Following last Friday’s defeat to the hands of ‘superlíder’ León by a final of 2-1, Mazatlán FC announced the firing of head coach Francisco Palencia the following day. And just a couple days after that, the club’s social media account announced Palencia’s replacement, Tomás Boy, which leads me to believe that both sides had already established an agreement if Palencia was unable to right the ship.
With his appointment, Tomás Boy, 68, will be taking over his 11th overall franchise (1 MLS, 10 Liga MX). While many believe the election of Boy for the job is the ‘recycling’ of yet another head coach in Liga MX, I actually believe this decision isn’t a bad one. Despite the recycling part being true, when Boy has taken charge of a team, you know what he brings to the table; 1) Order; 2) Intensity; 3) Good attacking system, and Mazatlán are in dire need of all three of these. This has been true for nearly all of his teams. We all remember that joyful Morelia he coached from 2009-2012, as he made the playoffs five out of the six full seasons he was there. Even the Atlas squad he took for the Clausura 2013 season, where he was expected to help them avoid relegation, and ended up placing 3rd overall in the league table with 32 points. He knows how to motivate a group of players, I’ll give him that.
This decision also makes a lot of sense from the confidence standpoint; this front office is the same one he worked for back in 2009-12 in Morelia. As we all know, this Mazatlán FC franchise was known as Monarcas Morelia just a few months back, before announcing their surprise relocation to their current coastal city. So, the fact they’ve worked together before and had success also gives fans and ownership much to look forward to.
The problem for Boy is the lack of talent this squad suffers from. Other than Aldo Rocha in the center of the pitch to go along with inconsistent strikers Fernando Aristeguieta and Camilo Sanvezzo, there isn’t much more for ‘El Jefe’ to work with. This is a club that was predicted as one of the heavy favorites to finish last in the relegation race this year along with Querétaro, and they haven’t disappointed; in 13 games, they’re stat line reads 2W, 4D, 7L, which accounts for just 10 points, as well as the league’s second worst defense (23 goals conceded).
In conclusion, the arrival of Boy will indeed help give this squad a structure and a certain orderly style of play. Possibly even somewhat of an attacking style. But without a major squad overhaul, this team isn’t going anywhere. What can be said is that after so many ill-advised decisions and wrong ways to go about their business, dating back to selling key players as well as the way the entire relocation was handled, this is finally a decision that most of us can go along with.