Holiday season extended indefinitely for sacked trio of managers

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A holiday-celebrating LLL turned its back for just a few minutes and found la Liga had been up to all kinds of naughtiness, like a toddler smearing doo-doo onto a freshly painted wall. It's just one of the reasons why the idle blog never made it as a babysitter during its teenage years.

Although LLL is still searching through the landscape for more managerial debris, as far as it can tell there were three Primera coaches fired during the Spanish league’s winter window. One was entirely predictable, the second was a bit of a surprise quite frankly, while the third was eyebrow-raising at first but not that unusual after considered reflection. 

Gregorio Manzano bought the managerial biscuit in no uncertain terms after Atlético Madrid's home loss to Albacete. The Copa del Rey exit ended Greg’s second coaching spell at the Rojiblanco loon house. The club moved quickly to replace him by hiring former player Diego Simeone, as the next manager to be fired by his new bosses in six months' time.

“Today is a new cycle for Atlético Madrid,” trumpeted club president Enrique Cerezo, using a very apt word considering Atleti 'cycles' tend to end back where they started – with some poor chump being sacked. “We need to get the team’s spirit back,” noted Simeone, whose first training session was held at the Calderón with 5,000 fans attending.

Villarreal prompted a rather surprised ‘golly’ from LLL by parting company with Juan Carlos Garrido, who last season led them to fourth place and the Europa League semi-finals. But Garrido got the boot after awful performances this year in la Primera, the Champions League and the Copa, from which they were knocked out by lowly Mirandés.

“It was not a surprise,” announced the club’s former No.2, who quite clearly has greater predictive powers than the blog. Former Atlético and Deportivo goalkeeper and Villarreal youth team manager José Francisco Molina is taking over until the end of the season, with the Yellow Submarine a little on the skint side these days having made a €16m loss last season.

“We want to show that we’re not inferior to anyone and our hard work will put us where we belong,” promised Molina, whose first game in charge is against Valencia this weekend.

The third club to fire their coach was Zaragoza, by some distance the most ridiculously run side in la Primera. Club president Agapito Iglesias has the itchiest trigger finger around and disposed of Javier Aguirre with the club rock bottom of the table and out of the cup at the hands of second division Alcorcón.

Iglesias then appointed a new board whom he described as “honest people, Zaragoza forever who feel the club’s colours and can help,” which would make a nice change. Part two of the plan was to appoint former Getafe boss Míchel, but the man who kept the Madrid side up then led them to the Europa League decided that the Zaragoza seat was a little too hot for his posterior.

Back-up choice Manolo Jiménez, last seen on Spanish shores being jettisoned by Sevilla, has taken on the fun challenge of keeping Zaragoza up with a fine bit of bum-kissing. “I’m not coming to a team at the bottom of the table, but an historical great that is Real Zaragoza.” Now he simply needs to follow that PR victory with one on the pitch – which would be the side's first since October.