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Marcelino's second anniversary as leader of the Submarine

The first match with him in charge was on January 19, but he was appointed on the 14th. At the time, we were in seventh place in the Segunda, six points away from promotion, and going nowhere.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

A lot can happen in two years.  Marcelino Garcia Toral was appointed manager of Villarreal's first team two years ago, with the team desperate to gain promotion from the Segunda División.

His first match in charge was hardly a success (a 5-0 away loss to Real Madrid Castilla) but it did serve to illustrate the magnitude of the problems he faced.  Of the 18 players in the Villarreal squad for that match, only 6 still remain with the club--Juan Carlos, Bruno, Trigueros, Gerard, Moi and Mario.  (Three others, Cani, Jony,  and Pablo Iñiguez, are on loan).

Of course, then we went on a tear, losing only one of our next 20 matches in the Segunda, winning promotion.

This should become his longest job in the top flight--he coached at Sporting for two years, Recre for two (the first in the Segunda) but then resigned to take over Santander after the second year was up.  His record in the Primera with Villarreal is 26-13-17; 91 points from 56 matches, or 1.65 per match.  (By comparison, the sainted Manuel Pellegrini averaged 1.7 points per match in his five years in Villarreal; the difference works out to two points over the course of a 38-game season).

Marcelino's record in all competitions since taking over is 54-23-21 (98 matches), with the club scoring 164 goals and giving up 91 in those matches.  Here's hoping for win #55 today!