Tim Stannard evaluates the men currently under fire in Spain – including a former Chelsea favourite...
Eibar Envy: the feeling of jealously and disgruntlement in La Liga presidents brought on by watching what the Basque club is doing with means considerably less than those at the disposal of the halfwit in charge of their own club.
It's this outbreak of Eibar Envy that could soon be driving previously reticent head honchos in La Primera to hit the eject button with the excuse of “If Eibar are doing OK, why can’t we?”
Although there are no complete disasters in Spain's top flight this season, there are certainly some coaches in danger of tumbling into a footballing zombie trench unless some wins are picked up rather rapidly. Here are just a few at risk of having their innards ripped apart by the sport’s unsentimental undead.
Víctor Fernandez (Deportivo)
The manager who led Deportivo back into the top flight, Fernando Vásquez, was fired for warning the club that they needed to sign better players to avoid relegation, and has been proved right. Unfortunately there is little more that could be done with Destitute Depor, who are still fairly penniless after a brush with financial extinction. The Galicians are currently bottom of the pile with just one victory, 19 goals conceded and relying on Helder Postiga at the other end. Oh dear.
The strengths for Depor are that manager Víctor Fernández is one of the most experienced coaches in La Primera – especially in relegation battles – and club president Tino Fernández is currently standing by his man. “I am sending out a message of tranquility and tension at the same time,” said the Depor chief. “A long-term project requires patience.”
Albert Ferrer (Córdoba)
Now this particular sacking really would be mean. Albert Ferrer, he of Chelsea fame, did rather well to take Córdoba into the top flight, and the Andalusian side have by no means done badly since. Indeed, the opening fixture against Real Madrid certainly raised a few eyebrows of surprise at the quality of the team. The problem for Córdoba, though, has been scraping wins where necessary, with the side drawing four and failing to pick up wins from seven games.
The newbies have certainly come close to that precious victory. Just before the international break, they were minutes away from beating Getafe before being condemned to just a draw. However, Córdoba's four strikers have yet to come up with a single goal, a record that leaves the team second from bottom of the table, ahead of Depor only on goal difference.
José Luis Mendilibar (Levante)
These are very dark times for Levante both on and off the pitch. The club is embroiled in a preliminary match-fixing case and struggling badly near the bottom of the table. The defensive obstinance and fight of last season under Joaquín Caparrós has gone, replaced with flimsiness and a lack of direction under José Luis Mendilibar. Not even the poetry of the wonderfully named Andreas Ivanshitz can put a smile on the faces of Levante supporters.
The Valencia club has lost all three home games this season without scoring a single goal in return. Another big failure against Real Madrid, a team that has normally suffered at the hands of a combative Levante in the past, and Mendilibar’s managerial curtains could be taken down rather abruptly.