Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mexico's Five Deadly Sins

Mural ran a story on Friday breaking down Mexico's most recent failures. Under Sven-Goran Eriksson, Mexico has hardly been a strong side, and barely a productive one. Mexico is winless in its last four qualifiers, having just one draw to show for games in Jamaica, Canada, Honduras and the U.S.

Mural took a look at all 10 games Eriksson has been part of, and here's what they pointed to as reasons for Mexico's slump (along with a brief paraphrase of their analysis):

1. Few Variations: In 7 of the 10 games, simple passes have failed the team in the final 20 minutes, the units blend together and players are sent off in desperate moves, such as Marquez against the US and Torrado and Vela against Honduras. All five games in which Mexico has trailed in the 70th minute have been losses; only twice has Mexico come-from-behind. The substitutions have not worked and have been straight position-for-position swaps. Giovani Dos Santos and Carlos Vela have been part of all the official games, even though they've not functioned well.

2. Offensive Shortcomings: Mexico has now gone 270 minutes (three games) without scoring; none of the 15 forwards who have been called up have been effective. Of the 11 goals, only three have come from forwards. Only two players have scored more than one goal: Pavel Pardo and Matias Vuoso. The eight forwards that made up the recent roster have combined for 31 goals [in league, presumably] since August - Carlos Ochoa and Alberto Medina account for 18 of them.

3. Costly Misses: Seven of the 11 goals allowed have come from defensive errors: Ali Gerba's goal for Canada was a shot that Oswaldo mis-timed; Ricardo Fuller's goal in Jamaica was the result of a defensive turnover, and the subsequent shot deflected off Marquez and into the goal; in Honduras, Osorio scored an own goal; Wednesday, Marquez lost Donovan on the first goal, and Oswaldo had a "bad bounce" in front of him for the second goal.

4. Set Pieces: Defending against set pieces has been ineffective. In two losses, Mexico has given up a total of three set-piece goals. On the attacking side, because of their lack of offense Mexico has relied heavily on set pieces. Pardo, Guardado and Salcido have scored directly off free kicks; Marquez scored on a header off a free kick while Vuoso scored off a corner kick.

5. Lack of Rhythm: Vela, Dos Santos, Castillo, Franco and Bravo are riding the bench on their club teams; Vela finds it difficult to play more than 15 minutes; Dos Santos missed time due to injury and has only played in 11 games since August and has no goals in that time; Nery, zero games with Man City and has yet to play an official game with Shakhtar; Bravo three goals in 17 games, Guiller two goals in 19 games.

1 comment:

drew_brown said...

Israel Martinez lost Donovan, not Marquez.

After re-watching the 2-11 game, I don't understand why Dos Santos wasn't pushed into Castillo's role after he went down. Dos Santos is so supremely talented and fast. At least make him a more integral part of the offense. He gave the US more problems than any other player.