Gerardo Martino became the manager of the Mexico national team in January 2019.
The Mexico FA has tasked him to break the team’s knockout jinx at the FIFA World Cup. Nicknamed El Tri, Mexico reached the pre-quarterfinals of every edition since the 1994 World Cup but failed to make it to the semifinals.
Fondly called ‘Tata’ Martino, the Argentinian has focused on making Mexico play attractive football with quick passes and aggressive forward play down the flanks. Under his regime, wingers such as Alexis Vega, Hirving Lozano, Uriel Antuna and Roberto Alvarado set the core of the team.
Martino had made a promising start to his stint with Mexico, guiding the side to a CONCACAF Gold Cup triumph in 2019. Under his tutelage, it also defeated the Netherlands in a friendly.
But the experienced manager, who managed star-studded teams like Barcelona and Argentina, has found himself in a tricky situation after initial success. As the Qatar World Cup nears, the momentum faded. It lost three matches in a row against the USA at the Gold Cup and the CONCACAF Nations League Final.
His 4-3-3 system has been widely criticised in Mexico. So much so that he called a press conference and declared himself the country’s biggest ‘enemy’.
The main problem is his team’s inability to move together. And that made the bunch inconsistent. Slotted in Group C along with Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Poland, Martino’s Mexico might face it tough to quell the fans’ anger at home and in Qatar, where 40,000 fans will cheer for the South American side.