Turning Over a New Goat

New year, new manager, new players, but same owner. Hey, we can’t have it all right. It’s a brand new year, and the hopes and dreams for all Chivas fans are back. As a Chivas fan, 2013 was the worst year that I have ever witnessed. Both Clausura and Apertura in 2013 were awful. Bad management by Vergara, bad management by Te Kloese, the lack of commitment by certain players, and managers who couldn’t do much were all to blame for an embarrassing 2013.

By the end of 2012, Vergara had parted ways with the “Cruyff takeover”. Jorge & Angelica fired Cruyff and his advisors. Shortly after, then president Te Kloese fired John Van’t Schip and hired Benjamin Galindo three days before the season started. A great way to start 2013, right?

At the close of the Clausura 2013 season, Chivas had ended with the worst record in their history and the team was a complete mess. Over the summer and the transfer window, Chivas and Te Kloese had the opportunity to bring in new talent and enforce the defense, which by far was one of the worst in the league. For some reason, Te Kloese went out and bought Aldo De Nigris, a forward, who is a great addition to the team but did not solve the team’s defensive issues. Te Kloese believed one player at defense would be enough, bringing in Nestor Vidrio.

The Apertura 2013 started where it left off, an embarrassing team with no chemistry or idea on the field. Vergara then decides to bring is Juan Carlos Ortega, an inexperienced manager who's only served in the assistant role. Midway through the season, even Vergara was talking nonsense, more than usual, calling a press conference to announce that he was inspired by a 0-0 draw vs Toluca, and that he was going to change! Two weeks later, Marco Fabian asked the fans to stop booing him because it hurt his feelings; this team was a joke to the league. The best thing that happened to Chivas in the Apertura season is that it mercifully ended. And while our most hated rivals where battling for another championship, Chivas began making its offseason moves.

While the offseason wasn’t everything we expected, the team did make some notable changes. Though Vergara continued to talk out of his rear-end stating ridiculous statements like “We are offering $10 million dollars for a Leon player” or “We have Carlos Salcido locked down and will be coming to the team”. Neither of those two mythical transfers happened, by the way. Instead Vergara brought in a couple of familiar faces. First off, he brought in Paco Palencia as Sporting Director or some made up job position created by Vergara. Palencia and Vergara then decided that it was best to bring back Jose Luis Real as the manager. Guero Real was coming from one of the worst seasons as Chivas USA’s manager, but according to Vergara he is the ideal candidate (which he has said about 30 times in the past; I believe that’s the teams new motto).

Now the Mexican press didn’t help either. From the beginning the speculations and rumors began to flourish. The names that were being tossed around were even weightier than the Vergara promises. Carlos Salcido, Guilit Pena, Angel Reyna, Oribe Peralta, and Luis Montes were some of the few names that were being thrown out by the press. In the end, Chivas got Omar Bravo, Israel Castro, Julio Gomez, Francisco Flores, Gerardo Rodriguez, and Jair Pereira. These were some decent additions, but predictably failed to live up to the expectations of some Chivas fans. More noticeable were the players that left. Long time starting goalkeeper Luis Michel was practically kicked off the team, and since he didn't land with any other team, his future is still up in the air. The popular Marco Fabian, or “Marquito” how most of you know him, left to Cruz Azul on loan. Unfortunately for Fabian, his party lifestyle was constantly made public and his lack of “heart” on the field made him a target for fans. Miguel Ponce, a promising player who never seemed to get his level back on top form went on loan to Toluca.  And Hector Reynoso, the only player in Chivas to state he will either be retiring or leaving the team for the past five years, ended up leaving the team (finally), he took his talents to Morelia.  Also, in the administrative side, Dennis Te Kloese didn’t last the full year, as he was fired a couple of weeks after the season. In my opinion, he was by far the worst president the team has had in recent years.

Now we have 2014, a new year and a new hope for much better results. I personally don’t think a slight improvement from last year will be good enough. There has to be a great improvement and expectation that the team qualifies to the Liguilla. But I’m also realistic and wishing for a championship right away might be a bit too farfetched. The new president who replaced Te Kloese, Juan Manuel Herrero already stated his expectation is a championship in 2014, but like many past presidents in the team, they all state the same thing. As a big club, those expectations should always be in the team's mind, but we also have to step into reality. Chivas is coming from a re-building (to put it nicely) offseason. Though Jose Luis Real is familiar with most of the team, he still has to figure out how he is going to make this team play and work together. Even though Real had a successful run in Copa Libertadores back in 2010, reaching the final, his strategy seemed to upset many as being too scared to attack. He tried to squeeze out a positive result by playing a counter-attack style of play. As a Chivas fan, I’m eager for the season to start and confident of the team (well at least that’s what my passion is telling me). And though I don’t even want to think about it, let’s not forget the ghost of the “decenso” is looming around Guadalajara. 


** the photo is used under a Creative Commons license from Grehundr

Comments

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