Three possible managerial replacements for Sergio Lobera at FC Goa
FC Goa took everyone by surprise when they decided to sack head coach Sergio Lobera, despite the team leading ISL table charts.
The Spaniard was in his third year at the club and had already guided the team to a semi-final appearance in 2017-18 season, runners-up position in 2018-19 and won the Super Cup, the club’s first trophy.
Under Lobera, the Gaurs developed an expansive style of play that was a treat to watch for connoisseurs of attacking game. The fact that Goa leads the goal-scoring and passing charts in the last three seasons bears this out.
Lobera, a product of Barcelona’s philosophy wasted no time in imposing his philosophy that he imbibed during his time as a youth coach at Barcelona’s renowned La Masia academy. The philosophy was essentially about possession, dominance, attack and technical skill.
In fact, Lobera has built a career as a roving ambassador for Barcelona, working in Spain and Morocco before landing at FC Goa. Lobera’s team was ISL’s own version of Barcelona.
Much of the football FC Goa has served up under Lobera, has been scintillating. Unifying a club with a brand of entertaining football that your fans can be proud of is indicative that the club has made progress.
Now the challenge for FC Goa bosses is to replicate what Lobero has done during his two-and-a-half-year reign. He presented a new way of winning- a way of winning that most clubs around the country now pursue.
And what could be most interesting is who would replace Lobero. Will the FC Goa hierarchy stick to Lobero's footballing philosophy or choose a different path?
Let's look at three candidates that could fill the vacant managerial position at FC Goa.
1# Eusebio Sacristan
Eusebio parted ways with Girona after their relegation from La Liga last season. The 55-year-old had previously been in charge at Real Sociedad and Celta Vigo and spent four years at Barcelona B.
Eusebio who made over 200 appearances for Barcelona as a player, is currently without a team, while his experience in Spanish top-flight should bode well for his chances of receiving the first-team job.
2# Jordi Vinyals
Vinyals, Barcelona's head of youth development and former coach of its B team, took over the reins of China's League One side Qingdao Huanghai in 2015. In his three-and-a-half-year spell, Vinyals fell just short of promotion to the Super League in each of his seasons at the club. However, the club achieved promotion last season after Vinyals parted ways with the club mid-season.
Coming from the first generation of Barcelona's La Masia youth system, Vinyals went on a 15-year expedition in La Liga and the Spanish second division.
Vinyals started his coaching career in 2000 and claimed the UEFA U-19 Champions League in 2014 with Barcelona's youth team.
3# Sergi Barjuan
Barjuan played in two World Cups for Spain and spent nearly ten years with Barcelona.
After retiring as a player in 2005, Sergi spent two years as Barcelona youth coach, then managed three different Spanish sides, the last being Mallorca in 2017.
In November 2017, the Catalan manager moved abroad for the first time in his career, joining Chinese League One side Zhejiang Greentown, who were relegated in 2016.
In his first season in charge, Barjuan was within touching distance of a return to the Chinese Super League, missing promotion by just two points.
After his Chinese stint, Sergi is in the free market agency looking for a suitable opportunity to test his managerial skills.Published 04 Feb 2020, 12:52 IST