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Carlos Salcido

When I first arrived in Mexico in 2005, a Mexican was just about to make the opposite journey. Jared Borgetti, Mexico’s all time top scorer at international level, signed for Bolton Wanderers and played one season for them, becoming the first ever Mexican to play in the English Premier League. He scored seven goals in all competitions. Not good enough, so Bolton said adios.

That pretty much set the standard for Mexicans in the Premier League*. It is a tough league, arguably the toughest. Not only according to skill and speed that is required, but the game tends to be a little more physical in England. Which doesn’t tend to suit Mexican footballers.

Giovanni Dos Santos signed for Spurs a couple of years ago, flopped and was sent to Turkey on loan. Although he is back at Spurs this year and did play the other day, so many it’s too early to write him off as a failure. Unlike Guillermo Franco who played last season for West Ham and scored even fewer goals from more games than Borgetti. Needless to say, he’s not with them anymore.

Carlos Vela was a hot talent who was signed by Arsenal a couple of years ago. And has in two seasons scored just two league goals. He’s running out of time to prove himself. I have little faith in him doing that, I’m afraid. Like Franco, his partner for Mexico in the World Cup in South Africa, he’s so far proven to be consistent only at missing the target.

In the summer two more Mexicans went to England. Barrera went to West Ham, who frankly look terrible so far. Which doesn’t bode well for the former Pumas star. The biggest signing though was Javier Hernandez for Manchester United. He’s made a bright start for them, although he did earn a certain amount of ridicule for his centre circle prayer ritual last weekend. The English ‘don’t do god’.

Have I missed anyone out? There’s just one more that I can think of. And he signed today. Carlos Salcido has had a lot of success over the last few years in the Dutch League with PSV Eindhoven, but he’s now signed for Fulham. The London club are a small outfit, but have a half decent manager and a pretty decent squad. They got to the Europa League final last season.

I think Salcido is a fabulous player. There were rumours my own team, Liverpool, were going to sign him, and I’d have been happy if they had. He’s very much a complete player, and was in my opinion, Mexico’s best player at the World Cup. He has pace, strength, the skill to beat players, the ability to tackle and a great shot. He’ll run up and down the wing all day, and he definitely has a pair of cojones. If a Fulham fan should wander across this post, be rest assured you have a quality player.

*The criticism is fair, but the videos I’ve linked to shows they have had their moments of glory!

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6 thoughts on “Carlos Salcido

  1. Great post…

    p.s. Just a quick question(sorry if you mentioned it in another post and I missed it) if you don’t mind me asking, who do you root for in the Mexican Primera División?

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    • I’m a very half hearted Cruz Azul fan. I did go and see them a fair bit during my first couple of years here, but then I got Sky and could watch English Premier League footy. And the trouble and strife limits me on just how much footy I can watch… 😦

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  2. Obet says:

    I think its a bad move for Salcido, there isn’t a comparison between the PSV and the Fulham, one fights for the duth championship every year and plays at the UEFA Champions. The other is a “media tabla” team (with some lucky recently). I was hoping for his landing at Liverpool…but no.

    It’s kinda strange….half of the “Tri” is now warming the bench in the Premier League, a pretty unthinkable thing a few years back; I think the Premier is not the right place for the mexicans football players. In my opinion Le Championat and the Bundesliga are the best options for a better performance of the paisanos futbol; the Calcio Serie A and the Premier for some reason are a lot harder for the mexicans.

    Just 3 more games for another victory against the azules…..

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    • I hear what you are saying, but….

      I am guessing that, at 30, PSV think that maybe Salcido is getting on a bit. I disagree – the guy is full of energy, but such is life.

      And while you’re right, that Mexican players have a history of bench warming or failure in England, I think Salcido is a different sort of player who has the right stuff to succeed in the EPL. Salcido has plenty to offer Fulham.

      So what have Fulham got to offer Carlos? Yep, they’re a mid table team. But they are organised and have a decent range of talent in their midst. They could push for a Europa League place this season. Salcido will also be able to play at Old Trafford, the Emirates, Anfield, White Heart Lane, Stamford Bridge and other great arenas against some of the best players and teams in the world. It is, from that perspective, a massive step up from the Dutch league.

      That will, I’m sure, excite him. If it doesn’t, he should retire now! He also has the FA Cup to look forward to, once he grasps what a big deal that is in England – it is the oldest football competition in the world after all!

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  3. Brian says:

    Let’s Go Carlos Vela! He looks good on the Arsenal squad so far this year, the team I root for, even though it is early. Thanks to GOL tv and FOX channel who see the potential in soccer being televised, I am now hooked.
    I wonder why the players from Mexico do not do so well in the Premier league? You say perhaps it is too physical for them, what about the enviromental factors? It gets cold and damp for the majority of the season in England and coming from seasons playing in the warmth, humidity may have some effect on their game?
    I do not believe the players from England are any better it is just a different game. Finesse vs. Strength. How many English players would excel in the Latin America leagues?

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    • I’m not convinced climate has much to do with it, although I guess you could argue for ‘Winter Blues’ in the depths of January and February. Some parts of Mexico, DF for example, has an equally wet and damp climate for part of the year, and can get cold in winter.

      Comparing leagues isn’t easy either. Well, it is. But it isn’t fair. I’m pretty sure that most English players would perform even better in Latin American leagues than they do in England. Simple reason…..the depth of talent in the EPL is far greater. The best Latin players do not, after all, play in Latin American leagues. They play in the EPL, Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga etc.

      The physical side of the game in England is almost definitely a factor. It’s something foreign players, from LatAm and Europe, mention repeatedly. It usually takes players a while to adjust to the more physical game we have in England. Some never do, and leave their EPL club complaining of how tough it is. And while English players have been accused of ‘lacking technique’ in the past, that isn’t an accusation that can be levelled at the Premier League. It’s 66% foreign!

      So what is the problem? I feel happy to discount the above reasons, but I’m not sure I can quite put my finger on why Mexican players have struggled in the EPL in particular, and other Euro leagues in general. Although obviously there have been a few Mexican successes over the years.

      I’m going to hazard a guess. Play devil’s advocate, if you will. I may or may not be right! I’m going to say that Mexican footballers, in general, just aren’t good enough, and never have been. They have lacked a physical side to their game, mental strength, consistency, inexperience at the highest level or combinations of those factors.

      That’s not to say they have no ability, and that the Mexican league isn’t entertaining. They have and it is! And that’s what really counts at the end of the day.

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