Nobody is going to start throwing daggers at Jose Manuel 'Chepo' de la Torre anytime soon. Since taking over as manager of Mexico he has ushered in a new era of young, attacking talent and in the process, conquered CONCACAF. He's led Mexico well past the United States as the top team in the region, making that absolutely clear in El Tri's domination at the Gold Cup this summer. Chepo's reign has been nothing short of sensational so far, but there is one lingering question. Can he finally push Sinha aside and let Giovani dos Santos play or will he continue to go back to his aging but trusted man?
It's not hard to see why Chepo loves Sinha so much. Sinha played for Chepo at Toluca and the two clearly have a tight bond. Sinha also has plenty of experience, with 54 caps to his name, and it is not as if he is incapable of playing at the international level. There are reasons why Chepo continues to start Sinha, but they are not a convincing as the one reason to sit him: Giovani dos Santos.
After years of missteps and troubles, dos Santos appears to finally have his international career on track. His club career remains in limbo, but every time he gets a chance in the El Tri shirt, he impressed. With his pace, quickness, creativity and amazing technical ability, dos Santos is a threat every time he touches the ball.
When Sinha was suspended at the Gold Cup for a positive doping test (the suspension has since been lifted), dos Santos got his chance and shined. He was Mexico's best player in the final, terrorizing the U.S. back line and scoring one of the most brilliant goals of the tournament. With Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez up top, Pablo Barrera and Andres Guardado on the wings and dos Santos sitting in between all three, Mexico has a deadly, young crop of attackers that should keep them atop CONCACAF for a long time.
If you take dos Santos out of that though, Mexico begins to look vulnerable. They're still the best team in the region, but they don't make opposing defenses quake. There are still incredible players, but no one with dos Santos' unpredictability and ability to pop up anywhere on the pitch. Things get a lot easier for opponents without dos Santos out there.
Even so, Chepo keeps turning to his old, trusted man Sinha. He's a decent enough player still, but clearly aging and even more clearly, he's not dos Santos. At some point Chepo needs to turn the page on Sinha and the sooner he does, the better.