Although Miguel Herrera has hinted he may not have a use for El Tri's European-based contingent, this weekend's performances should have him reconsidering.Since Miguel Herrera took over as Mexico national team coach just over a week ago, he has continually hinted that there may be no place for Europe-based players in his squad for the World Cup playoff against New Zealand next month.
In fairness, players like Giovani Dos Santos, Javier Aquino and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez haven’t lived up to huge expectations playing for Mexico in 2013. However, it is difficult to think of any players at all who have been above average this year for El Tri.
Herrera also spoke on Saturday about his concerns of the travel situation for the Europe-based players, with a long flight to the high altitude in Mexico City for a game being played in the heat of the afternoon on Nov. 13. After that comes a long-haul trip to New Zealand for the deciding game on Nov. 20.
Herrera and the Mexican federation seemingly want to use the chemistry of a base of players from Club America to inspire El Tri to victory over a nation ranked 79th by FIFA. Where the big names have failed, goes the theory, the Liga MX champions will succeed.
“We have to think hard about if we need anyone from over there (in Europe),” was Herrera’s take on the situation in Saturday’s press conference.
It is a valid argument the Mexico manager makes, but weekend games in Europe provided a welcome reminder that Mexico’s Euro legion shouldn’t be easily overlooked.
Dos Santos put in a man-of-the-match performance with two goals and an assist in Villarreal’s 4-1 win over Valencia on Sunday.
The forward’s second was genuine class, the type of goal that comes with confidence and being played in a free role where he can find space to work magic.
Chicharito was the savior for Manchester United with the headed goal that handed his side a 3-2 win over Stoke City in the Premier League.
That should give the 25-year-old a welcome boost of confidence and he’ll likely be starting on Tuesday against Norwich City in the Capital One Cup.
Hector Moreno may not have had the best game of his career for Espanyol against Levante, but he is back fit and now has two consecutive games under his belt.
Moreno left a significant hole when he missed last month’s games against Costa Rica and Panama and has arguably been El Tri’s best player this year.
Even in Portugal, Hector Herrera started for Porto in the clasico win against Sporting Lisbon and is slowly but surely adapting to life in the Primeira Liga.
In France, Guillermo Ochoa’s team Ajaccio is not playing well, but the former America ‘keeper is still getting rave reviews and the list for his services next summer is likely growing all the time.
It’s all very well wanting change after a dismal 2013 so far, but Ochoa, Hernandez, Dos Santos and Moreno are the best Mexico has at present in their positions.
It would be a waste if their names don’t appear when the list is announced on Tuesday or Wednesday, not to mention a huge gamble from Herrera.