Juan Carlos Osorio. We knew he meant business when we witnessed his official presentation and presser on October 14.
The new head coach of the Mexican national team is the real deal, and a recent interview with FIFA.com proved just that. Osorio recognized that taking hold of a team like El Tri is a very “big challenge” and an amazing opportunity to lead a squad “with bags of talent and a similar style to the Colombian team,” one he knows very well.
He described Mexican players as “skillful, very combative, and tactically disciplined,” perhaps the perfect mix for the attacking system he enjoys implementing with his teams. For Osorio, control in any particular fútbol match comes about as a result of controlling possession. For this reason, his attacks are “inextricably linked” with his defensive lines. Interesting – for a man characterized by his offensive mindset, there’s definitely a subtle reliance on defending from every position on the pitch, including his attackers.
When asked what tactics he would put into use in order to make this possession-oriented, drive at opposing defenses game theory into practice, the Colombian coach simply stated, “I like wide players.” His teams generally play with three forwards – with either three or four defenders and a wide midfield triangle or diamond – a system that could open up more room for the likes of Jesús Corona or Carlos Vela, dudes who sat the bench to start El Tri’s 3-2 victory over the U.S.
The only worrisome remark from the entire interview? His coaching role models include José Mourinho (do I really need to explain myself with this one?), and Louis van Gaal (maybe they’ve had a few phone chats re: how not to handle Chicharito situations?). He subsequently highlights Diego Simeone, which is promising IMO, and Alex Ferguson in relation to his desire to “have players who want to be winners.”
When it comes down to it, the most important thing for Osorio is “fútbol, the game itself, and not the fame, partying, or money.” He wants “players who are honored to play for the national team.” And in his opinion? “You can’t change mindsets at this level, so all you can do is try to get to know them, talk to them, and identify the players who have that dream.”
We’ll know soon enough which of our favorite Tri legends have that vision – Osorio’s first roster announcement is set for November 9!