Bustos the new Chivas coach, but Vucetich looms large
GUADALAJARA -- It is tempting to say we've heard it all before, even if it would be unfair on incoming Chivas coach Carlos Bustos.
The 48-year-old Argentine coach was presented as Ricardo La Volpe's replacement on Monday in Guadalajara and immediately stated his desire to bring attacking soccer and a winning team back to a Chivas institution that will start the Apertura 2014 with the ignominy of relegation hanging over it.
Bustos also wants to take the team to the upper echelons of the Liga MX and get Chivas fighting for titles once again, while moving away from the drop zone.
But the flowery words and Bustos' straightforward demeanor were overshadowed by him admitting that his contract is for just one year and that he is captive to the results on the field.
It wasn't exactly a vote of confidence from the triumvirate of sporting president Juan Manuel Herrero, sporting director Francisco "Paco" Palencia and new operations director Rafael Puente, who unanimously decided on Bustos.
Five candidates were interviewed, said Herrera, but the Argentine was the "ideal person" to coach the club's first team.
Bustos has less than 40 games as a manager in Mexico's first division, and although he lifted the Copa MX in his time with Morelia and got the team playing attractive offensive soccer, the lack of experience is worrying for Chivas. Plus, at Monarcas, he had the likes of Jefferson Montero, Aldo Leao and Joao Rojas -- three forward players set to be at the World Cup this summer.
The Guadalajara club has an ongoing conflict with a section of its fan-base (see the team's Facebook page) and is a whole different world to Morelia or Bustos' other previous employer, Neza.
For Bustos -- who said managing Chivas is "his greatest challenge" -- it is clearly a risk worth taking, considering he is still a coach forging his reputation in Mexico and, if he fails, he wouldn't be the first.
But the elephant in the room at the unveiling at Chivas' Verde Valle training complex was Victor Manuel Vucetich, the most successful manager in the modern era of Mexican football.
Vucetich had said he would like the Chivas job under the right circumstances, which were widely assumed to be a large salary, guarantees of major investment in the playing staff and control over the logistics of the first team squad.
Just before Bustos was presented, Vucetich talked to ESPN Deportes' Jorge Ramos y Su Banda and admitted that while he was in talks with Chivas, an agreement was never reached.
"It wasn't because of money," added Vucetich, who declared himself ready to return to the game following a break since his brief stint with the Mexican national team.
"The sporting aspect is the most important to get results," he continued. "What one has to consider are the programming, order and everything that goes into good work. Then come financial considerations."
It was a not-so-subtle hint that the conditions aren't right at Chivas and there were no guarantees that things would be changed to Vucetich's liking.
"If there is no trust, it is very difficult to carry out business of this type, in which there needs to be total unity," he said.
Apparently, there is unity in the club on deciding on the likable Bustos over moving mountains for the dependable Vucetich. But it is a gamble for a club flirting with disaster in the next 12 months, especially when you consider Bustos is the club's tenth coach in three dire years.