4 contenders to replace sacked Vincenzo Montella at Sevillaby Colin Millar / 30 April 2018, 10:10Tweet
In little over a month’s time, Sevilla will be searching for their fifth permanent manager in little over a year.
Jorge Sampaoli’s exit last summer to manage Argentina has played a part in a season of mass instability and underachievement for the Andalusian giants.
His successor and compatriot Eduardo Berizzo was dismissed just before Christmas following an underwhelming first half of the campaign. The former Celta Vigo boss won 28 points from 17 games and had progressed in each cup competition, but an underwhelming style of play was cited for a dismissal which seemed - even without the context of the tactician recovering from cancer - particularly harsh.
Then Vincenzo Montella came in - just a month after his sacking from Milan, a surprising appointment. The Italian amassed a pitiful 19 points from his 17 matches - significantly fewer than Berizzo - while he only enjoyed such a stay of execution due to his exploits in cups.
A famous Champions League elimination over Manchester United - bringing a first quarter-final for the club since 1958 - and Copa del Rey success over Atletico Madrid promised much but ended with elimination to Bayern Munich in Europe and a 5-0 Copa del Rey final humiliation to Barcelona. With no win in nine games and with the club on the brink of not qualifying for Europe, Montella was relieved of his duties this weekend.
“Sevilla FC have dismissed Vincenzo Montella after the side's bad run of results since winning last in Old Trafford on the 13th of March,” read a club statement.
“Caparros will lead the team in the 2017/18 run-in and will then stay linked with the club in a role which had already been determined once Sevilla's sporting structure had been reorganised.”
Caparros will take charge until the end of the campaign, initially, before the club make a new appointment in the summer.
But who could that be?
The man who has been trusted with the role until the end of the season is popular with the fans and was at the helm for five years between 2000 and 2005. It was he who guided the club back to the top flight in his first year in charge, before taking them back to Europe. It is possible he will be given the role permanently should he impress until the end of the campaign.
The 62-year-old has managed 13 clubs across Spanish football and most recently managed Osasuna between November and January last season but his side only won once in his eight matches in charge before spending six months at Qatari club Al Ahli.
Another former manager in the frame for a return is the outgoing Paris Saint-Germain boss. The 46-year-old has a track record of success and managed Los Rojiblancos to three successive Europa League title between 2014 and 2016.
Emery is rated extremely highly in Spain - starting off with early successes at tiny Lorca and Almeria before three top three finishes with Valencia preceding his spell in Seville. He will look to see out his spell in France with a seventh trophy in the space of two seasons.
Linked most strongly with a summer move to Real Sociedad - his boyhood club - a move back to Sevilla could be widely welcomed by the club’s fans.
That is some way to win the title!— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) April 15, 2018
Congrats Unai Emery & PSG! pic.twitter.com/US60Oc2Qtz
The former Barcelona boss is still without a club and has been linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea this summer, although no move has yet been finalised. Enrique was approached by Sevilla regarding the vacant managerial post in December but ruled out taking a job in the middle of the season.
Now he is likely to be much more open to the idea of taking the hot-seat, providing he has not agreed a move elsewhere. Having also coached Roma and Celta Vigo, he possesses a background and profile that would be ideal for the club.
Currently in charge of Premier League club Watford, where he was appointed midway through the season, Gracia has long been linked with the Sevilla job. He missed out on the role when Sampaoli, Berizzo and Montella were appointed.
Indeed, he was said to be the ‘player’s choice’ in December before the board opted to appoint the Italian. He is most well-regarded for his spell with Malaga, whom he guided to successive top-half finishes before departing for Russia in 2016. He has endured an underwhelming spell at Vicarage Road to date, and all parties could be open to a potential move.