Chivas passed the halfway point of the season having only amassed six points through eight games played. Hope this season seems to get dimmer and dimmer, as Chivas continue to lose and draw, including a 1-0 defeat to MLS-side Seattle Sounders this past Wednesday in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League. Currently, El Rebaño Sagrado are 16th on the Liga MX table. Usually around this time, fan bases start getting their pitchforks ready and the first is almost always the head coach. But here are four reasons Chivas head coach Matias Almeyda shouldn’t be fired.
1. Almeyda’s Chivas dictate the game tempo, but they get hurt by the counter.
Chivas in the 10 games they have played this season had around 65% possession. The problem comes when the ball gets lost, and all of a sudden, Chivas’s transition on defense is too slow, goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota is coming off his line, and a chaotic goal is scored. This almost always comes as a result of bad giveaways and bad shots. In Wednesday’s defeat to the Sounders, Chivas had 12 shots with only 3 being on target. In last Saturday’s tie in El Clasico Naciona,l they had 15 shots with only 5 on target. Almeyda can set his team up tactically with discipline, but he can’t physically take good shots for them.
2. Limited selection of players.
Tradition is tradition for Chivas and it’s an amazing thing. When Chivas are in good form and winning with only Mexican players, it’s like the cherry on top to the ice cream sundae. However, it’s a limited group of talent they can field, and other teams at times price them out of the market, making them pay outlandish figures for what sometimes turns out to be average Liga MX players. Often the money isn’t enough, and Chivas has to resort trades like they did this past off-season, sending midfielder Jose Juan ‘Gallito’ Vazquez to Santos Laguna for forward Gael Sandoval. Who knows how much Santos would have charged Chivas for Sandoval if Vazquez wasn’t a part of the deal, but one things for certain, Gallito would be a huge asset for Almeyda if he were available to him this season.
3. One trophy at a time.
How many times has Chivas won the CONCACAF Champions League? Only once actually, in the inception year of the tournament back in 1962 when it was still called the Champions Cup. An argument can be made that with so many games played throughout a calendar year, it can take a lot out of a team and a season can be salvaged by winning at least one trophy. Almeyda has made it clear that their main objective this season is to win the CONCACAF Champions League. Even with Chivas being at the bottom half of the table, the campaign can still be a successful one by lifting the Champions League trophy. Being down a goal to the Sounders doesn’t help, but Chivas have more than enough talent to progress.
4. If not Almeyda who?
If 44-year-old Matias Almeyda shouldn’t coach Chivas, then who should get that privilege? There’s not many better options out there or with the type of experience he has accomplished in the past few years. Matias has a 45% winning percentage coaching Chivas, he won the 2017 Clausura after finishing third in the regular season, and won Copa MX trophies in both 2015 and 2017. Not to mention also winning the less prestigious 2016 Apertura SuperCopa. Overall, things do seem dire at the moment, but let’s not get rid of the coach that put so many Chivas fans at ease when they were in what seemed like an endless downward spiral towards a possible relegation.
What do you think? Should Almeyda be given more time?