Following a truly dire 1-0 home loss to the anti-football kings, Getafe, Fran Escribá has been duly relieved of his duties as Celta Vigo first-team manager. The ex-Villarreal coach took over for Miguel Cardoso in March of last season with Celta 17th in the table, with 25 points from 26 matches. Under Escriba, they got 16 points from their last 12, but that renaissance really had more to do with the return of Iago Aspas to fitness, in my opinion, though Escriba certainly calmed things down after two coaching changes.
This season has been a disaster. Celta have two wins—both at home, over Valencia and Athletic Club by 1-0 margins—and have lost four in a row. It’s baffling how a squad which boasts so many attacking talents—Denis Suarez, Santi Mina, Rafinha, Aspas, among others—can have scored only six goals in twelve matches. Escriba always seemed something of an odd fit at Celta—yes, he has tightened up their defense to a degree (they had given up 44 goals in their first 26 matches last year; in the 24 matches he coached at Celta, they gave up 33) but the attack has just died. They’re fifth in the league in possession (53%) but last in the league in shots per game (8.8).
Escribá is a pragmatic coach who has enjoyed success at Elche and Villarreal, certainly, but even with Villarreal he never truly settled in. Even after he coached us to a fifth-place finish after taking over abruptly from Marcelino, there seemed to be some doubt, as he only got a one-year contract for the next year—and, of course, he was gone by the end of September. Coaching is a tough business.