Colombia has long been an under-performer in international football, and although improvements have happened in the last 20 years, this continues. It does not help that the Colombian national team often has been the subject of scandals, and it was also a recent scandal of the woman beater Hernán Darío Gómez that led to his dismissal, and Colombia looking for a new coach.
I think one of the reasons for Colombia's under-performance has been the lack of a quality coach. In spite of the support (even after he beat up a woman) Mr. Gómez enjoyed, he was surely not a quality coach; in fact I think he was mediocre to say the least, not getting the maximum out of an extraordinary pool of talent (if Uruguay can do it so well, Colombia could surely be up there).
So when Mr. Gómez was out, the debate stirred in Colombia as to who should be new coach, and when country's President, Juan Manuel Santos, insinuated that they should consider a foreign coach, it opened up for something the proud Colombians had not dared consider.
The choice has fallen on one of the more charismatic and offensive coaches in modern football. The Argentinean José Pekerman has been coach of Argentina, making the youth side world champions three times, and coaching the 2006 side at the World Cup; an Argentinean side that played the attacking and entertaining football that they can. He was popular enough that he was asked to stay on, but he insisted on his own resignation after losing the quarterfinal to the German hosts.
Mr. Pekerman has now accepted the job in Colombia, where it will be very interesting to see if the Colombians will be open to his style and his personality. Colombians hate Argentineans, and that makes his appointment all the more surprising: it is perhaps the perfect excuse that if they lose, they can blame the Argentinean (and perhaps consider re-appointing the woman-beater).