Vucetich: Battle for places with El Tri starts now

The new Mexico manager has sent a message to El Tri's players that his lineup will be a merit-based one and that those not playing on the club level are at a disadvantage.
Mexico coach Victor Manuel Vucetich sought to turn the page on the Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre era as El Tri’s coach in his first day working with the players on Monday, indicating that his reign begins with a clean slate.

“There are no concessions for anyone, we’re looking for the best, those that produce,” Vucetich said in a press conference after training the 25 domestic-based players called into the extra sessions this week.

Vucetich also sent a message to those players who aren’t getting regular minutes for club sides, stressing on multiple occasions that for the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Panama and Costa Rica he needs players who are in rhythm. The repercussions for Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez and Barcelona’s Jonathan Dos Santos are obvious.

“We’re not here in the national team, with such an important game, to give them time to be able to find form in competitive play,” Vucetich said. “We need players that are in active competition, with the best rhythm possible to be able to confront this commitment.”

The former Monterrey boss added that he had not spoken personally to Carlos Vela or Guillermo Ochoa on whether they are willing to rejoin the national team, instead stating that the director of national teams Hector Gonzalez Inarritu will be taking up the task.

As for Rafa Marquez’s return to El Tri, Vucetich was hesitant to confirm it was because of the leadership and experience he brings.

“In terms of leaders, we need 11, not just one,” Vucetich said.