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Gerk to remain Querétaro manager next season; what’s next for Gallos?

Much work to be done in this team’s rebuild if they wish to see any sort of improvement next season.

Queretaro v Tijuana - Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

After being pummeled 4-1 by Toluca this past Sunday, extending their road winless streak to 46 games, Gallos’ season of terror is finally over. Their final season statline reads 1W, 6D, 10L, with 18 GF and 35 GA, and just 9 points to show for it, dead last in the league table. More importantly, this season leaves them dead last in the “relegation” battle, 9 points away from Tijuana (17th), and 20 points from Mazatlán (16th). In other words, they’ll more than likely be the franchise to pay the biggest “relegation” penalty. What a ‘welcome season’ for Mauro Gerk it was.

A roster loaded with players who lack skill, technique, and frankly attitude on the pitch, it was a season filled with low quality on the ball and countless mistakes both up front when attempting to score as well as down below on defense, whether it be blown coverages or ridiculous fouls that gave away unnecessary penalties. And off the pitch, the uncertainty of this club’s future riddled fans, coaching staff, and players themselves. Who will the ultimate owner of this franchise be? Will the franchise even remain in Querétaro?

Both great questions, aren’t they? Until now, we know of no ownership group that has a leg up on anyone. During the summer, it was rumored that Nox Movil and a couple others were in prime position to make a move. However, all of those were shut down at the end of May, when it was announced the sale deadline was being extended indefinitely. This was decided to avoid cheapening the asking price due to the pressure of selling quickly and meeting said deadline. Originally, Grupo Caliente had the rest of 2022 to place the franchise.

Now, Mauro Gerk was endorsed yesterday by his front office to continue to lead his Gallos for the upcoming season. And I don’t disagree. I think the last person to blame has to be Gerk. He did a splendid job with the group of players he was handed, putting them in a position to win on multiple occasions and playing with a goal-seeking attitude, never playing to just defend at all costs and throw two receding, immovable lines of four in front of the keeper. But one has to ask what would be of Gerk if the franchise does change ownership before the new year? Still a mystery to all.

Next topic: new players. Gerk mentioned in his postgame presser in Toluca that he and the front office have already been working on the “new team diagram” for the past few weeks. In other words, they have an idea of who they’d like to go after to make this team more competitive. My question for Gerk and Grupo Caliente is, why would they want to spend now if they clearly had no intention of spending over the summer? Anyone could smell this type of season coming from a mile away since before the season began. If they’re still selling, why would they invest now? It makes no sense.

But on that note, every single line needs about three or four new and better players. Other than Aguerre, who is rumored won’t stick around because of a disagreement with Gerk, you need new keepers. You need practically all new defenders with the exception of youngster Rafael Fernández, Balanta, and Rojas, possibly. In the midfield, you can keep youngster Rodrigo López who showed promising stuff, Kevin Escamilla, and possibly Clifford Aboagye, and that’s it. Up front, other than Pablo Barrera and possibly Ariel Nahuelpán, everyone else has to go. This is a team rotten to its core and simply not good enough in any way. NOT EVEN CLOSE. You need a major overhaul if you truly wish to compete in a dignifying fashion, because this past season wasn’t even that.

In the end, the first step is to define what will happen with ownership. Will Grupo Caliente stick around until next summer or will the franchise be sold before that? Once that question is answered, the rest will quickly follow and fall in order, depending on how serious new ownership are about investing in this team and trying to lift it from the burning ashes it currently finds itself in.