Atletico Madrid and Villarreal sack their coaches

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Atletico Madrid fired coach Gregorio Manzano on Thursday after a miserable run capped off by their elimination from the Spain King’s Cup.

Manzano had apologised to fans after Atletico Madrid lost 0-1 at home to second division Albacete on Wednesday, ushering them ignominiously out of the Spanish King’s Cup, describing it as a “real failure”.

Juan Carlos Garrido was sacked as coach of Spanish league strugglers Villarreal following their exit from the King’s Cup at the hands of second division Mirandes.

Garrido said he has accepted the decision and was expecting the axe to fall as Villarreal endure one of their most dismal seasons in recent years.

Villarreal are languishing in 17th spot in Spain’s La Liga and exited the Champions League after finishing bottom of Group A with no points.

“It has been a very difficult season but it is clear that we failed,” Garrido said in comments posted Thursday on the club’s website.

“I assume my responsibility as head of the group. It is not a surprise that things ended like this, you could see it coming by the way things were going.

“I accept my dismissal because the coach has the main responsibility. It has been a difficult year from the start and we have paid for it throughout the season, with setbacks like injuries and the rest.”

Garrido lamented the team’s ejection from the King’s Cup, the national Cup competition, following a 0-2 defeat at home.

“I accept my dismissal because the team was disastrous and shameful and the way we fell to defeat by Mirandes was disgraceful.”

Villarreal, a low-budget club based north of Valencia, famously punched above their weight to reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2006 when they were eliminated by Arsenal.

The following year the team known as the ‘Yellow Submarine’ due to their distinctive yellow home kit finished runner-up in the Liga to Real Madrid.

After coaching Villarreal’s reserve side for the best part of eight years Garrido was appointed first team coach in February 2010 following the sacking of Ernesto Valverde.

In his first full season he led Villarreal to fourth place in the league and a Champions League qualification spot, but a disastrous campaign in both Europe and at home this season left Garrido’s position virtually untenable.

He added: “I leave hoping to be strengthened by this experience and to be a better coach in the future.”

“The executive committee of Atletico Madrid, meeting this Thursday to analyse the sporting situation, unanimously decided to dismiss Gregorio Manzano as coach of the first team,” the team said in a statement.

“This decision has been relayed to the coach, with whom an agreement has been reached to end his contract,” it said.

“We deserved all the whistles and all the reprovals of our fans,” he told a news conference.

“There have to be people responsible and professionals. When things don’t go well, undoubtedly you have to accept the criticism and I am the first to accept it,” he said.

“I personally apologise because the truth is that our fans have been supporting the team even in adversity until they could see we were powerless to get back on the scoreboard.”

Atletico, who lie 10th in the first division, said they thanked Manzano, who was hired in June for one season. A former Seville coach, Manzano had also previously coached Atletico before his return.

Former Argentine player Diego Simeone, who played for Atletico Madrid in the past, is widely seen as a favourite for the coaching job.

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