Yearning for a new challenge and to learn about a new league, I’ve said goodbye to Europe and taken my self professed talents to Mexico. I will be stamping my authority on the Mexican club Pachuca and hopefully leading them to glory in the Liga MX.
First thing to do is learn the rules of the league. I’ve had a look over it a couple of times now and I’m still just getting my head around it. There is an opening stage where teams play each other only once, resulting in 17 games being played in the first stage. The top 4 proceed to a quarter final with 5th – 12th qualifying for a preliminary round. The preliminary round consists of 8 teams and the winners qualify for the quarter final. From then it’s knockout football into a 2 legged final. We then go into a First division closing stage which completely mirrors the opening stage with the same format with the prize being four teams qualifying for the North American Champions League.
Looking over the squad I have at my disposal it’s clear we have some talent. The main issue we are going to have is the mental strength of some of our key players. Take Guzman and Alvarez for example. 2 players who are very capable technically but both have very low determination. Guzman is also between positions, not quite filling the criteria to nail down just one position. Tings I love about lower resourced leagues are players like Trinade. A player competent at left back, right back and right midfield and also very accomplished in the centre of midfield.
A bit of a shock came when I realised that in Mexico we only have an initial 4 weeks of the transfer widow, with it not re-opening until mid December. So business had to be fairly quick with the view to bring in reinforcements in 6 months which can play as an advantage as we’ll have more detailed reports on potential new players. We brought in a lot of free agents on trial, with only one of them living up to the billing. A signing which the board may be displeased with as it certainly doesn’t meet their vision of signing under 23’s for the first team. But when you’re in need of a striker and live by the mantra ‘age is nothing but a number’, Emmanuel Adebayor was offered a contract after a successful trial with us.
And just to stick it to the board once more, we’ve signed 35 year old Right Back Jonathon on a free. With a very limited budget, limited scouting time and the need to fill some positions, older players unattached are the way to go for us for now, with the long term aim being to bring in young players to develop and sell for mega profit, but you need some start up cash for this to happen especially if you haven’t got anyone who’ll fetch you some millions as of now.
One thing we absolutley have to becareful of is the league’s rule of having no more than 10 non Mexcan born players registered. Sounds easy enough but I’ve already had to move on / unregister 3 players in order to accomodate the new signings.
The Set Up
My journey through Germany saw me use a very successful 5 at the back system, and then I moved to your bog standard 4 – 2 – 3 – 1. With that in mind I want to experiment with different shapes and systems and see what I can get to work. We’re short on wingers here at Pachuca, so I’ll remove them from the narrative and we’ll play with 3 CB’s and WB’s with Moreno on the left hand side playing as inverted Wing Back to take advantage of his strong right foot. We’ll also play with a Shadow Striker behind 2 up front, with Adebayor lying deep and bringing others into play and Ibanez occupying the Advanced Forward role. Now of course this is subject to change if things go array, but for now I’m looking forward to using a Libero and an Inverted WB.
So here we go
Now I have my head around the rules of the league, the usual race to 1st isn’t an element here. All we need to do is finish in the top 12 and we could potentially become champions by the end of the knock out stages which are essentially play offs just in tournament format. So with my Factor 500+1 suffocating my pores, it’s time to tackle Mexico!