Rubi, Celades, Abelardo, Guti... the "new normal" for low profile coaches

Clubs hire coaches with more losses than wins
Former Valencia coach Albert Celades

REUTERS/ALBERT GEA  -   Former Valencia coach Albert Celades

After almost three months of hiatus, the return of the League has left the dismissal of three coaches in First and one in Second. 


The football machine has come back well oiled. Almost three months later, the shredder has been left behind three coaches in First Division and one in Second Division. At the moment and while I write these lines there are many more bench holders hanging from the thread, the most famous being Barça. The axis Messi-Setién-Sarabia will not hold until the Champions of August. And who knows how Aguirre will end up in Leganés after a season to forget.  


There were eleven games. Nobody talked about eleven finals because the important thing was to come back, play, excite the fans and sell Spain as a safe place for tourism. Goals were met with the exception that La Liga has lost 6% of its television audience. About 200,000 people have not seen a match since the pandemic.  


But coaches are still that necessary evil for presidents. The scapegoat for the big clubs when things go wrong. The famous revulsive to turn around bad patches. In January 1992, Radomir Antic was fired by Ramon Mendoza. Real Madrid was the leader, but it did not play well. Leo Beenhakker was not able to fix the situation and Cruyff's Dream Team took that league.  


Football after the pandemic still has the same symptoms. Impatient leaders who choose inexperienced, spiritless, unleaded coaches who are given no time to cultivate any of that, but who are demanded like the Mourinho or Guardiola of the past. Coaches with poor statistics, with more defeats than victories that only serve to see if they know how to play the flute. That's all the analysis behind it. 


Rubi left Betis out of the relegation zone after 30 games. 8 wins, 10 draws and 12 losses. Until arriving at Villamarín, his career in Primera was of 95 matches shared between Levante (31), Sporting (20) and Espanyol (44). He now leaves the green-and-white bench with a record of 39 wins, 57 losses and 38 draws.   

El exentrenador del Real Betis, Rubi
REUTERS/MARCELO DEL POZO - The former Real Betis trainer, Rubi

Abelardo came to a heavily beaten Espanyol. A competent team that had signed well in the winter market but had huge gaps in defence that even a goalkeeper of Diego Lopez's stature could not fill. His experience as a coach in the first division included 129 games for Sporting (60) and Alaves (69). His journey with the Perico club left him unemployed and with a business card that shows that, between First Division, the King's Cup and the UEFA Europa League, he has won 47 games, drawn 32 and lost 68.


Albert Celades has also stopped at Valencia. He came in to replace Marcelino and with the presidential demand to include certain players in the line-ups. He had the guts to do all that and give level to the team. But the Champions before the Atalanta and the restart of the competition left him without margin and with the team out of European positions. His trajectory before arriving at Valencia was only with Spain sub-21, that is to say, in the football-training. In total, 36 games in 7 years. He leaves the capital of the Turia with a card of 41 matches between First Division, Champions, Cup and Supercup, 15 won, 12 tied and 14 lost.   

El exentrenador del Valencia, Albert Celades
REUTERS/SERGIO PEREZ - Former Valencia coach Albert Celades

José María Gutiérrez was the coach called to bring Almería back to first class. The nouveau riche of Second Division was killing the second coach in just 14 games to seat the one once called Guti. The one who will always be the 14th of Real Madrid leaves a legacy in Segunda of 9 victories, 6 draws and 8 defeats. And no sign of leading a dressing room.  


Now it remains to be seen what will happen to Vicente Moreno at Mallorca with a historic first-round record of 7 wins, 5 draws and 20 defeats. What will do a mythical like Javier Aguirre who adds 375 games in First Division and to whom his stage in Leganés is taking him to add more defeats (141) than victories (138) in his historical one. A curious case is that of the Mexican who, along with Mendilibar (392), are the active trainers who have played more games in First Division. They are beaten by Víctor Fernández, who stopped the count at 544 when he left Deportivo and hopes to keep adding up if he brings Zaragoza into the first division.  

El entrenador del Leganés, Javier Aguirre
AFP/JAVIER SORIANO - Leganes coach Javier Aguirre

Benches aren't for just anyone. Atletico was lost in the desert for years until he found Simeone's oasis. At Real Madrid, names such as López Caro, Luxemburgo, García Remón and Queiroz were annihilated by their inexperience and lack of leadership in the dressing room. However, Zidane arrived with a half-baked card and continued to write the white history but now in a suit and tie.  


The numbers speak for Quique Setién at Barça. The one who one day was a reflection of Guardiola has been overcome by a dressing room tired of winning. Messi's contempt for Sarabia and Setien himself in the time out against Celta sign the end of the coach. How curious. The crac leaves unscathed of an embarrassing image that reflects the null ascendancy of the trainer with the group. Until arriving at the Barça, Setién had disputed 172 games in First division between Las Palmas (78) and Betis (94). His letter of presentation before arriving at the azulgrana equipment was of 66 gained parties, 42 tied and 72 lost. 

El entrenador del Barcelona, Quique Setién
REUTERS/ALBERT GEA - Barcelona coach Quique Setién

Clearly, presidents don't pull statistics to choose coaches. Inexperience and hot benches where you lose more than you gain make way for sensations. To the good game of the Huesca of Rubi or the Sporting of Abelardo when they ascended to First Division. From a Guti that made magic in the Bernabéu or from a Setién that beat Barça in the Camp Nou with a Betis heir of the Dream Team. None of them are enough for a player who wants to reach the highest level. Until guys with a history like Zidane or Guardiola arrive, leaders at all costs like Mourinho or conductors like Klopp. The rest will be dismissed in their "new normal".