El Centrocampista


There were few surprises when Sevilla announced they had parted company with beleaguered coach Marcelino Garcia Toral this morning, after just over seven months at the helm of the Andalusian club.

Reports were rife in Spain last night that the former Racing Santander coach had reached the end of the line at the club, with the final blow being dealt by Villarreal who secured their first away win of the season hours before at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

It can’t have been an restful night’s sleep for Marcelino but he was finally put out of his misery officially, when a statement on the club site this morning read: “Sevilla have taken the decision this morning to dismiss the first team coach Marcelino Garcia Toral owing to the negative run of results by the team, with seven matches without a victory, during which time only two points have been won.”

And there-in lies Marcelino’s downfall, a woeful run of results that has seen Sevilla slip from Champions League hopefuls to a position just four points above the relegation trap door.

The 46-year-old coach has always faced a difficult task of course, having only been handed a one-year contract by president Jose Maria del Nido.

He also had little room to manoeuvre having been given the job of taking Sevilla beyond last season’s fifth place and into the Champions League.

It didn’t start particularly well either as the coach saw his side knocked out of the Europa League before they had even kicked a ball in La Liga. In hindsight, the 3-2 aggregate defeat against the modest German side Hannover was a sign of things to come.

Despite this disappointment, Sevilla went nine games unbeaten as the domestic league season began, including a creditable draw at reigning champions Barcelona.

However of these games, five ended in draws before they were humbled at home by newly-promoted Granada.

They are currently without a win in seven la liga games, nine in all competitions and are yet to pick up three points in 2012. Not a good run of results whichever way you look at it.

Marcelino’s saving grace may have been the Copa del Rey but it was not be, as Sevilla were cruelly eliminated on away goals after a 2-2, two-legged tie against Valencia.

In reality however, it is the club’s league form that has cost the coach his job. Anyone who watched the lacklustre performances against Malaga will bare witness to a side struggling to impose itself on the opposition.

The second half performance in yesterday’s defeat against Villarreal was a determined last stand as Marcelino sent his side out on the offensive, but ultimately it was in vain as they succumbed to a Camunas goal ten minutes from time.

And so Marcelino becomes the eighth coach to lose his job in Spain’s top flight since the start of the season, and the rumour mill has already swung into full effect as to who will replace him.

The usual suspects are all in the frame with the perennial ‘favourite’ Michel installed as such for the role. Other names mentioned have been former Getafe and Mallorca boss Michael Laudrup, Quique Sanchez Flores and even that wily old pensioner, Luis Aragones.

One thing is almost certain however, things are bound to be less than routine as Sevilla’s ‘colourful’ president del Nido looks for the man that could possibly succeed where Marcelino failed during his short stay at the club.


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