After a miserable and disastrous Liga MX Clausura 2013 tournament for Chivas de Guadalajara, one would have assumed that coach Benjamin Galindo would have been shown the door, as the latest coach to see the revolving door by the club under the ownership of the controversial Jorge Vergara. Well, Galindo was given a chance to steer the team to better days for the Apertura 2013 tournament.
After a preseason, which saw Chivas win some games, and in general look like a team that was settled and could have a good campaign for the upcoming Apertura, there was some positive vibes surrounding the team. Throw in the signings of defender Nestor Vidrio and forward Aldo De Nigris, and the expectations reached another level. Well, five games into the campaign, and those high hopes have gone away as the team has struggled.
The final nail in the coffin happened on Sunday, as the team lost to Puebla 4-2, who coincidentally was playing it’s first game under new coach Ruben Omar Romano. After the game, it was announced that Galindo was let go as coach of the first team; an announcement later on stated that the new coach was to be named on Monday. The man that will now be asked to try and turn the fortunes of Chivas around is Juan Carlos Ortega. Ortega will be serving as coach for Chivas for a second time, with his first foray coming back during the Apertura 2005 tournament, where he coached the last two games after Galindo was fired then, as well.
As usual when a new coach comes in, the question is asked if whether or not they are the right person to change and turn things around. In the current situation facing Chivas, the obvious and clear answer is no. Anyone who follows the Mexican League, or like me, is a fan of Chivas, knows that the main issue is the owner, Vergara; along with running an unstable operation with Chivas, he is doing the same with MLS club, Chivas USA. The issues plaguing Chivas, which have led it to be the tire fire that it is today, have been brewing for several years, with Vergara being the reason why things have taken a troubling turn for the worse.
Independent of Vergara selling the club, which will not happen, the change in coach was necessary. When watching Chivas play, it was clear that this team needs to be fixed. For starters, the play of the defense is just shambles. Sunday’s loss to Puebla, and the loss the week before to Cruz Azul, showed that Chivas, defensively, was a team without a leader, and lacking in executing basic fundamentals.
Aside from the team’s defensive execution and solidity being far below what it should be, the team also, at times, has been very ineffective in attack, despite having three veteran forwards who have proven to be stalwarts. Now, Ortega will have the benefit of having an Aldo De Nigris who is returning to health and full fitness, so therefore his presence in the starting eleven should help this.
Finally, Chivas is a team who need a coach to instill some discipline. Recent issues of players breaking team rules showed a lack of respect and professionalism; while Galindo is recognized as a good person, he has never been mistaken for a coach who could put his foot down and lay down the law in the dressing room.
While the issues facing and troubling Chivas are not the fault of the former coach, given that the instability is due to an owner who is an egomaniac, the reality is that the team on the field is not performing or playing as well as it could. In Juan Carlos Ortega, Chivas is bringing in a man who, while is of the “house,” has spent enough time away that he could provide the shock needed to kick start the team on the field.