Cruyff to Chivas de Guadalajara
Chivas de Guadalajara Owner Jorge Vergara announced today that former Ajax and Barcalona manager Johan Cruyff will join the club. El economista.mx has reported that Jorge Vergara said that Johan Cruyff “will be in charge of a restructuring of the club due to its poor performance.” Chivas recently fired coach Ignacio Ambriz after just a little over a month in charge. If Cruyff takes the helm, it will be the third time this year a new man has taken the reigns at the beleaguered Mexican giants. Chivas have yet to claim a victory in the Primera Division and the former giants of Mexico appear to have fallen on hard times.
This will not be the first time the Goats have turned to Dutch stewardship however, Leo Beenhakker and Han Westerhof (twice) have both been in charge of the Mexican club. Cruyff is the “Philosopher King” and main evangelist of “Total Football” style of play which he played a big part in developing in his playing years with Ajax under Rinus Michels. He famously led Ajax to a European Cup as coach using the style. He also is widely credited with transplanting the style in Spain at Barcelona and making changes in the famous La Mesia youth set up at the Catalan club which produced the current crop of world beaters and their tiki taka style.
Chivas is somewhat (in)famous for sticking rigorously to the club doctrine of fielding and developing only Mexican nationals, a policy that is controversial at best. Cruyff is no stranger to controversy himself and should not be bothered by any negative connotations in connection with club policy.
Cruyff is famously temperamental and demands complete control of any project he undertakes. Johan very publicly fell out with Barca President Laporta and recently walked of a similar project before it got underway at his boyhood club Ajax after another falling out with the Ajax board. It is still unknown if Cruyff will actually coach at Chivas with Yucatan.com reporting that there is “no word on whether he’ll be part of the staff or an advisor”.
The prospect of building a “Dutch Influenced” youth in Mexico is a tantalizing prospect and one cant help but wonder if coupled with Aaron Winter’s project in Toronto if North America could be the next beneficiaries of the gospel of “Total Football”. Chivas has made no official announcement on the appointment yet. Mexican media reports that the official statement from the club is expected Saturday.