The crisis continues at Chivas de Guadalajara. One of the most popular and winningest teams in Liga MX has been unable to find its way to success for almost five years. Due to the poor results in the current tournament, exacerbated by a recent home loss to Rayados de Monterrey in a rescheduled matchday 12 game, the board of directors decided to fire head coach Marcelo Leaño. Which coaches could be the ideal candidates to get Chivas out of the bad streak?
The Rebaño Sagrado decided to bet heavily on a young coach like Marcelo Leaño. At just 35 years of age, Leaño was the youngest coach in Liga MX. Without a professional career as a player, Marcelo focused on educating himself as a coach to earn a chance to prove his worth, however, when the moment he expected for has arrived, he could not succeed.
Marcelo Leaño was in charge of Chivas for 21 games in Liga MX, 1 as interim in 2020, 8 in the previous tournament and 12 in the current Clausura 2022, in which he was only able to win 6 games, 8 draws and 7 defeats. In the previous tournament, Leaño's team was unable to advance to the Knockout stage after being eliminated in the Playoff against Puebla.
Candidates to take the helm of Chivas
Chivas' bench will be occupied on an interim basis until the end of the 2022 Liga MX Clausura Tournament by Ricardo Cadena, until now coach of its subsidiary team in Mexico's Second Division. The Rojiblancos' chances of qualifying for the Knockout stage are limited but they could still make it with 4 games left to play.
Thus, the board has a reasonable amount of time to look for the ideal candidate to restore greatness to Chivas, one of the winningest and most fan-favored teams in Liga MX, which has not known what it is to win a title since it conquered the 2018 Concacaf Champions League.
"Always, you know the love I have for that beautiful country, the love I have for the league and there is always that step of mine through Mexico. The memory I have of there is one of joy" said Matias Almeyda in last March. The current San Jose Earthquakes coach was the last man capable of taking Chivas back to its glorious days.
With Almeyda on its helm, Guadalajara won 1 Liga MX title, 1 Concacaf Champions League, 2 Mexican Cups and 1 Supercup. Considering that the Argentinean coach has not succeeded to conquer the MLS with the Quakes a comeback to Chivas is not crazy at all.
Ricardo Tuca Ferretti
Another of the last coaches who led Chivas to win championships. Ferretti is one of the most experienced coaches in Liga MX, but also one of the most successful. In addition to the league won with Guadalajara, Tuca won one more with Pumas and led Tigres to its most glorious era: he won five leagues, one MX Cup, one Concacaf Champions League and the runner-up position in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Ferretti is the current coach of FC Juarez, a small Liga MX team with which he has not been able to recall his glory days with Tigres, Pumas and Chivas. Thus, the opportunity to practically close his coaching career in a second stint with Guadalajara sounds attractive.
The current Pumas coach has made a name for himself in Liga MX thanks to his ability to achieve the best results with minimal resources. The UNAM team has one of the least powerful squads in Mexico, yet Lillini has them in the Playoffs qualification zone and in the Concacaf Champions League Final, where they will face the Seattle Sounders of the MLS.
Pumas represented Andres Lillini's first experience as a First Division coach, after serving as Director of his academy. During his tenure, he has given opportunities to several young players. Thus, with good results with few resources, group management and good work with rookies, Lillini could prove his true potential in a team like Chivas.
It might sound like a real utopia but one of the few Liga MX teams with the infrastructure, economic power and greatness to attract Marcelo Bielsa is Chivas. After testing the Mexican coaching market following the departure of Matias Almeyda, the solution to Guadalajara's mediocrity problem could be abroad.
Unlike Almeyda, Ferretti and Lillini, Marcelo Bielsa does not currently have a team after leaving Leeds United, the team he revolutionized and returned to the Premier League after a long absence, so the negotiation could be much simpler, although obviously not more economical for the Chivas board.