surinenglish

A LOOK AT LA LIGA

The perils of the job

Pellegrino is back after a disastrous spell with Southampton.
Pellegrino is back after a disastrous spell with Southampton. / AFP
  • The least secure occupation in the world has to be coach of a La Liga team

Even in my job, where I keep a daily tab on comings and goings, I didn't fully comprehend just how many changes there have been in the hotseats at La Liga clubs over the past year.

Only four clubs, Barcelona, Atlético, Valencia and Eibar have the same manager now as on the first day of the season that has just concluded. The turnaround is stupendous.

The highest profile vacancy has emerged at Real Madrid where it appears that it won't be Mauricio Pochettino moving from Tottenham. Ironically he only ended up in England because of the quaint rule that no manager can have two jobs in La Liga in the same season.

The book is still open on Zinedine Zidane's successor but there's a suggestion that they'll go for a former player of high-standing with the names of Fernando Hierro, Guti and Míchel being mentioned.

Personally I'd go for Michael Laudrup as he does at least have managerial experience. The left field choice could be Raúl. He's still a god at the Bernabéu and they need someone with Zidane's presence.

Elsewhere Sevilla have made a bold appointment in Pablo Machín whose methods and single-mindedness brought Girona to the top flight and then a top-ten finish. He stuck to his regulars even when the club owners gifted him half a dozen young Manchester City players.

The next Girona manager may well be someone who has a link to the English champions. If Mikel Arteta is serious about going solo then he may be a consideration... if he promises to play the kids who have been sent on a gap year from the Etihad Campus.

There is a coach returning from the Premier League. Mauricio Pellegrino has a better reputation in Spain than Southampton after his success at Alavés and that has landed him the job at Leganés.

The departed Leganés manager, Asier Garitano, has moved up a rung on the ladder with Real Sociedad. There he has more money to play with and more fans to please (or displease).

Elsewhere in the Basque region, Athletic Bilbao are hoping to put a drab season behind them by making the exciting appointment of Eduardo Berrizo who was dismissed by Sevilla in the winter just weeks after recovering from prostate cancer.

Berrizo's main success was at Celta, a club who have a reputation of making appointments of imagination. They're one of five clubs who have gone for an Argentinian coach but the latest will have got their fans frantically googling. Known as 'the Turk', Antonio Mohamed's biggest success in 13 jobs came in Mexico and excuse the mixed metaphor... Mohamed has a mountain to move in Vigo.

The last appointment on the list is Rubi at Espanyol. Clearly the directors were impressed with the page of his CV that boasted promotion with Huesca last season. They obviously didn't delve into his previous top-flight jobs that ended with relegation for Levante and Sporting Gijón, though.

I think that's it... well for now anyway. Remember, in football management there is no such thing as job security.