Yesterday marked Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera’s official welcome as the new head coach of Xolos de Tijuana, his first gig since his dismissal by the Mexican Football Federation after an airport tussle with TV Azteca commentator Christian Martinoli.
“The idea is to be champions,” he emphatically stated to press on Tuesday. “None of this qualifying by the skin of our teeth stuff; we need to be fighting in the limelight.” Piojo is trying to please la afición, and he’s desperate to make the Estadio Caliente the hottest spot in the league. Liga y Copa, fam. He wants it all.
In terms of roster changes, don’t expect much. With a good base and “gente muy importante,” the new boss expects to add three or four reinforcements, nothing more – a winger, a central defender, maybe a couple of midfielders. We’ll find out soon enough.
As for last season, the team “played well but didn’t win,” in Piojo’s revered opinion. “It’s not enough to play well, you have to win. The idea is to get us used to winning.”
What do you make of Herrera’s new job? Will he succeed as a Xolo and get the club back to their winning ways? Here are a few reasons why this might be the perfect road to redemption:
Thirst for Triumph
He generally did a solid job with El Tri; he led the squad through a momentous two-leg intercontinental playoff, qualified for the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup, and won the 2015 Gold Cup. He’s hungry to get back to winning and definitely up for the challenge.
He's leading an underdog team.
Xolos is a relatively low profile club. What better way to re-evaluate and manipulate your public image than by staying out of the limelight for a little while?
Despite his desire for instant gratification and a return to victory, it seems like he’s in it for the long run; apparently, Piojo is trying to buy a house in the border town.
If there’s one thing that Miguel Herrera knows how to do well, it’s getting players to unite around his passion and excitement for the beautiful game. With the roster that he already has at his disposal – plus a couple of reinforcements and a continued emphasis on players with dual nationality – he could really prove his coaching prowess by rallying the group together and finding a bit of success.