The wait for Cruz Azul is over. 10 days after letting go of head coach Raúl ‘Potro’ Gutiérrez due to the club’s horrific start to the season (0W, 1D, 4L), the search for a replacement has come to an end. And considering the way things were going less than two weeks ago, it’s impossible not to be hyped if you’re an azul fan.
First off, interim head coach Joaquín Moreno took control of this chaotic locker room and calmed the waters, winning both of his matches in charge, including last night’s game in hand against Atlas. That tied Cruz Azul with Necaxa (12th) at 7 points for that last repechaje spot. On top of that, Ricardo Ferretti was introduced as new head coach along with his staff earlier today, including ‘Memo’ Vázquez, ex-Cruz Azul head coach himself who returns 10 years after that great run which unfortunately couldn’t be topped off with a title. Moreno is also staying on as part of the staff.
At the same time, Óscar ‘Conejo’ Pérez, legendary Cruz Azul keeper, has been promoted to club Sporting Director. He will work alongside Ferretti in their search for the franchise’s 10th title and beyond.
Ferretti, 69, is set to begin his 10th coaching process (7th club overall) and arrives to the club in what appears to be a great mood. And how can he not? He said it himself; he’s now head coach of one of the four bigs in Liga MX. But, in all honesty, what could be better if you’re Cruz Azul? After such an illustrious career with so many games and titles won, and to still see him with this hunger for victory is flat out special. Hard to get a tougher competitor to lead a group of guys than Ferretti.
I don’t think they could’ve chosen a better candidate. It’s exactly what Cruz Azul needed; a tough coach who will restore order in this alleged chaotic locker room and hopefully get them back to their winning ways, and the league has missed them as contenders. Now, one has to be objective and understand this isn’t an elite squad like they once were in the past. While they still retain some level of talent, it’ll take lots of work and possibly a couple transfer windows to really get them back to the place they want to be. But there’s no question the potential is there and they’ve proven it by putting together some great teams in recent years.
Since their title run back in May 2021, things haven’t exactly been peachy for La Máquina. In the three seasons since, they haven’t finished better than 7th in the league table, losing twice in the quarterfinals and once in the repechaje. Disappointing for a club of this stature to say the least.
And I don’t think Tuca would take the job just to pull another FC Juárez stunt. He wants more titles, should help this team compete this season, and should also be expecting important reinforcements at season’s end to legitimately take a shot at a title come next season.
Whether Ferretti can help bring more titles to this prestigious franchise remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure; if it’s order, tactical intelligence, experience, and someone who knows what it takes to win it all, they’ve found the right guy. You can officially add Cruz Azul to your list of teams to watch for the season and expect them to host a repechaje match come playoff time.