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SOCCER

Which Mexican national team players “did what they wanted” under Tata Martino?

A source close to Tata Martino’s backroom staff has claimed there were a number of disciplinary issues in the Mexico camp.

Update:
A source close to Tata Martino’s backroom staff has claimed there were a number of disciplinary issues in the Mexico camp.
Eddy KeleleDiarioAS

More than a month after the end of Gerardo Martino’s tenure as coach of the Mexican national football team following their failure to make it past the group stage at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, rumours of what went on in the dressing room continue to abound, with indiscipline one of the most frequently talked about issues.

Which Mexico players were responsible for disciplinary issues, according to a source?

ESPN has spoken to a source with connections to Martino’s backroom staff, who revealed that there had been several disciplinary issues related to the roster’s European-based players. The (somewhat outspoken) source says that members of El Tri’s “European legion” would turn up to training camps days late, with Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano singled out for special criticism: “He doesn’t give a damn about what happens to the national team, he does his own thing. That’s why they should tell him ‘when I call you, you must come at the time I tell you to come. And if you don’t, I’ll never call you again.”

Álvaro Morales: “Bendito sea Dios, se acabó la era del ‘Tata’ Martino
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‘Tata’ Martino failed to guide Mexico out of the group stages of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. ALFREDO ESTRELLAAFP

Two or three players just did their own thing when they were with the national team. When they were called up for a game in the United States, they would first come to Mexico and then go to the United States,” the source continues. “Hiring Marcelo Bielsa as Mexican national team coach would be great, as he would instill discipline and control, and would look to freshen up the squad.”

One of the main challenges for whoever takes the job will be the goalkeeping situation: “Guillermo Ochoa wants to play in another World Cup just to say that he’s been to another one. Alfredo Talavera too. Why do they want to do that? The goalkeeper should be Carlos Acevedo of Santos, David Ochoa, from the United States (underage teams) or someone else from here.”

A source close to Gerardo Martino's backroom staff singled Hirving Lozano out for criticism.
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A source close to Gerardo Martino's backroom staff singled Hirving Lozano out for criticism.José MéndezEFE

What was Tato Martino’s record as Mexico coach?

Martino left El Tri after taking charge of 66 matches, which included 40 wins, 14 draws and 12 defeats, 116 goals scored and 55 conceded. Mexico won the 2019 Gold Cup during his time in charge but failed to qualify for the round of 16 of a World Cup for the first time since 1978.

Who is in the running to be the new Mexico coach?

There is a long list of candidates in the running to succeed Martino. The Mexican Football Federation’s priority is to appoint a Mexican coach, with Guillermo Almada, Apertura 2022 champion with Pachuca, and Toluca coach Ignacio Ambriz thought to be the favoured options. Veteran Miguel Herrera, formerly of Tigres, is also in contention, while media reports have also linked Argentinian duo Bielsa and Marcelo Gallardo with the post.

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