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Luis Fernando Tena named Chivas coach days before Clasico Nacional

The gold medal-winning coach replaces Tomas Boy as the leader of the flock.

Queretaro v Necaxa - Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

There was only about a three hour gap in between Chivas de Guadalajara announcing the firing of former coach Tomas Boy and naming his replacement as the next in line to lead the herd.

The man deemed the chosen one was Luis Fernando Tena, who becomes the 71st coaching appointment in Los Rojiblancos’ history and the 19th one in the last decade.

A historically successful coach throughout his career, Tena’s glory days seem to be behind him as his past two coaching stops show.

Tena last coached Queretaro during the 2017 Apertura and 2018 Clausura seasons. Tena could only manage a 14th place finish in the latter of those seasons as his best work in charge of Los Gallos Blancos.

Before Queretaro, Tena was in charge of a Club Leon side that he guided to third place and the quarterfinals in his first season (CL 2016), but had a hard sophomore slump with La Fiera and he was fired while the team was dead last in the league table.

Tena does possess something his predecessor Boy never had: Championships, and pretty significant ones at that.

El Flaco was the last man to lead Cruz Azul to a league title in 1997—plus a Champions League title in 2014—as well the one to gift Morelia its one and only championship in 2000.

At the national team level, Tena was at the helm of one the greatest youth teams in Mexican football. He successfully led the Mexican U-23 national team to a gold medal at the 2011 Panamerican Games, a title at the 2012 Toulon Tournament and capped it off with a gold medal at the Olympic Games in London with a 2-1 victory over a Neymar-led Brazil, still considered one of the most iconic victories in Mexican history.

From (L to R) Mexico’s football player J
Tena (middle) with former Chivas players Jorge Enriquez (left) and Marco Fabian (right) after winning the 2012 Olympic gold medal in soccer.
Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/GettyImages

During his run with the U-23s and his temporary position leading the senior team, Tena coached current Chivas players Orible Peralta, Hiram Mier, Miguel Ponce, Toño Rodriguez (all part of Olympic squad) as well as Isaac Brizuela, Jesus Sanchez, Alan Pulido and Jesus Molina.

“Club Deportivo Guadalajara is confident that the experience, temperament and knowledge of ‘El Flaco’ in the management of domestic players will be a key impluse from here on out to return ‘El Rebaño Sagrado’ to its historical position that its tradition and fans demand.” - Chivas press release.

Boy’s departure has been heavily delayed but ultimately expected. A 4-2 loss to Pachuca this week was enough for the front office to pull the plug on his project just days before the Superclasico with Club America (Sept. 28 @ 9 p.m.).

In the end, El Jefe leaves Chivas with only five victories in offical competitons out of 16 games, those coming against Leon last season and Tigres, Santos (Copa MX), San Luis and Atlas this season.

Out of all the coaching candidates currently on the job hunt, Tena’s hire is underwhelming for a team that has not found its way since getting rid of Matias Almeyda in June of last year. Interesting coaching prospects such as Antonio Mohamed, Rafael Puente Jr., Francisco Palencia and Gabriel Heinze were out there.

Mohamed is the biggest name out there right now after his successess at Tijuana, America and Monterrey and a short stint in La Liga with Celta de Vigo. Puente and Palencia both have found success with young players and teams with little resources. Heinze has become one of the top coaches in the Argentine Superliga at the helm of Velez Sarsfield (sixth place finish last season).

Still, Tena has had success and is a respected coach in this league.

Club America v Chivas de Guadalajara
Mexico’s Clasico Nacional between Chivas and America will take place this weekend.
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

His first game in charge couldn’t possibly be any more pressure-packed, though. New coach or not, first day or not, you HAVE to win derbies.


Was Luis Fernando Tena the right hire for Chivas?

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  • 24%
    (6 votes)
  • 16%
    (4 votes)
  • 60%
    It’s only a short-term hire
    (15 votes)
25 votes total Vote Now

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