Chepo insists Mexico is going to the World Cup

Posted by Rafael Ramos Villagrana

Don Emmert/AFP/Getty ImagesMexico's coach Jose Manuel 'Chepo' de la Torre faces the media at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, prior to a friendly clash with Ivory Coast.

HANOVER, N.J. -- Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre finally has his feet on the ground. He used forbidden and forbidding words and ideas in his chats: "obligation or commitment, call it whatever you want."

And another one: "We know Mexico must be in the World Cup, and it is going to be in the World Cup."

And a couple of phrases that escaped from the confessional, which resulted in the owners of the teams mounting an ambush on him in Justino Compean's house.

"We've made mistakes," he said. "We've made bad decisions," he explained. "Let’s go back over them and learn from the mistakes we've overlooked," he added.

Yes: Chepo was the last one to come down from the pedestal after the moments of brilliance of the national teams in 2011 and 2012.

Yes: 2013 was the landing.

And Chepo talks straight during his conversation, a calm tone backed up by that straight, almost rigid posture, with which he stared down almost 20 minutes of questions in front of about 20 reporters in Red Bull Arena in this neighborhood.


Chepo de la Torre knows how useful that meeting was for facing some of the team owners and their lists of questions.
"It was a useful talk, important observations, questions touching on all the issues, on different aspects of soccer," he asserted in a direct reference to the interrogation he endured in Justino Compean's house. He came out with support, but conditioned this upon picking up four of the six points immediately available in the next match against Honduras at Estadio Azteca, and the United States in Columbus, its traditional backyard.

The coach of El Tri even confirmed that the outcome of that talk hadn't left him feeling threatened, uncertain, pressured or worried.

"It helped us focus on the decisive moments approaching in the qualifiers,” he commented, making clear the aftermath of the inquisition or private meeting in the house of the president of the FMF. However you want to see him, there were no winners or losers, but rather "advantages for the selection's objectives."

That obligation...

That was when he set the bases of details such as, "call it obligation or commitment, call it whatever you want," to set up and emphasize the assertion that "Mexico is going to go to the World Cup, it must go to the World Cup."

That explanation stands out because Chepo had repeatedly rejected the term. "I don't like obligation. It means you have to work by force and nobody likes working when they are forced to do it," were the words of the Mexican coach during the news conference in the Kingston National Stadium in Jamaica, on the eve of the June 4 game against the Reggae Boyz.

Regarding the work group, he spoke about when the squad of players called up maintains the dream, the commitment and the responsibility of reaching the goals.

"Sometimes the results don't happen, but the players keep a very clear head from the first call-up," he explained.
As far as the presence and advantages that Chaco Gimenez has to leave in his first call-up with Mexico, Chepo firmly pointed out that "he, himself, has been clear about what he can give and what we should expect from him."

He recognized that what Chaco brings should have an impact on this Mexican team on and off the field. But in general the effort of the naturalized player from Cruz Azul should be absorbed by the collective. He shouldn't necessarily be the one who sets the standard for the group.

Chepo de la Torre indicated that he didn't call up some European players to take on the Ivory Coast this Wednesday because he doesn't want to wear them out or grind them down, since he won't have the chance to use and correctly take advantage of them.

He also confirmed that he could have Angel Reyna and Oribe Peralta ready for the friendly against Ivory Coast, while Maza Rodriguez will continue to be under observation after hurting his ankle.


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