El Centrocampista

DECISION TIME IN MALAGA – Will Manuel Pellegrini be the next coach out?

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Just two weeks ago Malaga were in trouble. No wins in 2012 has seen them on the slide, that weekend they faced a must win game against Sevilla, and they delivered, albeit in a scrappy and bad-tempered game.

However this weekends defeat to the resurgent Granada sees them back to square one.

Malaga need to get their act together, and fast. Atletico Madrid are flying under new coach Simeone and have quickly leapfrogged the Andalucian outfit. With Marcelino’s departure it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Sevilla could experience a similar resurgence, Malaga could soon find themselves outside the top 10.

So should Malaga stick or twist?

There were certainly murmurs of unrest amongst the Malaga fans after the weekends disappointing loss to lowly Granada. They are naturally disappointed at the clubs recent form which has seen them slump to eighth in the table.

If an upturn in performances is not forthcoming it will get a lot worse for Malaga in the coming weeks. Despite being in eighth they sit just six points from the relegation zone.

With an extremely tough run in including Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico, it is vital if they are to have any participation in Europe next season, to get as many points as possible from the next four of five fixtures which include winnable against Zaragoza and Levante.

Some are calling for Pellegrini to be dismissed and the club have more than likely considered it. A new manager could be the lift the club needs, however it is a risk, it can easily lead to a bigger slump in form.

Their most recent adversaries Granada are thriving under new coach Abel Resino, Atletico Madrid have also been tremendous since bringing in Diego Simeone, In England the appointment of Martin O’Neill has transformed Sunderland’s fortunes.

It would not be surprising if Pellegrini lost his job, especially if they fail to get three points against Mallorca in the next game. He has done a decent job so far, but perhaps a new appointment could be the catalyst which gets the club going again.

You don’t get many chances in modern football, there is too much at stake.



  1. Iain McMullen

    8 February, 2012 at 09:02

    Malaga should have spent some money on another striker during the transfer window in my opinion. They’ve got some great midfielders in Cazorla, Toulalan and Isco but they lack a real quality up front, it could prove their downfall in the hunt for Europe.

  2. Iain McMullen

    8 February, 2012 at 09:06

    And does anybody have any updates on Julio Baptista? It’s all gone a little quiet on that front…

  3. malMAL

    8 February, 2012 at 17:02

    Do you think the club will sack Pellegrini? I hope they don’t, he did a great job at Villarreal, but I suppose the pressure is bigger here in Malaga.
    Who would replace him?

  4. Archie Buck

    8 February, 2012 at 17:42

    I think it depends on the chairman’s short term ambitions. If they stick with Pellegrini I think he will build a good team, but it may take one or two seasons. The fact that they didn’t spend in January suggests they are not looking to buy short term success by rashly throwing money around and gambling on players.

    However conversely it may indicate that they are considering replacing Pellegrini and so did not offer up funds. I don’t know what his remit was for this season, but surely it was to get into the Europa league, at the moment this looks beyond them.

    • Archie Buck

      8 February, 2012 at 17:44

      *one or two more seasons, e.g playing champs league by 2014

  5. Heath Chesters

    8 February, 2012 at 19:37

    Tough one to call, but I would say that even with the signings Málaga have made, people may have been expecting too much too soon. I’d agree with Iain’s comment about them being shy of a top quality striker. Rondon is a good young player, but Van Nistelrooy is past it.

    Even with the defeat at Granada, they’re still more than capable of a European spot come the end of the season. That said, things are so close from 4th position down, literally any of the teams could qualify for Europe, or face relegation.

    Speaking with a couple of Málaga fans after the Granada match though, they simply felt the loss was an “embarrassment”. After having beaten Granada 4-0 earlier in the season, I can understand that feeling perhaps, but I Málaga aren’t the only side that have underestimated Granada this season.

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