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Soccer news: Chivas appoint new coach + weekend roundup

April 23, 2012

Lowly Chivas’ Dutch revolution takes shape

In the latest phase of its Dutch-led reinvention, struggling soccer club Chivas de Guadalajara unveiled Holland’s John van’t Schip as its new coach on Saturday.

Van’t Schip, 48, was a star of Dutch club Ajax and a member of the Netherlands’ European championship winning squad in 1988. He has also worked as an assistant coach at Ajax and with the Dutch national team.

His appointment reflects compatriot Johan Cruyff’s growing influence at the club. One of the most revered figures in soccer, the former Barcelona and Ajax star joined Chivas in an advisory role in February.

“The company responsible for the Chivas sporting project, headed by Johan Cruyff, has chosen John van’t Schip to fill the post of coach from the next Apertura championship,” announced a club statement.

Chivas owner Jorge Vergara hired Cruyff to transform the club’s ethos and deflect criticism of how he runs the side. Fans have been angered by the club’s poor run of form and Vergara’s reluctance to invest in new signings.

Previous coach Ignacio Ambriz left Chivas last week after a committee headed by Cruyff declined to support him in the job. Under his tenure, the Rojiblancos had suffered six consecutive defeats in the Mexican league and the Copa Libertadores.

Chivas continued their end of season slump on Saturday, losing 0-1 to Atlas at the Omnilife Stadium. As always, the Clasico Tapatio was a feisty affair, with each side having one player sent off. The result ensures Atlas will finish the season above their local rivals.

Chivas have now won just eight of their last 34 games, switching between three permanent coaches in that time.

The almost routine firing and appointment of coaches has given events at the club the air of Groundhog Day. Fans will have to swallow any sense of déjà vu and hope that Van’t Schip is not merely the latest protagonist in what increasingly resembles a revolving-door management policy.

Click here for my roundup of the weekend’s football action for Soccer365.com.

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