Liga MX Talking Points: Which team has been the biggest surprise so far?
Last week, we asked our Liga MX bloggers Tom Marshall, Nayib Moran and Cesar Hernandez what they believe to be Chivas' biggest problem. Ahead of Week 5 Apertura action, we find out which team has been the biggest surprise of the season so far.
Four weeks into the 2016 Apertura and Cruz Azul's directors have already felt the need to give head coach Tomas Boy the dreaded vote of confidence. It comes off the back of a winless start to the season in which the team has earned three points and scored just twice.
After a summer transfer spree that brought in big names like Chilean international duo Francisco Silva and Enzo Roco, Adrian Aldrete, Jonatan Cristaldo and Julian Velazquez, many were expecting much more from La Maquina (myself included!).
Looking at the situation with a positive slant, Cruz Azul was slightly unlucky against Pumas and, aside from last week's defeat to Club Tijuana and the general form of Joffre Guerron, hasn't looked that bad.
But this is a club that's in desperate need of positive news stories right now. The verb "cruzazulear" has been coined to mean turning even the best of situations into losses and is becoming an albatross around the club's neck. Then, there is the ongoing situation with the Estadio Azul, which looks set to be demolished in order to make way for apartments.
There is still plenty of time for La Maquina to turn the Apertura around and there is no shortage of quality. But Boy will almost certainly not last if results don't improve over coming weeks. The bottom line is that this squad should be right near the top of the Liga MX table and it currently sits in 13th place.
-- Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup)
Victor Manuel Vucetich is entering his third complete season as Queretaro manager after taking charge of the club in February 2015.
Vucetich's team has failed to make a single appearance since reaching the 2015 Clausura final just months into his coaching tenure (where it lost to Santos Laguna), but Los Gallos Blancos have respected the process and believed in his project, as the manager told ESPN FC back in May, and it's paying off.
This past offseason, Queretaro gave Vucetich the budget to consolidate his team, which he did by signing Santos Laguna forward Andres Renteria and Monterrey midfielder Neri Cardozo.
Queretaro has started the new season with two wins and two draws, and the key player has been Cardozo, who is thriving in his role as a prime protagonist, something that he did not have at his former club. He's enjoying his time with his new team, and Queretaro's great start attests to it.
Striker Emmanuel Villa's goals have also been important -- he has scored three times in the 2016 Apertura -- but if Queretaro wants to continue on this ascending path, it will need the likes of forwards Patricio Rubio and Camilo Sanvezzo to start scoring as well. Against Cruz Azul on Saturday, Rubio and Sanvezzo could get their first goals of the Apertura.
-- Nayib Moran (@nayibmoran)
It was easy to assume that Xolos would make some progress from its 14th-place finish in the 2016 Clausura, but few would have guessed that the team would sit atop the league table after Week 4. Tijuana has scored 10 goals -- more than any other Liga MX side -- en route to nine points in four matches. Miguel "Piojo" Herrera's men have simply looked superb during the first stages of the Apertura.
Newcomers Aviles Hurtado and Guido Rodriguez have quickly assimilated to their new team, and Herrera's willingness to embrace a four-man back line as opposed to his traditional five-player defense has also helped to kick start a Tijuana attack that was dismal and predictable last season. With another option up top in Xolos' 4-3-3 formation, Herrera's roster has been able to thrive with exciting movement from starters Dayro Moreno and Hurtado.
That said, Tijuana might eventually run into some trouble defensively. There were some worrisome moments during the 3-2 loss to Puebla in Week 2. Herrera has tinkered with different options in defense but Mexico international Yasser Corona, who was brought in ahead of the Apertura to solve some of these problems, has so far looked the most disappointing of Xolos' summer additions.
-- Cesar Hernandez (@cesarhfutbol)
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