Another new man for Numancia

Long-suffering readers of the blog will be aware that the Spock-like daily has no time for sickly sentimentality or ugly emotions.

Its bottom lip didn’t even come close to wobbling last week, when Guti tied his own shoelaces for the first time and Jesus Navas rode his bike to the end of the street and back. On his own. And without stabilisers.

However, it did utter a little sigh of sadness when it heard that, Numancia manager, Sergio Kresic had become the ninth piece of managerial roadkill of the Spanish season so far.

In a recent, lengthy interview the blog caught, the Croatian coach came across as a pleasant, enthusiastic, salt of the earth kind of guy - the type of man you’d be happy for your daughter to bring home. As long as she was in her fifties, mind.

It seems that five straight defeats, including last weekend’s 0-1 loss to Mallorca, was too much for Numancia’s rulers despite the fact that, according to Kresic, he had only just been given a pat on the back and a lollipop for his season’s efforts.

“A few days ago, we had in a meeting at the club and they talked about how tremendously proud they were of the job we were doing,” revealed Kresic, “but now they’ve changed their opinion.”

Out on his ear: Sergio Kresic

The side’s former sporting director, Pacheta, is set to be unveiled as the new coach in a cost-saving move, but it probably won’t be enough to prevent the relegation of a club with the smallest ground and budget in La Liga.

Some rough calculations reveal that only seven clubs in the Spanish top flight currently have the same managers that they finished the last campaign with - Athletic, Betis, Deportivo, Mallorca, Sevilla, Valladolid and Villarreal.

And that probably means something very significant. But it’s hurting the blog’s head trying to work out what.

Poor, no-pot-to-pee-in-’cos-they-flogged-it Valencia have travelled out to Ukraine to take on Dynamo Kiev in a UEFA Cup clash and have horrified their yelping bean counters by including two players in the party who aren’t even fit.

As far as it’s possible to tell in the murky world of Mestalla, the players’ wages for February remain unpaid, although the footballers have enjoyed the fun of various sweaty club minions coming down to the dressing room to tell them that the cheque is in the post.

“We are at our lowest point,” admitted David Albeda. And that really is saying something considering the recent history of that particular club.

Over in Atlético land, the players have prepared for their footballing ‘Everest’ to come by having what Marca described as ‘a dinner of brotherhood’ - or what the rest of us would probably call ‘a dinner’.

And it may be the last time that many of the squad will be speaking to each other - and possibly the first, according to La Liga Loca’s club insider - due to the sporting Krypton Factor the Calderón club will be suffering over the next few weeks. 

For those readers who may be feeling a little bit low today, then cheer yourselves up a tad with a glance at the upcoming fixture list for Atleti - Sevilla, Porto, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Porto, Villarreal.

It’s a run for the rojiblancos that should provide more material for the blog than Maniche’s kaftan.

And talking of old blog rope, Roberto Gómez has given up on fortune telling for the moment. And that’s no surprise considering last Tuesday’s assertive claim over Pedja Mijatovic’s future.

“It’s a question of hours before the sporting director has to pack his bags and leave the club,” wrote Roberto in Marca. And technically, the crank columnist is correct as it’s now been (at time of writing) 192 hours. But still no sign of any hectic hair gel action.

Pedja: Still lurking in the shadows

Still, one thing that the toadying tattler is very sure of indeed is the brilliance of Vicente Boluda - the greatest president in Real Madrid’s history since the one before him. And the one before him. And the one before him.

“Boluda is an example in a time of crisis,” gurgled Gómez. “He only wants the members to feel proud of their club again.”

Marca is doing their best to assist in this effort with their latest golden give-away. Perhaps the best since the official club sandwich toaster. It’s an almost life-size, plastic model of the Bernabeu which also doubles as an iPod speaker and radio.

And this poses the question of whether it’s so realistic that the speakers begin to whistle after 20 minutes if it doesn’t like the music being played.

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