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The Redemption of Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera

The Redemption of Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera

In 1994, Miguel Herrera supported Mexico throughout its qualifying campaign only to be left out as in the starting XI. Now after two (2) decades, everything makes sense for El Piojo as he is currently in charge of managing the squad and ensuring that they have a stronger finish.

 

Redemption in the making

El Tri’s not so spectacular performance during the qualifiers paved way for Herrera’s entry. He was the fourth coach to manage the club since 2011 after a series of unfortunate event failed to impress the management of the national squad.

 

In a way, there is a strong link between Herrera and El Tri’s situation since his managerial role began. Mexico almost missed out in the tournament and here he was again—back into the same light where the squad was in dire need of his help, attending El Tri’s most pressing issues.

 

For Herrera, the job was far beyond a money-raking career or a privilege to be at the limelight of the most anticipated football competition. It was a redemption and a fulfillment of the dreams that as a player, he once had with the squad.

 

And Herrera, was indeed, successful—well at least for the initial stage of the competition. Fueled by the hunger for success, he led the team to dominate the intercontinental playoffs and secure their World Cup berth.

 

Apparently, the “hurt” and disappointment he felt when he was left out of the squad, chiseled his character and later on, this will serve as his guide in selecting the players that will be included in his starting XI.

 

Defying conventions

Herrera immediately dived into one of his career-defining moments when he changed the approach to El Tri.

 

He went back to the basics. Instead of merely focusing on European-based players, he chose the ones from Club America—an outfit, which he has also managed for three (3) years.

 

The familiarity between Herrera and his former club made it easier for him to achieve balance in the whole squad. While it is true that players from Club America were asked to participate, he knew that he cannot totally disregard his players based in Europe.

 

Herrera also incorporated the use of sophisticated technology to aid him in making more improvements in the squad. Mexico’s new head honcho is said to use the software, Gol Stats to look at the overlooked aspects of the team. Aside from that, he religiously follows the latest happenings in the Mexican League.
A certified non-conformist, Herrera is also confident in including young players in the squad, despite of criticisms thrown at him. It can be recalled that Stephen Keshi of Nigeria is also known for including uncapped players in competitive matches and it looks like, Herrera and Keshi are on the same track.

 

In as far as the Mexican squad is concerned, the participation of young players gave a practical solution to over depending on star players.

 

During the qualifiers, Carlos Vela’s refusal to play for the Mexican squad earned him tons of criticisms. But Herrera, instead of jumping into the bandwagon, defended the player’s decision and stated that Vela has valid reasons behind not joining.

 

But perhaps, what really stands out in El Piojo’s tactics is his idea of giving chances to those who really deserve to be in the squad—to look beyond the numbers and identify the  player’s potential.
A concrete example of this is Chicharito’s inclusion in the national team. Chicharito, although struggling to have longer playing time at Old Trafford, remains as one of Mexico’s high-caliber strikers.

 

This kind of chances—these heartwarming opportunities ignited the player’s desire to perform even better during the competition. This kind of motivation breeds not only determination, but loyalty and faithfulness in meeting the objectives of the squad in their upcoming World Cup matches.

 

Onward to Brazil

Twenty years after being left out of the national squad, Herrera is keen on making history in Brazil.

 

And just like the chances he has shown to its young and uncapped players, just like the opportunities he has shown to Chicharito, El Piojo shall give the kind of understanding that he showed to Vela in helping Mexico.

 

He will ensure that El Tri makes a stronger finish—the dear El Tri that once denied him of a great break, but is now depending on him to have their name etched in World Cup history.

Image Source: Zares Del Universo

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