Competition news

LIGA 2012/13: THE COACHES

02 Jul 2012
Analysis of the 20 men that have been selected in order to coach a Primera club ahead of the season 2012/13. The profile of the Primera coach is a young man with some experience in the league; only four clubs are changing the coach compared to last season.

The season 2012/13 officially starts today and the twenty coaches at Primera already decided who will guide them ahead of the hard competition at Liga BBVA. The Primera clubs are keeping the same profile of coach from recent seasons: the clubs from la liga like to have young trainers that at the same time have some experience at the elite.

The average age of the twenty coaches at Primera is 47.85 years, only six of them are 50 or older (Mendilibar, Anquela, Bielsa, Caparrós, Pellegrini and Paco Herrera). At the same time only four of them are new in the job (Tito Vilanova, Pellegrino, Jémez and Anquela) and almost the half of them (8) are foreigners. Three of the other nineteen coaches already passed through Depor, two of them as players.

José Luis Oltra (43) is living his second year at Deportivo; he fulfilled the expectations on the past season securing the promotion to Primera and is now trying to solidify his career at Liga BBVA. And it’s that the Valencian man has had a more prolific career at Segunda than at Primera.

The last two Segunda outfits coached by Oltra ended clinching the promotion (CD Tenerife and Deportivo), but at the same time the last two Primera clubs where he worked ended suffering the relegation (Tenerife and UD Almeria). Of the three coaches at the recently promoted clubs he is the one with more experience at Liga BBVA (60 games).

The two biggest clubs in Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid, are having coaches with a very different profile. José Mário dos Santos Mourinho (49) is a high profile trainer that’s living his third year at Madrid; he already won a Copa Del Rey and the last liga tournament, though many people believe that it isn’t enough taking in mind the resources of the club.

Meanwhile, Barcelona is living a transition as Josep Guardiola has left the job and now the new coach is Francesc ‘Tito’ Vilanova (42). This is his first experience as a head coach and it means a great responsibility, but neither can he be described as a rookie he has been the second coach of the Catalan club since 2008.



Tito Vilanova with Pep Guardiola during a training session
Mauricio Andrés Pellegrino (40) is the new coach of Valencia CF; like the case of Vilanova he’s new and will be under pressure due to the high expectations at this club. The former defender was the second coach of Rafa Benitez at Liverpool FC and at FC Inter Milano, but this is his first experience as a head coach. He’s replacing Unai Emery, who was always under fire despite helping his team to qualify to the Champions League within the last three seasons, always ending third.

Manuel Pellegrini (58) is the oldest coach in the league and is living his third year at Malaga CF; on the past season he was able to achieve an historic qualification to the Champions League, still the Chilean was questioned as the first round was disappointing and it was commented that he was close to be fired. What can´t be denied is his experience, because, among the twenty coaches at Primera, he’s also the second coach with more games at Primera (380)

Diego Pablo Simeone (42) arrived on the past season to Atletico Madrid, one of the more difficult clubs to work on due to the high expectations at the Calderon stadium. But people still respecting him there as he won the UEFA Europa League and as his team ended fifth at the standings. Now the goal is to prolong this feeling and qualify for the Champions League.



Simeone during a press conference
Juan Ignacio Martínez (48) was one of the pleasant surprises of the past season; JIM has a lot of experience at lower leagues, but last year was his first at Primera División after arriving from FC Cartagena, and he did great as his team ended sixth, meaning that for the first time Levante UD has qualified for a European competition.

José Luis Mendilibar (51) is an experienced coach at Primera with 159 games in la liga; this is his second year at Atletico Osasuna and it was considered as a good year for the Navarrans, ending seventh just one point behind the European positions.

Joaquin Caparrós (56) is the most experienced coach in la liga (416 games); he has the solid record of never have been fired after ten years between Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and Deportivo. He signed at the beginning of the past season for RCD Mallorca and made a solid job there; despite having some relegation problems the Andalusian man was able to put the team at the eighth position at the standings.



Caparrós at RCD Mallorca
José Miguel González ‘Michel’ (49) arrived in February to Sevilla FC after the exit of Marcelino, and the ex-Real Madrid player didn’t fulfill the expectations as his team didn’t qualify to Europe. Still, the club trusts in him and will stay in the job. They won’t forgive him this time if the Andalusian team misses to qualify to Europe.

Perhaps the biggest sensation on last year was Marcelo Alberto Bielsa (56), the Argentine man revolutionized the style of Athletic Bilbao and put the team in two finals (Copa and Europa League), despite losing both he still considered as one of the best coaches in the league and is searching for bigger achievements with the Basque outfit.



Bielsa during a match with Athletic Bilbao
The youngest coach in the league is Luis García Plaza (39), however it can’t be said that he’s lacking experience as the Madrilenian man has been coaching since the year 2001. He worked for three years at Levante UD, clinching the promotion to Primera and one year later securing the permanence. Last year he joined Getafe CF and secured the permanence without any problem.

Philippe Montanier is a French coach that’s living his second year working at the Spanish la liga; last year his goal was to achieve the permanence with Real Sociedad and he did it without facing any problem. Before this experience in Spain he had worked for seven years in France.

José Mel Pérez (49) is similar case to Oltra; he has a large experience at Segunda División, but has barely coached at Primera. The Madrilenian arrived to Real Betis two years ago, he firstly clinching the promotion to liga BBVA and last year secured the permanence without any difficulty, and his team left a positive impression.



Pepe Mel during a press conference
Argentine Mauricio Pochettino (40) represents the coach that has spent more time at his current club (fifth year at RCD Espanyol). He was close to leave on the past week, but decided to stay despite his team made a bad second round falling from European positions to end up at the 14th position.

A second familiar face for Deportivo is Francisco Jémez Martín (42); the former player of the Galician team is arriving to Rayo Vallecano in order to replace José Ramón Sandoval. Last year Jémez put Córdoba CF inside the playoffs at Segunda and now his goal is to avoid the relegation with the club from Vallecas.

Manolo Jiménez (48) was the miracle man for Rea Zaragoza on the past season; the Aragonians were the last place at Primera when he arrived at the end of December, but his team won eight of the last eleven games in the league and clinched a surprising salvation. His goal for the season is to avoid the suffering of the past two campaigns.



Jimenez celebrating the permanence at Real Zaragoza
The fourth new coach in the league is Juan Antonio Anquela (54); last season he put AD Alcorcón at the promotion playoff at Segunda and now the Jaén-born man is landing at Granada CF replacing Abel Resino. So, he’s the same case than Paco Jémez: a low profile coach that succeeded at Liga Adelante that’s been hired in order to achieve the permanence at liga BBVA.

The list of twenty coaches is closed with the two men from the other two clubs that clinched the promotion from Segunda. Like the case with Deportivo, both RC Celta and Real Valladolid are keeping the trainers that clinched the goal. Francisco ´Paco’ Herrera (58) was the oldest coach at Segunda and now is the second oldest at Primera, just been 77 days younger than Malaga’s Pellegrini. Still, his experience at Primera is poor; previously he only coached CD Numancia during 12 games at the top flight (season 2000/01). This is his third season in Vigo.

Finally, the case of Miroslav Đukić (46) the second former player of Deportivo that will coach at Primera during the season 2012/13. This is his second season at Real Valladolid and despite been new in the job of football trainer; he already coached at Primera División, though it was only for nine games at Hércules CF (season 2010/11).

ARCHIVE NEWS JULY/11

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