to reduce risk of injury. But effectively, they deprive them of genuinely competitive games for a prolonged period too. And injuries can still happen, as Miguel Sabah can testify. Still, next up is Chile at the Azteca next Sunday, followed by their visit to Wembley to play England eight days later. Can’t wait! Both are big games, perhaps especially Chile. They qualified well, and are one of my four ‘teams to watch’ in the World Cup.
For any Mexicans disappointed with their teams showing last night, here’s a little video to return the hope, optimism and anticipation. I came across it on another blog, and for all the dreamers out there, it’s just the ticket…!