Javier Aguirre, former El Tri (Mexican National Team) Coach and former coach at Real Zaragoza, Atlético de Madrid and Osasuna, has been hired by RCD Espanyol to replace Mauricio Pochettino who was let go on Monday, November 26th. Espanyol sits at the bottom of the table with only 9 points from 13 matches.
Aguirre’s has signed on to coach Espanyol until the end of the season. He will be officially presented on Thursday, November 29th at 1PM at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat.
Aguirre’s has experience with teams on the verge of disaster or relegation. Both of his stints at El Tri occurred when he was called in to save the team from failing to qualify to the World Cup (South Korea in 2002 and South Africa in 2010). And, Aguirre helped save Osasuna from relegation.
At Espanyol, Aguirre will take the helm of a team that is facing financial difficulties and he must improve the morale of the team. Watching Espanyol, over the course of the last few games, it was apparent that the players were resigned to their situation, defenders appeared listless and the offense lacked a consistent spark. Further, Pochettino seemed exasperated on the sidelines.
Aguirre’s first match will be against Granada on Sunday.
Well sort of. Andres Guardado’s Valencia faced off against Oguchi Onyewu’s Málaga, but only one them played in the match. Guardado played 68 minutes in the match and Onyewu only watched from the bench.
Málaga won the match 4 – 0 and Guardado seemed to be lost on the field. He started the match paired up with Ali Cissohko on the left side, with Cissohko as the left back and Guardado as a left winger. But sometimes Guardado dropped all the way back to left back to defend and Cissohko came all the way up to attack. It just didn’t seem to work. The whole team seemed out of sorts and frustrated. The frustation level was evident with the players. As Ever Banega was substituted out he made an obscene gesture to Mauricio Pellegrino, Valencia’s head coach. As a result of the gesture, Pellegrino disciplined Banega. Pellegrino did not disclose the specifics of the disciplinary action saying it was internal matter.
With the victory Málaga sits in 4th position, 4 points behind Real Madrid and Valencia sits in the middle of the table in 11th position.
Leo Gutierrez, Contributor
Leo is a follower of La Liga, Liga MX, and MLS
During the day he maintains www.radiofuturamusic.com