A sideways look at Spanish football
Having dispensed with the ball-rolling formalities via Espanyol's firing of Mauricio Pochettino and Valencia's dismissal of Mauricio Pellegrini, here’s some more men who could find themselves at a loose end in time for Christmas.
José Luis Oltra – Deportivo Sacking the man who took Depor up as champions last season might seem fairly futile, but that’s the kind of business la Liga’s presidents specialise in. Deportivo have won just two league games out of 15 and are bottom of the table after the disastrous 6-0 walloping by Atlético Madrid on Sunday. Depor have now conceded 37 – five more than Rayo Vallecano, which is really saying something. José Luis Oltra isn’t feeling the pressure though. “We’ve reached rock bottom and now there’s only one way to go and that’s up,” insisted the Deportivo boss. Perhaps he knows that with the taxman hanging onto the side’s income, the club might find it financially infeasible firing him and finding a manager who can't bring in any new players – or potentially pay the ones already at the club. Miguel Angel Lotina will probably take the gig for free, though.LLL odds*: 3-1
Joaquín Caparrós – MallorcaMuch as it pains the blog to write this, the Mallorca manager is in a huge amount of trouble after Sunday’s 4-0 loss to Levante. The defence was a shambles, the attack simply didn’t function, the team have picked up just two points from 30… and to make bad matters even messier, after the Levante match Caparrós had a bickering match – with a football journalist, of all people. Most unbecoming. However, Caparrós was a little chirpier on Monday, despite having to speak to a group of lawyers at an event. He opined that sometimes “a disaster is the start of success” – a slogan which might also appeal to the Spanish government. LLL odds: 8-1
Juan Antonio Anquela – GranadaHaving only given the former Alcorcón guy the gig last summer, it would be a tough call to sack him as Granada aren't especially performing below expectations: they're third from bottom, if only one point out of the danger zone. It’s an area the club was always going to be this season, so it would be a little silly to ditch the boss before Christmas. Club president Quique Pina was very supportive of his manager at the weekend after Granada lost 4-0 to Málaga to leave the Andalusians four league games without a goal. LLL odds: 15-1
José Mourinho – Real MadridLet’s face it, a sacking is exactly what the Real Madrid manager seems to want, what with his antics over the past few weeks of publicly picking on the second-team coach, suggesting the Real Madrid youth system has always been rubbish, moaning about referees again, challenging the Santiago Bernabeu fans to boo him and insulting the assistant manager of Atlético Madrid. Oh, and making his team a bit useless as well, by labouring through the Champions League groups and being 11 points behind Barcelona thanks to being unable to deal with the likes of Getafe and Betis. LLL odds: 50-1
*NB this is not an actual bookmaking offer. You won't catch LLL leaving behind the well-respected, illustrious life of journalism for the penniless ordeal of bookmaking.
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