Juan Carlos Garrido: new man at Club Brugge

The classic face of Juan Carlos Garrido. - Lars Baron

Thanks for the memories. Well, not all of them. But 2010-11 was nice, I think. At least the results part.

Cross-posted on a Club Brugge fan site. Garrido has now taken the reins of the Belgian side. Enjoy.

Introduction:

Juan Carlos Garrido -- the mere mention of that name evokes negative reactions among the Villarreal faithful. But it wasn't always like that.

In fact, it was quite the contrary when Garrido first shot into the limelight as the manager of Villarreal 'B'. The mini-submarino was in some trouble in the third division of Spanish football when Garrido took over midway through the 2007-08 season. But he eventually led the team to promotion and went on to nurture the careers of talented young footballers like Marco Ruben (now at Dynamo Kyiv), Mateo Musacchio, Joan Oriol, and Hernán Pérez.

He became manager of Villarreal 'A' during the 2009-10 season and led the club to a seventh-place finish in La Liga. His only full season was 2010-11, when he guided a talented team to fourth place in La Liga, the semifinals of the Europa League, and the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey. The team played some scintillating football, with Santi Cazorla, Giuseppe Rossi, Borja Valero, Bruno Soriano, and Nilmar all performing at a high level.

The first signs of turbulence were felt in the second half of the 2010-11 season, but results carried the day. 2011-12 got off to an unconvincing start when Villarreal struggled to beat Odense BK of Denmark in the Champions League play-off. Things got worse once the league campaign began: poor results, injuries, and questionable managerial decisions. Garrido increasingly blamed results on external factors -- like the referees -- and was eventually sacked after a humiliating home defeat in the Copa del Rey to third-division Mirandés.

Ravi on Garrido:
  1. He gives the impression of someone who is stubborn to the point of irrationality. Players would suddenly disappear from -- or reappear in -- the line-ups with no explanation or logic.
  2. He is also known to be very demanding in training. This is something that was never talked about when the going was good. Once the results stopped, this became an issue. His demeanor in the press conferences didn't make him any friends either.
  3. The fact that Garrido tried to blame external factors for his firing and the manner in which he burnt bridges with almost everyone at Villarreal angers the fans most of all. He was a local guy and management loved him. The bitterness at the end might take a while to subside, if it ever does.

Allen on Garrido:

Positives:

  1. He tried to give us some toughness and a more counterattacking style.
  2. He did an excellent job coaching some of our younger players like Marco Ruben.
  3. He wasn't Mr. Nice Guy, which sometimes was good: he stood up to the bigger clubs when they tried to push us around -- though frequently he overdid it and came off looking arrogant.

Negatives:

  1. As a judge of talent and spending in the transfer window, he was pretty bad. He really wanted Javier Camuñas and Jonathan de Guzmán; no idea why.
  2. He didn't manage the locker room well. His firing came about primarily because the team had stopped playing for him because he had them afraid to make mistakes.
  3. Garrido was just so arrogant and unlikable, and things were never his fault.

Sid on Garrido:

Positives:

1. Great run of results. He dragged the club out of mediocrity and put us in the Champions League. Also reached the semifinals of the Europa League, and most impressively of all, considering our results in the competition, the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey. That cup comeback against Valencia was arguably the highlight of my years following Villarreal.

2. Consistency in the rotation. A good team needs a core set of players to count on, and that's what Garrido did. See #2 in the negatives section for the downside, though. Garrido went a bit overboard.

3. True believer. Garrido was a Villarreal man through and through, and that's why it was so difficult for Sr. Roig to let him go. We saw the results of not having a Plan 'B' in our eventual relegation.

Negatives:

1. Personality cult. The team always played well, and he always did his job. But luck or officiating or the opposing manager or fate did us in. His press conferences were inane and tiring after a point. We always "deserved more" and not once did we ever hear him take responsibility for the way the team was playing.

2. The infamous "doghouse". As The Eagles said, you could check out any time you liked, but you could never leave. Many promising young players wasted away on the bench or out of the squad. Garrido's over-dependence on experienced players may have cost us 3-4 contributors to this year's 'A' team.

3. Tactical nous. Garrido never had a Plan 'B' for the team. When things went poorly, we went down playing the same style. A few different ideas now and again could have gone a long way

Epilogue:

We wish Garrido good luck at Club Brugge. We also hope that he has taken some lessons from his time at Villarreal. A stint far away from Spain might be the best thing for Garrido in the near-term. His reputation was coming in the way of him landing a coaching job in Spain.

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