Dutch legend Johan Cruyff believes Club Deportivo Guadalajara´s preseason in Spain is proving an excellent opportunity to drill new ideas into players ahead of the start of the new season, but says the full transformation process will take much longer.
“It´s not like turning on a light-switch,” Cruyff told the club´s official website in an extensive interview. “Some players will adapt quicker than others.”
Cruyff joined Chivas as an advisor in a shock announcement back in February promising to work to turn the club around after a poor last season in which it performed dismally in both the league and Copa Libertadores.
He has since brought in fellow Dutchman John Van´t Schip to coach the team, while Cruyff has been overseeing the restructuring of the club – along similar lines to that of Ajax and Barcelona.
One of the major changes has been bringing in experienced heads in the Mexican draft, with 31-year-old midfielder Luis Perez joining the team from Monterrey and 30-year-old striker Rafael Marquez Lugo signing from Morelia. Many Chivas fans had campaigned to get the club to renege on its recent policy of only promoting players from the club´s youth system, something Cruyff has managed to overturn.
“If you have a lot of young players, you have to sign older players to achieve balance and tranquility,” justified 65-year-old Cruyff.
With the team over in Spain, where Cruyff usually resides, he has been attending training sessions and talking to the press about the changes happening at Chivas.
Cruyff partially explained his soccer philosophy of getting the team working as a unit and reducing mistakes to a minimum in all areas.
“Football is a game of errors,” he said. “The best in the world make mistakes; getting better is making fewer and fewer mistakes.”
Cruyff also had a message for Chivas´ fans, who have seen the club win the league title just three times since 1970; a poor showing for Mexico´s most popular club. With tumbling attendances for home games over the last few years, Cruyff promised that the team would give maximum effort, but tempered expectations with a dose of reality.
Explained Cruyff: “The team will give everything, it can´t give more than 100 percent. Logically some games you will lose. I don´t know of any league in which teams don´t lose any games.”
He continued: “Chivas is a source of pride for Mexico and we hope that all Mexicans, one day, will be proud of Chivas.”
Chivas will remain in Spain preparing for the upcoming Mexican season until June 24. The club´s first game of the Apertura 2012 is on July 22 against Toluca.
By Tom Marshall (@MexicoWorldCup)
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