Carlos Vela: Mexico's saviour
Why Mexico desperately need the Real Sociedad forward
The Mexico National Team is struggling. The Olympics gold medalists have stunned the football world by declining into mediocrity in less than a year. Nevertheless, the nation just might be able to resurrect their qualification hopes from ashes by restoring Carlos Vela to the side, the messiah of a team in dire straits.
La Verde currently lie at a disheartening fifth place in the Hexagonal (CONCACAF fourth round). Their only win came in the form of a hapless 1-0 victory over group minnows, Jamaica.
And even then, they were unable to defeat the Caribbean side on their second go.
They're struggling to qualify from a World Cup qualification group they were expected to domineer, falling to defeat teams they were expected to completely subjugate.
Furthermore, the effect of qualification failure will transcend the football pitch, impacting upon the Mexican economy. Should the nation fail to qualify, it is set to lose over $600 million in services and products.
With the likes of Guardado, Chicharito, Dos Santos, Herrera and Ochoa on the team sheet, Mexico should theoretically pose a formidable opponent to most international sides.
Where did it go so wrong? How is it that the most successful team in the history of the CONCACAF is unlikely to qualify for the World Cup in a group containing the likes of Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama?
Perhaps it is the management. Mexico has witnessed seven different managers come and go over the course of seven years. Even Chelsea isn't that unstable in regards to managerial appointment.
But it's worked. In that span of time, Mexico has delivered two Gold Cups, an Olympics gold medal and the Toulon Tournament.
However, it seems as though the uncertainty and confusion may have caught up to the side, with the players hitting an abhorrent run of form that has seen that has seen them trail the likes of Honduras and the USA.
Or are the players to blame? Have they lost their hunger and drive, the competitive spirit that makes good teams great?
Is it the team selection? Is the management just not naming their best eleven on the park?
An amalgam of all three is the likely rationale. Mexico has just been very unlucky.
Having said that, the management has only compounded upon the dilemma by excluding possibly the premier Mexican footballer on the planet at present time.
Here, they have a man whose nine assists (Modric and Navas' totals combined) and 14 goals has helped fire his team to their first Champions League appearance since 2003/04. Here, they have a man who recorded more key passes than Arda Turan, and completed more dribbles than Neymar.
Enter, Carlos Vela.
The Real Sociedad forward has failed to make a competitive appearance for El Tricolor since (June) 2010, their 2-0 World Cup victory over France.
Bear in mind, this is a player who averaged more key passes per game last season than Messi, Xavi and Iniesta.
So why are the likes of Carlos Salcido and Gerardo Torrado, both of whom register on the wrong side of the 30-year-old mark, good enough for the national team, when the 24-year-old in-form star of a Champions League team evidently isn't?
Not only will the addition of Vela rejuvenate an antecedently toothless attack, but will do so twofold as his presence allows Chicharito to do what he does best as a goal poacher, having previously been shackled to the roaming attacking playmaker role.
For this reason, new coach, Victor Manuel Vucetich, must quickly learn to harness and unleash the talent of the man who has taken La Liga by storm.
And therein lies the point of this piece.
It is in the best interests of the nation as a whole to reintroduce Carlos Vela into the national setup effect immediately.
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