Atlanta United

Gonzalo Pineda backs Mexico's Tata Martino after two consecutive defeats

Lizzy Becherano
Gonzalo Pineda defends Mexico's Gerardo Martino after two consecutive defeats
Gonzalo Pineda defends Mexico's Gerardo Martino after two consecutive defeats / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda came out in support of Mexico national team manager Gerardo 'Tata' Martino after he led the squad to two consecutive defeats during the November round of World Cup qualifiers. 

Criticism from fans and leaders of the Mexican national team has grown since the defeats, but Gonzalo Pineda believes these critiques are unfair to Martino. 

“First of all, I am a fan of Tata Martino, he is one of the top coaches in the world for the clubs he has managed and I like the way Mexico plays, with its ups and downs, because all teams have them, but I like it, I identify with the way Tata Martino plays. I think that sometimes in the Mexican environment we are a little unfair with the processes, we believe that we are the best in the world always and that we have to win all the games and convince," he told Mediotiempo.

“The pressure exerted by the Mexican press on the Mexican coach, whoever it is, because everyone has had it. Not even 15 percent of what is criticized in Mexico is criticized in the media 

“In Mexico the area where there is growth is not also respected, the growth that Canada has had, even the growth that the United States has had, I think that sometimes the expectations of the Mexican environment are higher than those of reality.”

Mexico first suffered a 2-0 loss to North American rivals United States in Cincinnati, Ohio - defeat that cast doubt of Martino as Mexico coach. The loss initially saw Mexico drop to second place in the Concacaf table.

Days later, the squad lost 2-1 to the Canadian national team in Edmonton. The result forced Mexico down to third place in the Concacaf standings, putting their potential ticket to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in doubt.