Friend of the blog, Joshua takes a look at the latest rumors surrounding Mexico’s next coach….
As the dust settles on Mexico’s failed attempts to get out of their World Cup group, and the wishes of many vocal fans of seeing Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino sacked has come to fruition, the focus naturally has moved on to who the replacement will be. Ever the demanding job, with the intense media scrutiny, the list of candidates with decent qualifications wanting to take the job is likely to be short. Still, a few names have popped up already.
Ricardo ‘Tuca’ Ferretti:
Most well known to Mexican fans for his decade-long run as Tigres manager, Tuca has already coached El Tri for three stints, albeit shortly as the caretaker. According to MARCA, he recently expressed interest in the job, and his club coaching record is likely to entice some fans, having been in Liga MX Campeon a whopping seven times. However, questions quickly pop up about his age, as he will be 72 when the next World Cup begins. Moreover, his most recent stint as Mexico’s head coach saw the team go 1-5. Therefore, Mexico is likely better off with a younger manager.
Seen as a strong potential candidate, the 56-year-old Uruguayan has proven his mettle as Pachuca’s handler. Pachuca also provided two of the younger players for the World Cup team Mexico sent (including Luis Chavez), so he would have some familiarity with the next cycle’s roster. A possible drawback is El Tri perhaps preferring a Mexican manager this go around. However, Almada fits the description of a consistent manager who gives younger players time. He led Santos Laguna to the liguilla five out of the seven seasons he managed the club and has had Pachuca in the finals his first two seasons there.
Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Ambriz:
Toluca’s manager has 20 years of experience and would be a relatively safe choice. Having had time managing abroad (Ambriz coached Segunda division side Huesca last year) and being an assistant at Atletico Madrid, Ambriz brings some of the most familiarity with Mexican players of the candidates. Moreover, he was voted Liga MX’s best manager in 2018-19 and 2020. His prompt sacking at Huesca might scare off some supporters in FMF, but he has shown he is a capable manager winning Liga MX twice and leaving Club America and Leon with winning records. Toluca also made it to the Liga MX finals last season, albeit ending their run with a lopsided loss against fellow candidate Almada.
Matías Jesús Almeyda:
A favorite of Chivas fans, Almeyda is known as a players-coach and does not lack passion. While he is currently signed to the Greek side AEK Athens, who are in second place, he has previously expressed interest in the job. During his time with Chivas, he told Goal.com, “I had a clause to leave for the Argentine or Mexican national team.” The upside is there, as he can do a lot without the best talent, guiding an uneven Chivas club to a league title, CONCACAF Champions League, and Copa MX title within 13 months. His time with the San Jose Earthquakes may leave doubts. However, it should be noted that the club ranked 23rd in spending in the league. In addition, he notably managed his former team, River Plate, to its rise back to the premier division in Argentina, a job that is also not without media scrutiny.
A shot in the dark, but the current manager of Barcelona’s youth team, Barcelona Atletic, is seen as a possible future top-tier manager. El Kaiser, long-time captain of the national team, would undoubtedly draw some interest from desperate fans, but most see this as more than likely a few years away as Marquez gains experience in Spain.
Finally, we get to Piojo, who knows the culture around the national team very well. His sacking was the product of an attack on a reporter seven years ago. However, he has had multiple jobs since then, including leading Club America to a championship; Herrera does not currently manage a team. However, this past Apertura saw Tigres UANL do a solid job defensively, bowing out of the Liguilla to eventual champions Pachuca.
Whoever the FMF chooses to be Mexico’s next manager, they will have their work cut out for them. The top tasks will be getting a crop of younger players who were left off of Tata’s call ups integrated to the team with only the Nations League and Gold Cup as competitive tournaments before the 2026 World Cup. One that will be hosted in North America by the US, Canada and Mexico.
Who do you think will manage Mexico next?