LOS ANGELES -- The Chivas Board of Directors had reached a unanimous decision. Carlos Bustos was named new manager of Chivas over Victor Manuel Vucetich. The fundamental differences, on which this unanimous decision was based, were various, varied and illusory.
- Marshall: Bustos gets Chivas job, but Vucetich looms
1. Bustos is cheaper and far less demanding in terms of the reinforcements and auxiliary staff he requires. "Chivas has very interesting players; we just need to make them play better."
2. Bustos has promised time and time again, even guaranteed that he will save Chivas. He will get them to the playoffs, and more importantly, he will win back the fans with a display of great football and convincing victories. "In the Mexican tournament, you save yourself by making the playoffs."
3. Let's not forget about discipline. Bustos has strict control over the players through his auxiliary staff. Little play, hard work, a healthy diet, concentration and supervision. At Chivas, after the ordeal they went through with Ricardo La Volpe, they certainly don't want to see any more off-field issues.
4. Bustos has been portrayed as a hybrid, something likened to a cross between Tomas Boy and Ruben Omar Romano, who he is even closer to off the field. This likeness can be summarized as an attacking style of soccer, with a certain amount of defense and a constant demand on the players to perform.
In fact, at Toros Neza, Bustos left a clear warning of his coaching prowess, even though he did not have an opportunity to fully make use of it.
So far so good, Bustos appears to be the perfect candidate for the job, but...
1. Bustos will not be able to count on the same players as he had when coached Morelia. Players, such as Aldo Leao, Joao Rojas, Hector Mancilla and Jefferson Montero, who at that time he considered sure contenders for their respective national team World Cup squads.
2. Without any outstanding show of brilliance, nor an overwhelming level of consistent play, Bustos managed to get Morelia to the playoffs, not once but twice. Once they reached fourth place and second time round they only made it to sixth place, nevertheless it was always with at least 50 percent productivity.
His misfortune was that on both occasions he came face to face with the favorites, the title contenders. First they were eliminated by a rejuvenated Cruz Azul team, who later went on to lose to America in the final. Second time round it was Leon that crushed their dreams -- the same Leon that threaten to carry out a repeat performance this week.
3. In both the aforementioned seasons, the first standing in for Romano and the second fully under his own control, he managed to keep the team among those teams to be considered the best attacking teams in the league. Unfortunately, these were also the teams considered to have the most missed opportunities. On the other hand, despite not being among the teams that had conceded the most goals, the goal posts, their goalkeeper Federico Vilar and their defense remained unsung heroes.
4. Chivas starts the next season in a state of crisis, three points ahead of Puebla and with Leones Negros biting at the bit to move up the relegation table, shown by their dramatic results week after week. It's time to do the math; there is no margin for error.
Rumor has it that it was in fact Rafael Puente who stabbed Vucetich in the back. Such a rumor emanates from the Televisa studios and is backed by further rumors that it was in fact Puente, who brought the mighty duo of Miguel Herrera and Ricardo Pelaez to America, in order to generate their revival.
However, everyone, that's to say Bustos, Puente, Palencia, Herrera and everyone else, know, that just as it was with the previous 15 coaches and 16 managers, regardless of whether they achieved results or not, regardless of whether they went up or down, made it or didn't make it to the playoffs, they all lived in fear of the day that Chivas owner Jorge Vergara would wake up fed up of being fed up and would simply fire them.