On Friday night, Monterrey walked away from the Estadio Caliente with an impressive and commanding 3-0 away win over Xolos.
Los Rayados sat back for most of the match, allowing Xolos to slowly build-up a number of plays which rarely led to a shot on target. Once Monterrey stole possession, the away side quickly made threatening runs into open space left by Tijuana’s high pressuring.
In the end, Xolos had more time with the ball but were never as efficient or explosive as Los Rayados. The home team lacked chemistry, and it showed with the one-sided result which could have easily been 4-0.
Once the final whistle blew, boos rained down from the Tijuana crowd that was hungry for at least one point or goal during the regular season. It’s early days in the 2017 Apertura, but criticism and doubts of the revamped team are significantly starting to show — especially for manager Eduardo “Chacho” Coudet.
Here are three Xolos talking points from Friday night’s loss.
1. Pressure is beginning to increase for Coudet
It’s clear that Tijuana has yet to find the cohesion needed to earn positive results. There’s not only a new roster, but also a new manager who has never coached in Liga MX beforehand.
That said, plenty of fingers are being pointed at Coudet after Xolos’ poor start to the season. Once the match ended, it was quite obvious that many in attendance were not happy with the Argentine who recently arrived over the summer.
Coudet justifiably needs more time to adapt, and so does his roster to his style, but that also doesn’t mean that he can avoid the criticism which is quickly beginning to build after three league losses in a row.
In a league as fickle and as impatient as Mexico’s first division, Coudet must start earning points as soon as possible. If not, calls for his firing will only grow stronger.
2. New signings have yet to make a true impact
“The team is not developing the way we want it to,” said Coudet after the loss. “We need to work to put a team on the field that reflects what we really are.”
It’s a fair assessment from the manager, and when we take a step back and thoroughly look over the past few games, much of the blame must also be given to Xolos’ starting players. Specifically, there should be questions regarding a few intriguing and promising newcomers such as Gustavo Bou, Damian Musto and Matias Aguirregaray.
All three were fairly poor for Tijuana and at times were far too quiet. Like Coudet, these names must be given more time to adjust, but it’s also fair to critique the names who were supposed to help compensate for the departures of Guido Rodriguez and Aviles Hurtado.
3. Time to ditch the 4-4-2?
There are plenty of variables to consider that are likely not helping, but the 4-4-2 isn’t working for Xolos. Although there’s some promise with the high-pressing backline of four players, the same can’t be said for the midfield or attack.
The problem here is that the two strikers are currently doing the work of just one player. Henry Martin was largely absent today and backup Juan Martin Lucero wasn’t any better. Looking forward, what could benefit Xolos is dropping the second striker and adding another player into the midfield.
Whether it be a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3, Tijuana should be able to see some significant improvements in playmaking and/or a control of counters with another player presence behind the frontline. At this point, Coudet might as well give it a try after constantly faltering with his 4-4-2 diamond formation.
Post-game quotes — Paul Arriola
— Cesar Hernandez (@cesarhfutbol) August 5, 2017
Tijuana’s best player against Monterrey — Ignacio Malcorra
Problems aside, Xolos might have something special there with Arriola on the right wing and Malcorra on the left wing. Both had moments of magic throughout the match, but it was Malcorra who was unlucky to not finish with an assist.
Another decent performance from a player who might need to help carry Xolos to their first win of the tournament.