CD Leganés, currently bottom of the league table, have announced that Mauricio Pellegrino has stepped down as coach by mutual consent. Could be in some ways his successful 2018-19 season turned out to create some unrealistic expectations for this year—he had the club in a comfortable midtable position for much of the year, and they finished 13th, their best position since being promoted in 2016.
And, Leganés spent big (comparatively) this off-season. They bought Martin Braithwaite from Middelsborough for €5m, they added Jonathan Silva and Roberto Rosales on the backline, having already obtained Nigerian international Kenneth Omeruo to go back there.
It made sense: the plan a lot of clubs have followed is to rely primarily on free transfers and loanees for the first year or two, then, once it seems you have a nucleus of players to build around, you start investing bigger in the transfer market. It seemed a good plan.
But, the defense—Pellegrino’s strong point, given he was an outstanding defender at Valencia and Velez Sarsfeld— has been struggling lately—14 goals given up in 9 matches, 2 in each of the last two games—and the offense has been terrible. Braithwaite has scored two goals, young Oscar Rodriguez two, and that’s been it.
So, they’re looking for a coach (their B-team coaches are taking over temporarily).
Meanwhile, Celta Vigo continue to amaze, and not in a good way. Celta have had a hard time with coaches since first Luis Enrique and then Eduardo Berizzo left. They turned to Fran Escribá last season, and he kept them up, though to be honest it seemed to have more to do with Iago Aspas recovering from injury than anything else (certainly Aspas willed Celta to victory against us!!).
Nine matches in, and Escribá is under fire. Somehow, a team with Santi Mina, Iago Aspas Denis Suarez, Rafinha, Brais Mendez, and Pione Sisto all on the roster has managed but five goals. Villarreal host Celta on matchday 14, after yet another international break (WILL THEY EVER END?????). Could be, like last weekend, we’ll be facing another team with a new coach, could be (as has happened regularly as well) if Escribá loses against us, he’s gone. Watch this space!!!