Youth vs Senior: Flawed comparisons

Herrera has made several major decisions over the past few weeks in hopes to change the path of El Tri (Getty)


Ever since the U17 defeated Italy, the media has been having a field day with comparing the youth to the senior sides. The cartoons flooded social media with jokes about the youth success and the recent slump by the senior side. While it is true that the senior side could take a note or two from the passion of the youngsters, the comparisons, however, are significantly flawed.

As of now, the senior side has reached a major low, and in one week will play New Zealand for a World Cup ticket. But the slump didn’t happen overnight. The senior side had been suffering since the start of the year. Lower tier opposition in the third round of qualification masked this aspect and it was exposed ever since the Jamaica game in Azteca. However, the comparisons are not needed between the teams. The senior side is going to a transition as we speak. The struggles are coming from a result of a shifting of generations, which can hurt any national team.

The U17 deserves all the credit they have accumulated. Their major turn around since the first loss to Nigeria is astounding. Yet, when you look at the senior side, it isn’t black and white. When you have a federation that fails to make changes and then makes changes too rapidly, you get a fiasco. The failure to incorporate several younger players has been felt throughout the Chepo reign, which is where this all began. You can see it with the inclusion of Carlos Peña. He had a few opportunities, but he was cut short anytime he made a mistake which was a result of a growing pain. Now, he has caught a rhythm and has won over the heart of the fans. This too can be seen with Hector Herrera. A guy with a ton of talent who was thrown into games, while Mexico was losing, and expected to be a difference maker.

Now that Piojo has taken over, his controversial decisions have some fans scratching their heads. But if you look closely, he may be preparing Mexico for future success. He has made call-ups of very young, un-tested players, while mixing in a few veterans who are in form. He is experimenting and at the same time adding depth to Mexico, in hopes that it qualifies for Brazil 2014. Moreover, now that Winston Reid (New Zealand’s Captain) will be missing the playoff against Mexico, that hope looks to be even more validated.

When Mexico fixes its slump, the comparisons will be gone. No one was comparing the 2011 senior side to the 2011 U17, simply because there was no need. So comparing the teams now, while one is going through a generation shift and the other is part of a strategic structure…is flawed.


3 thoughts on “Youth vs Senior: Flawed comparisons”

  1. I think Mexico just needs to find there right game. Brazil has speed and talent, Germany has strength, and Spain has the tikitaka system. Mexico has no real tactic and part of that is the fact that they change managers to quickly. What El Piojo is doing might be the right thing, incorporating the youth with veteran players, but come on! Nine America players!?! I feel that Luis Tena is the only answer to this mess. I just hope someone makes changes to the system before it collapses.

  2. Its a big different level of competition between the youngsters and the seniors sides so no one can compare them. What Mexico has to do is work with the young players and make them grow as footballers give them a chance to play with there clubs. The senior team first need to find out what type of game they play and stick to it. Bring in coaches that fit there style of playing and players that have those caracteristics.

  3. The reason why piojo called 9 players is because he has a system in place and the players are familiar with the system and have built chemistry something the team wouldn’t be able to do with 10 different Europe based players or just random players from different teams in 2 days. I am a chivas fan and HATE America but this move is correct and should have been made since the Ivory Coast friendly. Mexico has always had a good tactic in place, keep the ball and attack in different ways. except with chepo they kept the ball and failed to create chances. And you can’t compare Mexico senior and youth sides at all it’s completely different.

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