“I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I'm so mean I make medicine sick”.
– Muhammad Ali
“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right”.
– Mark Twain
Even though Chivas and Necaxa faced off a little more than a month ago, the circumstances are by no means the same. To expect the same outcome would be speculative in extreme and rightly so. These playoffs will be played as a one off, winner take all, slug fest. The one with the most goals and least mistakes will go on to the next leg of the Liguilla. A plus if we hope to see spectacular game play. One can only hope.
Most choose Club Guadalajara as the obvious favorite to come away with the big W, objectively reasoning that the Red and White Roster coupled with Victor Manuel Vucetich’s Technical Team put our Chiverio slightly ahead of the Hidrorayos. Agreed.
On paper, Chivas is definitely stronger in all its lines. Regardless of the set-backs which have plagued the most mexican of teams, ‘Vuce’ has been able to bring the squad together. One after the other El Rebaño Sagrado has been able to overcome adversity and build a solid team. There have been bumps, nay, boulders, meteors and lava flows on the way to these playoffs. They are a different brand of men. Their bearing is different. Their walk paused, one of confidence. Adversity builds character. The Red and White clad Band of Brothers.
Chivas is in full bloom despite adversity. As are the hidrocalidos. If you don’t believe me, ask Jose Guadalupe Cruz and Necaxa. After a topsy-turvy start, Necaxa’s top brass took a chance and brought in a new DT mid Season. ‘El Profe’ Cruz was introduced days before playing Chivas in Aguascalientes, taking a loss at the hands of Vuce’s Chiva Bro’s. Two losses, a tie and 5 wins later Cruz’s Rayos are on the rebound, just in time for a possible playoff berth.
Die hard fanatics, talking head analysts and soap box harbingers of doom, go on and on about how historically Chivas is obligated to emerge victorious in all competitive events including a seemingly innocent match of marbles. Still times are different for both teams. Guadalajara is wiser and war branded. The game against Monterrey proved that their spirit is unbreakable.
True, Rayos has synergy on their side, but ‘Profe’ Cruz’s predictable counter attacking game strategy will probably not be enough to stay the tapatio tide. Cruz will have to come out guns blazing and try to snatch an early lead to play with Chiva’s natural forward thrusting strategy. Statistically, Necaxa is a team that doesn’t do well when they have had to take the initiative. Cruz will prefer to wait and try and take El Rebaño by surprise, no easy feat now that Guadalajara has players fast on the give and take. No matter how much Cruz states that Rayos will come out offensively, ‘Vuce’ and Crew are salty old sailors and can see right past the False Flag Operation.
Statistics aside, the game is going to come down to who makes the least number of mistakes. Most importantly, which team has the ‘arrestos’ to throw down and pave their own road towards glory. Time for El Chiverio to step up and ‘handcuff the lightning’ and ‘throw thunder in jail’.