Instead, the move touched off a series of processes that have gone around in circles. Now in shambles, the Mexican national team is merely circling the drain.
On Thursday, the Mexican Football Federation hit the reset button again. The FMF sacked
While Eriksson had his detractors, he was not the problem. Neither was the manager before him,
A core group of veterans buoyed by a batch of talented youngsters developing and waiting in the wings? That group has changed for each manager since '06. A team-building process in which players learn to succeed and fail as a group, and use the knowledge to continue growing? Virtually unattainable when managers come and go and bring and take players with them. A set of short, attainable goals while keeping the large, overarching objective in mind? When your job is on the line, all you care about is the next result -- who cares what happens 10 games from now if you won't be around anyway?
Eriksson was just the latest victim of Mexico's current regime, which has been characterized by colossal failures, knee-jerk reactions and millions of wasted dollars on high-salaried coaches who never had a chance of success.
Mexico has suffered through failure after failure, on all levels, since '07. The team failed to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup that summer and was embarrassed on its way out of the Copa América. Meanwhile, the Under-17 national team failed to qualify for the '07 U-17 championships. In '08, the Under-23 national team crashed out of the Olympic qualifying tournament in spectacular fashion, a failure that ultimately cost Sánchez his job. Under Eriksson, the senior team slumped badly in qualifying and backed into the Hexagonal round while the Under-20 national team crashed out of U-20 World Cup qualifying last month.
Nevertheless, the federation expects a new manager to come in, work his magic and fix all that ails El Tri. But Mexico has several pending issues that may handcuff Eriksson's replacement:
Ultimately, though, Eriksson's replacement will attempt to answer these questions for the sake of the national team. And while seemingly less challenging matches are forthcoming in June -- at El Salvador, home against Trinidad -- the process will begin anew for yet another manager, and the difficult questions will remain unchanged
As much as the new man will try to wipe the slate clean, the tarnished state of El Tri cannot be undone.