Tom Marshall: Expect major changes to Mexico under Herrera

The reported new Mexico coach would significantly differ from his predecessors in terms of personality, player selection and tactics.
Everything points to Club America's Miguel Herrera being appointed coach of Mexico on Friday, ahead of next month's World Cup qualifying playoff against New Zealand, replacing the unfortunate Victor Manuel Vucetich, who was in charge for just two games.

Unlike the switch from Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre to Vucetich, we should expect some major changes in many aspects of how the national team would be run with "Piojo" in charge.

First of all, the press conferences and the whole atmosphere surrounding the squad would be vastly different.

"I'd bet on Mexico making the World Cup with my eyes closed," was a typical Herrera comment Thursday, as he told Televisa Deportes that an announcement over his future would have to wait until Friday.

There would be plenty more of those one-liners about opposition players, his own team and critics, which will please editors to no end and make sure Mexico doesn't go unnoticed should it reach the World Cup. The wild celebrations and screaming will also add to that and will be a marked change from the Chepo era.

In terms of personnel, Herrera has been critical of de la Torre and Vucetich in their squad selection, suggesting that a dominant America team should be represented in greater numbers.

Against Costa Rica on Tuesday, only one Las Aguilas player started.

That would certainly change as Herrera looks to the chemistry and confidence at Club America to project itself on the national team and become the base for other players to work around.

Players such as Moises Munoz, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Juan Carlos Medina, Jesus Molina, Paul Aguilar, Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez, Miguel Layun, Raul Jimenez, Adrian Aldrete, Argentina-born Rubens Sambueza and Luis "Quick" Mendoza could be potentially included in the squad.

The tactical layout of the team would be radically different too, with Herrera a disciple of the possession, pressure and attacking philosophy of Ricardo La Volpe.

Out would go Vucetich's 4-4-2 and, likely, in would come a loose 5-3-2, with the wingbacks pushing up high and one of the center backs given license to step out of defense.

America plays with just one holding midfield player at present in Medina in a very offensive setup, but the option of two defensive mids — as Herrera played when he first came into America — is also possible, especially for away games or against tough opposition.

Up front, Herrera said before last month's game against the United States that Oribe Peralta had to play. While he did praise Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, the possibility of the Manchester United player being on the bench is very real with Raul Jimenez's rise under Herrera at America.

A potential team under Herrera could look like: Guillermo Ochoa, Rodriguez, Hector Moreno, Diego Reyes, Layun, Aguilar, Medina, Andres Guardado, Giovani dos Santos, Jimenez and Peralta.

It would be a radical departure from what has gone before in 2013 in terms of personnel and tactics, and it represents a risk that the Mexican federation and Liga MX club owners seem to be willing to take after a dire year for El Tri.

The appointment is to be confirmed or denied Friday after a Liga MX owners meeting set for 1 p.m. ET.

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