There are plenty of reasons to fret over Carlos Vela’s maddening decision to stay away from El Tri once again.
The forward is in the form of his life, fits a need for a flexible shadow striker to play alongside Chicharito, and just makes Mexico a better team.
And after this latest mess – in which the FMF tried its best to get Vela back and he still refused – may just mean the end of Vela’s chances of being in Brazil next year.
But don’t pull your hair out just yet, El Tri fans. Here are some reasons not to worry about this crazy Vela situation:
There’s no immediate urgency to get Vela in.
From El Tri’s point of view, Mexico certainly doesn’t need Carlos Vela for the opening round match up with Jamaica in the Hexagonal. There’s another round of games coming up in March where Vela’s inclusion would be more useful – El Tri plays at Honduras and home to the U.S. in March – and inclusion for that series makes perfect sense.
If Vela is called in for the March matches and accepts, this whole incident will be over with and forgotten.
There are others perfectly capable of playing those spots.
In the meantime, there are other players in the system who can hold their own just fine in the spots Vela might occupy. It would be great to see an in-form Vela alongside Chicharito up top, but it’s entirely possible that Chepo de la Torre would continue to prefer the size of Aldo Di Nigris or shifty goal getting of Oribe Peralta at that forward spot.
If Vela drops into a wing position, he’s going to necessarily occupy the place of Javier Aquino, Gio Dos Santos or Marco Fabian, all players that bring equally dangerous attacking skills to the table.
Finally, Club America forward and Olympic hero Raul Jimenez has been called into the full team for a well deserved chance, but may have lost his place for the qualifiers had Vela been on board (he could still be dropped). Jimenez’s stock has risen like a rocket at the onset of the Clausura 2013, and given the chance he could develop into a viable alternative for Vela by summer 2014.
This may not be the end of the story.
For all the fretting, there has been some indication from both sides that this is hardly the end of the line for Vela.
Chepo de la Torre has already said that Vela’s personal reasons are valid ones, as hard as that may be to fathom without more information. Vela himself held a press conference to tell worried Mexicans that he still loves his country. That should mean that he still wants to play for it, too, eventually.
So at least there’s no open posturing going on here that could lead to problems down the line.
Good news could be on the way.
Vela’s personal reasons are the X-factor here. There’s little sense in speculating about what might be going in his personal life, but could those reasons actually be professional?
There are only a few days left in the transfer window in Europe. Could a big club in need of a striking fix be after the red hot Mexican?
If so, it still wouldn’t be a good reason to miss a FIFA match date. But it would, at least, satisfy the crowd calling for Vela’s head. Until, that is, the next call-up list without him comes out.
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