Trigger happy Alaves searching for fourth manager since June

Colin Millar by Colin Millar / 28 November 2017, 09:15

Alaves are searching for their third permanent manager of the season and their fourth since June after dismissing Italian tactician Gianni De Biasi after just eight matches in charge of the club.

Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Basque rivals Eibar brought an end to Di Biasi’s nine-week spell at Estadio de Mendizorroza, as the club sunk to the bottom of the pile in La Liga.

The 61-year-old was the club’s third manager since June and took over from Luis Zubeldia, who lost all four matches in charge after replacing Mauricio Pellegrino in the summer. De Biasi inherited a side that had no points and just one goal from their opening five La Liga matches and despite a brief upturn in results and performances, two damaging defeats to Getafe and Eibar has ended his stint.

It was by no means a disastrous stint, winning three of his eight matches at the helm - although one of these was in the Copa Del Rey - but having lost five league outings from the last six, a change felt somewhat inevitable. The former Torino boss could not settle on a formation or style for his side, who had previously been viewed as a robust and disciplined outfit under Pellegrino.

Initially sticking with his predecessor’s 4-2-3-1 formation, De Biasi then switched to two strikers in a 3-5-2, then a more cautious 5-3-2 before moving to a 4-4-2 in his final weeks. It was his indecision and apparent lack of knowledge and trust in his own troops which were ultimately his downfall. His first game in charge - a 2-0 victory at Levante - brought reason for optimism, as did a battling 1-0 home victory over Espanyol at the start of the month. But a 4-1 collapse at Getafe and home loss to struggling Eibar forced El Glorioso’s board to act.

Despite being rooted to the bottom of the table with just six points, and six adrift of safety, there is reason for optimism and the next manager can make up ground straight away. The Basque side’s next two La Liga home fixtures are against sides in the relegation zone - Las Palmas and Malaga - giving immediate hope for the building of momentum, in some form.

The problem they have faced so far is the general failure to integrate the club’s multiple summer signings into the first team with many struggling for form, including the six loanees. Bojan Krkic, Munir El-Haddadi and Alvaro Medran have perhaps been the most notable underwhelming performers, having all previously shown promise at the top level.

Javier Cabello steps into the breach on a temporary basis - having coached the side against Real Madrid in September in-between Zubeldia and De Biasi - but it is likely the club will attempt to swiftly appoint a permanent successor to the role. Each of the past three appointments have been left-field, Pellegrino and Zubeldia each being poached from Argentine football with the recent incumbent having been in charge of the Albanian national team.

The club may seek to look at someone with greater knowledge of La Liga and the club itself, and someone who may bring contacts into how to once again overhaul the club’s playing squad in January to avoid the prospect of relegation from the top flight.

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Managers Departed

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Dean Smith
Dean Smith
(Brentford)
10th October
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