Amazing to think that a fanbase would begin to call for its head coach’s firing based on a preseason tournament showing is flat out incredible. Never had I seen a situation where after four preseason matches, fans are so unhappy with their head coach to the point of demanding a change.
Despite the fact Miguel Herrera has only conquered two league titles in his nearly 20 years of head coaching, he’s brought a certain level of consistency and results, at least during his tenures with América. He has spoiled fans with playoff appearance after playoff appearance, in most cases reaching the semifinals. He has also made final appearances, some of which he has lost, but two of which he has won.
One trait of Herrera’s that we can’t deny is his terrible people and media skills. He certainly does not know how to treat the media, especially after a loss, giving arrogant responses in many cases, and constantly picks fights with other teams’ players and coaches, as he just did last week when he waltzed over to Pumas’ bench without a facemask during this meaningless preseason tournament. He even finds ways to blame referees for his team’s failures.
He also has a knack for making commercials. Boy, does he love that extra income from all those commercials, at least since back in his Mexican National Team days. And that can understandably get on people’s nerves if his team isn’t performing or living up to the expectations, as people will naturally question if all the time he’s focusing on commercials isn’t eating into his team’s training and preparation time. But that isn’t the case here.
But América has consistently performed at high levels during both the regular season as well as the post-season. They constantly place in the league top 4 and despite not winning as many titles as the fans would like, are always a tough out. Rivals never have an easy time with Herrera’s América, as he has found the formula to a successful, high-flying, spectacular style of play that has led to many victories, just not as many in the important moments. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had success. His contract wasn’t just recently extended until 2024 for nothing.
Yesterday, “Piojo” and his squad were eliminated in the Copa por México semifinal in a 4-3 loss vs. their long-time foe and Super Clásico rival Chivas. But that wasn’t the only ‘clásico’ América failed to win during this tournament. They were unable to get past a very weak Pumas squad in 0-0 draw, and got crushed by Cruz Azul by 4-1 in the final group stage game. So, in their three preseason ‘clásicos’, América went 0-1-2; big deal. So what? Crucify Herrera and his coaching staff for having a couple defensive mishaps or for Ibargüen missing an open shot yesterday with the score still tied at 2? Had that goal been scored, América would’ve taken the lead and probably won the game.
This is what preseason is for. Players are still getting into shape after three months of being unable to train with their teammates and coaching staff. And yes, you want to win every single derby or match against a hated rival. Nobody is arguing that. But if you happen to lose in a simple preseason tournament, that’s no reason to call for a coach’s firing, especially a coach like Herrera who has made this team perform at such a high level consistently.
We all know that América will be there come playoff time in Liga MX, and they will be one of the favorites to claim the title as they have been for the past decade, along with Tigres, Cruz Azul, and Rayados. Copa por México was just a simple preseason tournament. The fact that #FueraPiojo has been trending since last night’s loss to Chivas is just unfathomable. This is totally apart from the fact if you like or agree with his personality. Herrera has made his team perform and has earned his spot as arguably the top head coach in Mexican Football today. None of that was given. And for fans to be calling for his head because he didn’t win any of his three ‘clásicos’ in the past week and half is simply preposterous and extremely ungrateful.