Club America searches for answers under Mohamed
Two scenes from Club America's most recent movie on the field seem to shed some light on what's happening with the most popular, and also most unpopular, team in Mexico.
First, Antonio Mohamed's eyes expressed something beyond frustration on Friday night at Estadio Caliente in Tijuana. Second, the image of Miguel Layun on the bench when the match was still missing its most important part: a defining moment.
There was something more worrisome than defeat in Week 2 on the Tijuana Xolos' always complicated field. The confusion overload within the team weighed on Mohamed more than anything else.
The "strange" coaching change, a switch in soccer styles and personalities, may have brought about ideological chaos at Club America. The team is not sure whether to lend continuity to Miguel Herrera's philosophy or break away from it all at once to make way for the teachings of Mohamed.
To a certain extent the situation seems normal because of the transition and also atypical since it complies with a change that was not due to poor results or a crisis. Club America is searching for answers during one of the best periods in team history.
Mohamed is busy with his goal of having the team understand his soccer concepts and at the same time trying to erase the features deeply ingrained by Herrera, which led to success over the past few months. To better explain it: Mohamed is attempting to cure a patient who is not sick. Inside this transition and confusion, Club America looks to survive.
Another clear example of what could be happening at Club America occurred in the 70th minute of the game in Tijuana, when the most visible and distinctive face from the Herrera era, Layun, downhearted and frustrated, lay back on the bench while Luis Angel Mendoza took his place on the field and Club America went from its traditional five-man line to playing with four at the back. Mohamed was seeking his own conditions and game alternatives.
Ricardo Pelaez said goodbye on Tuesday to staff members at Coapa's soccer fields while Club America announced its new policy for player and coach interviews and Rubens Sambueza acknowledged that the head coach told him that if he continues to have too many brushes with referees that he will be worthy of a fine.
Things are changing at Club America because, at last, Herrera is history. There isn't enough room for Mohamed's personality and the memory of Herrera. It's either one or the other. We shall see how long-lasting and far-reaching the effects of this muddled transition turn out to be.