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La Liga 2016-17: Valencia sack Pako Ayestaran after less than six months as manager

Pako Ayestaran
Ayestaran endured a torrid spell in charge of Valencia
Sourav Saha
Modified 21 Sep 2016, 11:46 IST

The turbulence at the Mestalla continues as Valencia sacked their latest manager Pako Ayestaran on Tuesday evening. A poor start to the season which has resulted in 4 defeats out of 4 games has left Valencia at the bottom of the league.

Ayestaran took over as coach after Gary Neville’s departure only six months ago, but the Board released a statement on Tuesday evening stating their intention of relieving the coach of his duties. The statement went on to say about how the decision was being taken in “sporting interest” and after an analysis of the team’s recent run of results.

Also Read: La Liga 2016-'17 week 4 round-up

The Spaniard succeeded Neville, in March and has endured a miserable run in which his side took only 10 points out of a possible 36 points. During his time he managed to win only three games, drawing one and losing eight.

The 53-year-old was given a squad devoid of its best players. Having sold forwards Paco Alcacer and Alvaro Negredo alongside midfielder Andre Gomes over the summer, Valencia in effect lost their most attacking threats. The sale of Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal was another nail in the coffin for the coach.

Valencia as a club have been in turmoil for quite a long time now and this dismissal was the eighth since the year 2012. Another unique and unwanted statistic is that Ayestaran was the third coach to lose his job at Valencia in the past year.

The highlight of his career during his time at Valencia was the 2-1 victory which his team pulled off at the Nou Camp last campaign. An Ivan Ratikic own-goal and a first half stoppage time goal by Lorenzo Santi Mina were enough to give the side victory. That was as good as it got for the coach as it ended a run of his side’s three consecutive victories.

Ayestaran who was appointed by Valencia owner, Peter Lim had his contract extended in the summer till 2018 but the recent run of results were always going to put him in a dicey situation. For the time being, former Valencia defender Voro Gonzalez has been named as the interim coach.

Earlier in his career, he was the assistant of current Newcastle United coach, Rafa Benitez. Ayestaran began his managerial career as an assistant with Osasuna alongside Benitez and over the years assisted the Spaniard in managing teams such as Valencia, Liverpool, Tenerife, and Extremadura.

However, after 11 years as an assistant, he announced his departure from Benitez’s side in 2007.

Published 21 Sep 2016, 11:38 IST
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