“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” - Arthur Conan Doyle, A Scandal in Bohemia
"Salgan a jugar!!! ganar es una posibilidad. Entonces vamos a jugar. acostúmbrense a eso, no se llenen de tensión y de presiones. Porque las presiones generalmente vienen de parte de gente que sabe muy poco de esto, muy poco " - Fernando Signorini
Let us begin the year with a question. What do Auguste Dupin, Jules Maigret, Sherlock Holmes and Victor Vucetich all have in common?
Apart from the fact that the first three are fictional detectives in write, all four have the not always present ability to see what is beyond the naked eye. They are the keenest of observers and their quest always the same: to seek the truth hidden in the shadows. They find the needle in the haystack.
Mystery, after all, is the need to find an answer to a query, and so we question ourselves in all things. So we analyze and come to conclusions. It is what it is.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at Vuce’s crew for the Clausura Guard1anes 2021.
The buzz on social media is Guadalajara’s lack of bombastic incorporations and the return of the “Stray Chivas” who were out on loan last season paint a poor picture for the Tapatio Team’s league aspirations, mainly finding a fixed position in the top 4. In a recent interview for CHIVASTV, Victor Manuel Vucetich emphasized that Chivas was focused on achieving a 10% improvement compared to last years results. Vuce also mentioned that the “returnees” and U20 players included in the pre-season, including, Cesar Huerta, Alejandro Mayorga, Carlos Cisneros and José Carlos Van Rankin, would be important elements in reaching their goals.
Competitively speaking any incorporation is important to help inspire players to reach an optimal performance outcome. If there is no competition, there is a tendency for players, and people in general, to “sit on their laurels” having no one to take their place. Big fish, small pond. Very few players have the grit of Ronaldo or Messi who approach professional soccer with an intrinsic focus on personal betterment. Most need that little extra push provided by some “fire” in the ranks.
Chivas has set that “fire” alight in all its lines.
Defensively, José Carlos Van Rankin and Alex Mayorga will give some much needed competitive support to Chapo Sanchez and Pocho Ponce respectively. Game after game, Sanchez, and Ponce have performed with constancy if not flare and the truth is neither of them are “spring chickens”. Mayorga puts the pressure on Pocho after having performed magnificently with league runners up UNAM during the last two seasons. “Mayo” played 19 of Pumas last 23 matches, missing one due to injury and the others due to a coronavirus infection, and one of the stars of Andrés Lillini's Guard1anes 2020 top 3 defense. Parallelly, Van Rankin will put the thumbscrews on the apparently unmovable and untiring, Chapito Sanchez. José Carlos also gave a more that decent performance in his tenure with Santos Laguna, starting 14 times for the Laguneros.
The midfield and forward lines remain much the same. “Chino” Huerta returns from sunny Mazatlán, more experienced and better timing. If you were able to watch any of the Purple Waves games you would have witnessed a better paced Chino who is slowly developing into a spot on passer. On the other hand, Carlos Cisneros is back home. A player who has many times shown his love for Chivas, Cisneros has been plagued by injury for the last two years. Towards the end of last season he was able to step on the pitch for Toluca on the road to recovery. Once he is back on his feet we will surely see a faster and more aggressive Cisneros.
Along with the incorporation of under 20 players Vucetich will be able to put forth a more than acceptable starting eleven. Vucetich mentioned that Chivas had looked for players on the transfer market but that timing and pricing had held up any new incorporations but that he was confident that those that remained coupled with the returning players would assuredly place Club Guadalajara in the top 4 when the playoff period came around.
Time will tell. I have great faith in the Maestro’s discerning eye. His years give him sight and make him wise. He has become accustomed to peering through the shroud. He has mastered it. Now, he is able to see the beginnings of a great team. Now, we can only hope that vets and rooks alike are able to see beyond the shadows and envision themselves as a team, convinced of their objectives, empowering one another with their conviction and the knowledge that it is not enough to go out and hope to win games. Teamwork is the is the path that Chivas needs to master. How Guadalajara plays the game and reads the rival game will lead el Rebaño to the victories.