This Thursday, May 11 it was announced that Alfonso Sosa was no longer Necaxa’s head coach heading into the 17/18 Liga MX season. The Mexican manager had done an excellent job under Los Rayos leading them to the Liga MX and to the playoffs in the Apertura 2016 competition.
In the Clausura 2017 tournament, Sosa led Necaxa to a 12th place finish with 21 points. While this does not seem too bad, Necaxa had struggled in the Clausura competition even falling into the relegation mix at one point in the season. The real problem with Alfonso Sosa and why his exit from the team is not all that bad was his failure to adjust to other tactics. The Liga MX’s best managers will adjust to certain situations and play accordingly when needed.
Alfonso Sosa would not abandon his defensive, counter-attacking style of play all season long. While these tactics worked in the Apertura 2016, teams quickly caught on to Sosa’s tactics and made Necaxa a very beatable side. Another problem was that Los Rayos’ back line was regressing with three players over 29 comprising the back four. A good indicator of how fragile the defense was, is the work the goalkeeper, Marcelo Barovero put in. The Argentine goalie led the Liga MX with 75 saves and was a key figure for Necaxa, some wins coming because of Barovero’s work. Necaxa’s strength was in its forwards with players like Edson Puch and Jesus Isijara but “El Pocho” could not make the most of his pacey, potent forwards.
Los Rayos had the second worst offense in the Clausura 2017 with only 16 goals, eight goals less than in the Apertura 2016 when Necaxa scored 24 goals. The team from Aguascalientes allowed 21 goals in the Clausura 2017 making for a negative five-goal differential. Significantly lower than the plus-six goal differential Alfonso Sosa held in the Apertura 2016. Sosa’s tactics were clearly not good enough to keep Necaxa as a consistent contender for the next few tournaments. The tactics may have even led the team to a disastrous end. Now it is time for Necaxa to enter a transitional phase with a new manager heading into the next Liga MX season.