Former Chivas USA manager Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, better known as Chelís, was back to his unorthodox training methods at Liga MX club Puebla this week.
How to get Puebla pressing opposition in packs Chelis-style? Make them wear wolf masks while doing it in training: pic.twitter.com/LZ2qunjRrW— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) September 11, 2014
His players were pictured wearing wolf masks during training and the question being raised by most (normal) people is "Why?" But the Chivas USA faithful have experienced the Chelís style before. Here are the possible reasons behind the Wolf Men training tactic:
1. The first, most surface level conclusion that can be made is that he wants his players to swarm like a pack of wolves when gaining back possession. This makes sense as we know Chelís encourages his side to win the ball back in 8 seconds or less. Wolves are a good choice as they would clearly be well suited to swarm their prey in the allotted time and we can hope there is an academy player dressed like a sheep off camera. But we are prepared to dive deeper into this motivational tactic!
2. Puebla FC is taking on Queretero on Friday and they have just signed the biggest star in the club's history, Brazil legend Ronaldinho. What is little Ronald (yes that's what Ronaldinho means in Portuguese) most dangerous asset? No, it's not his velcro-like dribbling skills, or his heat-seeking-missile swerving free kicks, it's his famous teeth. Yes, those chompers may have been recently corrected through a dental miracle but the legend of the teeth remain. Chelis is using the very toothy masks (a lot of sharp daggers in those mouths) to prepare his squad for the battle to come. They will be desensitized to the jagged grin chasing them down and play their best game without being surprised at the mouth closing them down. Chelís no doubtably saw the World Cup and knows the damage that could be done if a mouth like Ronaldinho's decides to pull a Luis Suarez on one of his defenders.
3. We know Chelís is a lover of music on the training ground as he would blast the sweet sounds of Pitbull during practice sessions at Chivas USA. These masks are simply an opportunity for Chelís to play his some of his favorite songs while helping the players get into the spirit of the music. We can* confirm that an iTunes playlist consisting of "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran, "Who Let the Dogs Out" from Baha Men, "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett, and "Werewolves of London" from Warren Zevon, among others, was playing during the training session.
* We can't actually confirm this.
That, or Puebla FC was simply getting a head start on their Dia de Muertos costumes for this year. Let us know what you think the explanation for the bizarre training tactic is in the comments below!