La Liga's 2014/15 season is six weeks away but the first axe has already fallen...
Like a puppy sat in front of a bog roll and knowing it won’t have its din-dins if the tissue is torn asunder, Deportivo’s bosses just couldn’t help themselves. A smarter policy would have been to let manager Fernando Vásquez have a bit of a moan and move on. After all, the Harry Potter-like figure was worth sticking with through thick and thin.
Vásquez had taken over in February 2013 and wasn’t far off from keeping a ridiculously indebted club afloat in the Primera. Instead, the Galician outfit sunk into Segunda, but returned triumphantly in June in second place behind Eibar.
Deportivo were just a couple of weeks away from trudging back to training when Vásquez took a shot across the boardroom bows over diminishing transfer targets. “True, option number one might be a bit pricey, but we are going for the fifth, sixth and seventh. We never get the ones we really want and that is a problem,” complained the soon-to-be-unemployed coach.
Clearly nonplussed by the criticism, club president Tino Fernández fired Vásquez after consultation with the Board of Administration running the skint club, decreeing the coach was undermining confidence at Deportivo. “The analysis from Fernando Vásquez on the problems had caused issues with the signing of some players,” writes La Voz de Galicia, on the non-existent speculation for the transfer of Paul Pogba to La Coruña.
“It’s an injustice. I don’t deserve this. I don’t agree with the decision of the president which is completely wrong,” was the reply from the very stunned Vásquez at a press conference on Tuesday. “It's as if you stole a sausage and they give you 50 years in prison.”
Considering Deportivo is very much in la Liga's beggars-can’t-be-choosers department, it does sound a strange decision indeed to fire Vásquez. This is a character who knows all the nooks and crannies of the club, having been there 18 months (a decade in Spanish terms), and is also quite aware of how tough the Primera is going to be when it reboots in August. Of course, this was the point of the thrust of the coach’s comments, which he probably thought were fairly innocuous.
Clearly the board thought Vásquez was a bad apple that was about to leak icky cider of despair across the club and that it was best get rid before pre-season starts. There certainly won’t be any short of candidates out there to sit in the hot seat in Riazor, but few will have the perfectly shaped posterior possessed by the departing Vásquez.