MONTERREY, Mexico — Mexico’s interim head coach Ricardo Ferretti dispelled suggestions that players haven’t been called up to El Tri‘s squad for any reason other than the coach wanting to bring along a younger generation of players.
ESPN’s Herculez Gomez reported that players were left out in the cold for speaking out about the lack of a collective bargaining agreement, while a Univision report suggested there was a divide between the Mexican federation (FMF) and players such as Javier Hernandez, Miguel Layun, Andres Guardado and Hector Moreno, none of whom are in the current squad.
But Ferretti denied the allegations, while Layun and an FMF source also rejected the notion that there are problems.
“I’ve taken the decision to not call them, it’s my right, I take responsibility for the list, but in the future it doesn’t mean that they won’t be here,” Ferretti said in a news conference on the eve of El Tri‘s game on Thursday against Costa Rica. “All Mexican players can be called up … but I think we have to look at new ingredients. It’s very clear, we have to see elements for the 2022 and 2026 World Cups.”
The Tigres manager stressed that some of the older players wouldn’t make Qatar 2022 and that the incoming permanent manager, who is unlikely to be announced until after November games in Argentina, probably will call up the same group of youngsters who are in this current squad.
“These players are demanding to be here and it’ll be difficult for the incoming coach not to give them a chance,” Ferretti said. “I’m sure that 70 or 80 percent of these youngsters will be at the World Cup [in 2022].”
As the search for the new permanent coach of the national team continues, and all signs point to a foreign manager being named, Ferretti hinted that perhaps the quality of head coach in the Mexican game isn’t as good as it once was.
“In Mexico we’ve had good coaches: Manuel Lapuente, Miguel Mejia Baron, Ricardo La Volpe, Victor Manuel Vucetich, Enrique Meza,” he said. “I consider them to be great coaches that made their way to the national team, but right now maybe we don’t have such representative names as those.”
Eintracht Frankfurt forward Marco Fabian is the second-oldest player in the young squad, at 29, and believes the nationality of the incoming coach isn’t important.
“Whoever it is, even if they aren’t in Mexican football, they should know it, they have to soak in everything there is about Mexican football,” Fabian said. “I don’t believe that they’re coming into the unknown, and for me the nationality is unimportant. We go back to the start. They have to come in with an idea to transmit to the players, have a good connection and obviously think about succeeding with Mexico.”
Whether Fabian starts or not against Los Ticos will be Ferretti’s decision, but the coach said that if Mexico’s seven Europe-based players do play in Monterrey then they would be free to leave ahead of El Tri‘s game next Tuesday against Chile.
Mexico comes into this game, inside Ferretti’s home stadium, having lost its last four matches, and Estadio Universitario is unlikely to be full for the friendly.