The Apertura 2017 tournament hasn’t been an ideal one for Club Tijuana, currently in 11th place with 18 points.
The team is in a rebuilding process after having lost former manager Miguel Herrera and players like Aviles Hurtado and Guido Rodriguez.
The man set to lead that project was Eduardo Coudet, who had never managed in the highly competitive Liga MX. The Argentine manager was given all the resources to build a team that he thought would succeed, but ultimately failed. Very talented players like Gustavo Bou, Damian Musto, Alejandro Donatti, Juan Iturbe, and Miller Bolaños were brought in to fill the void of players like Aviles Hurtado, Guido Rodriguez, Milton Caraglio, and Paul Arriola. Coudet struggled to find the right combination of players and the right formation to get the favorable results.
Club Tijuana started off the Apertura by losing its first three games and did not score a goal until its fourth game. By then, there were already rumors and people saying that the Argentine boss did not have much time left in the border city. Things changed in Tijuana’s fifth game as Coudet switched to a 5-3-2 formation and then the Xolos went on to win four straight games.
The team has not been the same since that winning streak as the Xoloitzcuintles have now only won one of their last seven games.
There were worrying signs all season that the team wasn’t stable, like players struggling to finish scoring opportunities, a lack of structure at times, and severe disciplinary issues. The disciplinary issues were the most notable problems that directly reflected on Coudet, as Damian Musto has now publicly gotten into altercations with teammates twice throughout the season.
“Chacho” was the eighth manager to be relieved of his duties this season in the Liga MX. With some teams finding success under new managers, now the question is if the Xolos waited too long to part ways with Coudet. The Liga MX is a league where long-term projects are a holy grail and managers and players move fast if they fail to find immediate success. A prime example of a team that completely turned things around this season under a new manager is the team the Xolos will host this Friday, Leon.
Los Esmeraldas fired their manager, Javier Torrente, after a 2-1 loss against Santos Laguna in week 7 of the competition. Gustavo Diaz took over and the team has only lost one game since, currently fourth in the Liga MX with 26 points and a foot in the playoffs. Santos Laguna is another team that has improved massively since the departure of manager Jose Manuel de la Torre. The Mexican manager was dismissed after only accumulating eight points from nine games. Since then, the new manager, Robert Siboldi, has managed to get eight points from just seven games and still has a shot at making the playoffs. One of the weakest teams in the Liga MX, Puebla has also made a drastic change for the better since firing its manager, Rafael Garcia. La Franja hired experienced manager Enrique Meza and the team has two wins, a draw, and a loss under him, including a 2-0 win against league-leaders Monterrey.
Eduardo Coudet should have been given the opportunity to finish off the Apertura 2017 tournament with just two games left. However, if the team was going to part ways with the Argentine at this point of the season, maybe it should have been done several weeks ago.