LOS ANGELES - Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges once wrote: "Let each one build their own cathedral. Why live from alien and ancient works of art?"
Chivas owner Jorge Vergara deserves a round of applause for trying. For always trying with Guadalajara. But Vergara deserves rebukes and reprimands because he is a voracious parasite of his own works.
It is difficult to ascertain whether Vergara enjoys raising up projects from ruins, or if he conceives and is excited by the ruins that will allow him to build projects. Create to destroy or destroy to create? Vergara's symbiosis with Chivas is such.
His talent for creating and begetting paradises is as evident as his knack in destroying them. And another crisis looms, another crossroads. After being taken in by complicity of opponents' goalkeepers, with innocent kicks from Fernando Arce, Chivas believed that after two match-days, with four out of six possible points, they had ascended to the exit from relegation fears.
Illusions are the cruelest act of self-torture. Self-deceit makes death throes yet more painful. And Chivas now has nine goals chalked up against it in three games: a friendly match against Milan; a league game against Pachuca, and a cup game against its affiliate, Coras de Tepic.
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The defeats are served in bitter fasion -- a Milan in crisis, and a Pachuca in crisis. And, worst of all, Coras is the son of Chivas' crisis. That is, the 3-1 of the so-so Copa MX is a rout from crisis to crisis. Days before, club COO Rafael Puente said that Chivas' environment was to blame for its instability, and refused to dress the team in the jail suit of crisis.
He added, in statements to Mural.com, that he alone accepts the blame for what happens to Chivas, and casts himself into the pit of needless sacrifices, where lost souls swarm, trying to rescue Vergara.
Obviously a culprit of the disappointment and chaos of Chivas, Vergara made an irate and indulgent proclamation: "I can't go down and score the goals they miss, nor get back the balls they lose, nor execute well the passes that they make poorly."
The accusations of the owner of Chivas are clear, and the targets are his players. And that is quite true, although obviously he approved those who chose the coaches, the reinforcements and the players that stay. However, it's also clear that the little multimillionaire men that wander around on the field have stopped doing their work, and have betrayed their commitment and enjoyment of life.
Here are six questions that beg for answers:
1. Who can bring back the goals to one Aldo de Nigris, with 25 games and only four goals?
2. Who can recover Omar Bravo, who came back to life on the loathsome Atlas, and who refuses to return to Chivas?
3. Who can turn back time for a Carlos Salcido who can no longer anticipate, recover and steal like he once could?
4. Who can help Ángel Reyna emerge as the fantastic player that he has shown himself capable of being, but, here's the catch, only when he wants too, and generally he doesn't want to that much?
5. And the gallant, exemplary and commendable Jorge 'Chatón' Enríquez, Olympic hero, gold medalist, who even played the final through the pain of a torn meniscus -- on what dead-end street of failures and repeated lacks of discipline did he go astray?
6. And what of Carlos Fierro and Giovanni Hernández, who have resigned themselves in earlier tournaments to be cannon fodder and have given in, confused and abandoned, to the consolation that saving Chivas from relegation is others' responsibility?
The gallows is large and insatiable. It is a hyena that devours all that file by with the sulfurous stench of guilt. And Puente, sporting director Paco Palencia and head coach Carlos Bustos can of course be handed over to this voracious beast as bait. As authorities, as head of projects, as the fragile and obligatory shield of the players, they appear as the bumbling fools of this horror film in which Chivas generates cackles that accompany its ridicule.
Right now, Santos in Liga MX and Zacatepec in the Copa MX are licking their chops in anticipation of Chivas.
Does Vergara want solutions? He should get involved with them. The Omnilife can prosper with, without, and despite him. It is clear that Puente and Bustos, and a Palencia almost at the border of separation, cannot shepherd a flock that reeks of the second-tier division. Because failure to act and decide, which is the easiest and most treacherous way to decide, means the responsibility falls to one and all.
Where is that promise of "training twice a day if necessary," or "we will come alongside the players so that they regain confidence," or the "we are going to lay down the law because the players are the ones setting foot on the field." There is neglect from the management and the coach. In soccer miracles do not come about with candles nor in the church, but rather on the field with extreme discipline.
Broken oaths. From all sides. From those who edited the manual of salvation, that today fail to follow through on it, and those that should have implemented it and put it into practice. But the problem with Vergara is the same: is his obsession building to destroy or destroying to rebuild?
That is why, invoking Borges' manifesto, the cathedral of Vergara, when it comes to soccer, will always strictly be between new ruins and old projects.