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A Mexican Twist in the North London Derby



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The North London derby will have some new fans this upcoming season as many football fans in North America will be engaged in one of the world’s great derbies for the first time.

That’s because perhaps the two best young players in the region, Giovanni Dos Santos (Gio) and Carlos Vela will now be part of the setup of Spurs and Arsenal respectively. The pair will also be the key frontline players along with Andres Guardado for Mexico, CONCACAF’s dominant national team in the near future.

Juande Ramos coveted Gio this transfer season and secured his purchase from Barcelona. At 19, Dos Santos could be an amazing long term bet for Spurs as they chase a Champions League berth in the near future: a young core of players like Gio and Bentley with Spurs is what the North London club needs to get over the hump which they have been unable to climb for the past several years.

Vela, also 19, was signed by Arsenal years ago but had to be loaned out until he secured his work permit, which happened this summer. He is the long term heir apparent to Eduardo in Arsene Wenger’s setup.

Carlos Vela and Gio Dos Santos led Mexico (El Tri) to the U-17 World Cup title in 2005, the first world championship for a CONCACAF nation. Now both feature in the full national team setup and have helped Mexico turn the tables on the United States who this decade had dominated Mexico, despite the US having far inferior talent.

With Gio and Vela in the lineup this past February, El Tri got their first result on US soil against the hated Americans in nine years and doubled the cumulative Mexican scoring output in its last eight games against the US on American soil. It was a shot across the bow to all in the region that the dynamic duo had arrived on the senior level.

Factor in the hiring of Sven Goran Eriksson as Mexico’s new national team manager and it’s no wonder Mexican fans are more excited than ever. However, the hiring of Eriksson could be a fatal mistake as well since El Tri are in the toughest CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group, and Eriksson’s tenure as England manager did little to inspire confidence in his ability to manage a talented squad full of world class players.

The fact that two young Mexican superstars are playing the Barclay’s Premier League is a proof positive as to emergence of English football on the world scene. Until recently, Mexican players seldom ventured out of their comfort zone which was the domestic FMF (arguably the best league in the Americas) and the Spanish leagues. Now with Mexican football once again taking off and its players becoming more marketable commodities on the international transfer market, England is becoming more and more of a potential destination for Mexican players.

This will also grow the popularity of the world’s most popular sports league in the nation with the richest football league outside Europe. The duo’s presence in North London is a win for Arsenal, a win for Spurs and a win for the BPL.