We interrupt our regular Villarreal coverage to bring news of our former manager Marcelino, who has been abruptly fired today.
That’s right, Peter Lim has dismissed Marcelino as Valencia CF manager, replacing him with Albert Celades, who has experience as a Spain youth international coach but not at club level. The news has come as a shock, as it appeared that after much excitement and rumors of problems earlier this summer, Marce and owner Peter Lim had come to some sort of understanding and Marce was continuing at the club.
Now, he’s been knifed in the back by Mr. Lim, and by all accounts the move had been planned for a few days, as Celades secretely visited Singapore and met with Lim without a word to anyone else.
All Marcelino did at Valencia was guide them to a Champions League place two years running and win the Copa del Rey (Valencia’s first major trophy in a decade or so). And unlike at Villarreal, where part of the problem that led to Marce’s firing was his relationship with the playing squad, or at least key individuals on it, Los Che players are tweeting their displeasure with the decision.
Dani Parejo tweeted his best and said he was sure Marcelino would find success “anywhere they let you work”, which was an interesting phrase. Gabriel Paulista said “we must move forard for the badge and the fans, although (the firing) is hard to understand.” Ezequiel Garay minced no words, tweeting that “whoever took this decision not only trampled over you, but over an entire squad and fanbase, and I say it loud and clear: It’s not fair.” (Garay played for Marcelino at Racing in 2007-08, as well as at Valencia). Much speculation that general manager Mateo Alemany, one of Marcelino’s biggest backers, may resign, but it’s uncertain as Lim would make him pay to buy himself out of his contract.
Ostensibly Marcelino’s firing is a reaction to comments he made about transfer activity.
The timing of the firing wasn’t handled well, either; players found out about it from Marcelino’s and Ruben Uria’s children when they came to the training ground to pick up various items. Marcelino then spent about an hour with the players, and his departure coincided with the arrival of Celades to take the afternoon training session.
Marcelino will certainly be in demand for coaching jobs, though he can’t take another Primera job this season and he’s never coached (or played) outside Spain, and I believe does not speak any language other than Spanish.