Javier Aguirre said the media created a losing mentality before Mexico's game against Argentina.
That negative attitude affected the squad and became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy as Mexico crashed out of South Africa with a 3-1 defeat to Argentina.
Former Mexico manager Javier Aguirre said as much in an interview, where he pinned part of the blame of Mexico's earlier-than-hoped-for ouster from World Cup 2010.
"At that moment, the one that speaks of defeat, the media instilled that thought process," Aguirre said in an interview with Televisa Deportes. "They created an atmosphere that it was 'Argentina again' and 'We could have avoided them had we beaten Uruguay.' I didn't want them to contaminate my team and I was uncomfortable. They left us for dead and we were going into the game the victims."
Aguirre said he tried to counter the prevailing sentiment with positive attitude.
"My attitude was exactly the opposite: 'You know what? We're not the victims,'" he said.
While he blamed the media for creating the right atmosphere for defeat, he said the formation and lineup choices were his own doing. Perhaps one of the most criticized decisions he made was starting Guillermo Franco over Javier Hernandez.
"In that I am not going to evade my responsibility," he said. "I decided to play Guille because that injury he suffered a month prior was not going to get in the way (of his work)."
Hernandez is doing well now at Manchester United, having scored key Premiership and Champions League goals. Having had the chance to play at the World Cup set him up for success this fall.
"Javier is in a process. Sir Alex Ferguson is taking him along and it's going well for certain," he said. "He's giving him minutes... and (Hernandez) is justifying his minutes. This is a strong process and those minutes, that vigor, that put a spin on something."
Hernandez came off the bench in each of the three group games, scoring a goal against France. He started against Argentina and accounted for the only goal of the game. That Hernandez was not a first-choice player was due to the need to have a spark plug come into the game in the second half, Aguirre said.
"Miguel Megia Baron told me constantly that you had to have something on the bench," he said.
Another of his costly decisions was to not play Andres Guardado as much as media and fans demanded. Guardado started two games but was replaced in each of them. He did not play at all against France, a 2-0 Mexico win.
"It was not Andres Guardado and his national team," he said. "There were 23 players and everyone had the same possibilities to play... He did what he had to do."