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Néstor de la Torre feels Cocca is not the best coach for Mexico

De la Torre tells AS Mexico that Guillermo Almada would have been more suitable to Mexico’s style of play.

MéxicoUpdate:
Néstor de la Torre feels Cocca is not the best coach for Mexico
ADRIAN MACIASMEXSPORT

Former national team director Néstor de la Torre is fully aware the internal weaving and management issues. He spoke to AS México about what Argentinean coach Diego Cocca can expect in his new role as Mexico coach. De la Torres believes that Cocca has his work cut out - not because he lacks the capacity to do the job, but because those who elected him want to solve the lack of a clear project with a stroke of the pen and bring in a fashionable coach rather than the kind of coach Mexico really needs.

“I just don’t get the idea of just choosing a coach solely on the basis that he is flavour of the month, who may have enjoyed success but lacks a well-founded base. And what I really don’t like to see is Mexico, or the people who run the national team, continuing to turn to coaches asking them to set out a project - that’s something that has to come from the institution, from the national team itself. And I’m not just talking about the senior side, but all the other categories as well - that they have a style, a defined way of playing. It’s very easy for them to say that this coach presents a project with a system or a way of playing that is very different from previous coaches - you have to look further ahead, to how the process will develop over the next two or three years,” De la Torre argued.

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He added, “It is very easy to say that a particular coach’s system did not work, to put the blame on someone else, instead of getting to the root of the problem and resolving it. They are the ones who have the responsibility to map out the project, set up a game system and then find a coach who has the right characteristics to ensure it functions”.

De la Torres believes that the current Mexico side has limitations that could make it difficult to adapt to Cocca’s methods and style of play. “If we look at what Cocca did at Atlas, where he had success, wow! let’s see if he can do the same. [Julio] Furch and [Julián] Quiñones were the ones who contributed 50 per cent of the team’s output and there are no Mexican players with their power and speed. So Mexico won’t be able to play like Atlas. I don’t understand them (coaches), they carry out something just to say that they are the best coach at the moment, according to the figures, but they are not doing their homework,” he continued.

Is Cocca’s appointment already increasing pressure on him? It seems that not everyone wants him...

Unfortunately, yes, because he is a coach who does not have to bear that pressure. He was invited to this project and he is trying to do what they are asking of him, he is the least guilty party. He is absorbing those responsibilities that should belong to the Federation and its members, that means he will start the job already at a disadvantage.

Is it ultimately the decision of a single group and not a more generalized process?

There is division. There is Chucho Martínez, who sent us a very important message by finally not accepting to be in that commission. There is a meeting and then present us all with information in the press conference, telling is that that things will be different, but they are the ones who make the decisions. Hey, we are going to bring in an executive director, okay, to handle logistics, to make budgets... things that are not really related to the problems we have on the pitch.

I do not see a commission with historical figures to back up their authority, with enough knowledge of football that to be able to dictate what kind of system the national team should use or even team policies. I do not see people like Manolo Lapuente, like Mr. LaVolpe, people who can really help, people who have had a history in Mexican football, Raúl Arias for example; people who have had a history in Mexican football.

If you had been given a choice, who would you have chosen?

That’s not for me to say, I am not expressing my dissatisfaction for a coach, but for the lack of a project that the board of the Mexican Football Federation has to make a selection, now, who would you have chosen? I think that according to the physical, technical, mental, idiosyncratic characteristics, I think that it would have worked better for the Pachuca coach. For the same reason, I have doubts about Cocca because of what he did at Atlas recently - he was very defensive and if Mexico they play like that, they don’t have the players or characteristics to do it, from what I’ve seen of them lately.

10 February 2023, Mexico, Mexiko-Stadt: Argentine Diego Cocca speaks at a press conference where he is presented as the new coach of the Mexican national soccer team. The former defender has worked as a club coach in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. Photo: Gerardo Vieyra/dpa (Photo by Gerardo Vieyra/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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10 February 2023, Mexico, Mexiko-Stadt: Argentine Diego Cocca speaks at a press conference where he is presented as the new coach of the Mexican national soccer team. The former defender has worked as a club coach in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. Photo: Gerardo Vieyra/dpa (Photo by Gerardo Vieyra/picture alliance via Getty Images)picture allianceGetty

Is there talk that his contract is going to force him to change his style of play, do you think it’s possible?

I don’t think that’s going to happen, actually I don’t think they’ve stated it. I don’t think they’ve requested that, they can’t be so incompetent to be able to say that.

Some people says Cocca is going to start the project by introdiucing a completely different style?

Well, imagine, you have the contract, but you have to do something different than what you normally did? I will hire you, but beforehand, there must be discussions where the clauses, virtues and preferences are established. You are not hiring a coach to develop something - that would be jumping straight to step two before you have taken step one. First they have to plan the project then after that, decide who is the best person to lead it.

Why has no one presented a project which suits the chosen coach?

I don't know, you should ask them.

But that was your intention and they didn’t let you do it...

I thought that basically everything was very good in the project, but some things were not so good, because I wanted to change things too quickly.

With all this, do you think there will be a happy ending?

It is not because of the coach, but because there is no football structure, that is what I believe, be it him or someone else.

A difficult road ahead then?

Well yes, but what can we do?

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