Guadalajara appoints Ricardo La Volpe as upheaval continues

Former Mexico manager Ricardo La Volpe is the latest man thrust into the Chivas firing line.

Clasos/CON/LatinContent/Getty Images

Former Mexico manager Ricardo La Volpe holds no illusions about the task ahead of him in Guadalajara over the next few weeks.

La Volpe assumed the poisoned managerial post on Wednesday in the wake of Chivas’ humiliating 4-0 home defeat to Club América on Sunday. The setback prompted decisive action to remove José Luis Real and snatch La Volpe away from his television commitments for the latter stages of the Clausura.

It proves yet another course correction for a club purportedly in favor of long-term planning and realistically prone to substantial changes at the first sign of adversity. La Volpe’s appointment constitutes yet another instance of controversy and upheaval for a club rife with it over the past few years. It also perpetuates a troubling trend: La Volpe is the seventh permanent manager installed since October 2011.

The well-traveled manager, 62, accepted the job with full knowledge of the task at hand. He briefly coached in Guadalajara some 25 years ago in the early stages of his managerial career. His recent stops – including a modest period in charge of Costa Rica and an underwhelming third spell at Atlante – and the unrelenting procession of managers at Estadio Omnilife underscore the volatility of his current position.


“I have to assume the risks,” La Volpe said during his introductory press conference, according to Chivas’ official website. “One is created with the ability to assume this responsibility and give joy back to the fans. I think it goes without saying that, for my part, I am 100 percent committed. I have a responsibility to the club. I’m asking support to implement my plans for the future and for a job where I can lay out my complete ideas.”

La Volpe can discuss the future all he wants, but his current brief is limited in scope. Chivas currently sits in a tie for the eighth and final playoff place, ruled out of the Liguilla only on goal difference at this point. The remaining fixture list – at Puebla this weekend, followed by a home date with Morelia, a visit to Pumas UNAM and a season-ending affair against Monterrey – looks manageable enough to garner the necessary results and secure Chivas’ first postseason berth since the 2012 Apertura.

Anything short of a top-eight finish leaves La Volpe in danger of a swift exit. He must navigate through the thicket with only a scant amount of time to revive a moribund attack (nine goals in 13 matches) and without the injured Rafael Márquez Lugo (ruled out for three months with a left knee injury) to bolster the efforts.

 “Today, it’s about the support of the players toward me for my work,” La Volpe said. “The future will allow me to bring many more ideas technically, but, at this time, we are on the fly. We will go [to Puebla] to get great results.”

La Volpe is well aware of the consequences if those results fail to materialize. Anything less than resounding success will place his job in jeopardy and spur Chivas to continue its churn through available coaches in the summer.