Athletic Bilbao sack coach Garitano despite win over Elche

Athletic Bilbao sack coach Garitano despite win over Elche

Jan 04, 2021

Madrid (Spain), January 4: Athletic Bilbao on Sunday became the second club in La Liga to sack their coach this season after confirming that Gaizka Garitano would not continue in his post.
The timing of the announcement was surprising as it came less than two hours after Garitano's side had beaten Elche 1-0 to move into ninth place in the table with 21 points from 17 games.
The club confirmed Garitano's sacking and thanked him for his work in charge of the first team since replacing Eduardo Berizzo at the start of December 2018 with the club in the relegation zone.
The coach, who had previously led Athletic's B team, took them to the verge of a place in the Europa League in his first season in charge, and Athletic also went close to qualifying for Europe in the 2019-20 season, only to run out of gas in the final matches of the campaign.
Last season also saw Athletic qualify for the final of the Copa del Rey against Real Sociedad, which was postponed due to COVID-19 and is scheduled to be played in April.
However, Garitano had long been questioned for his defensive mentality and his lack of tactical flexibility, and despite Sunday's win he has finally paid the price for a series of poor performances, culminating in the 1-0 league defeat to Real Sociedad on December 31 when Athletic failed to manage a shot on target in 90 minutes for the third time this season.
Former Valencia, Sevilla and Villarreal coach Marcelino Garcia Toral is the favorite to be named as Garitano's replacement ahead of Wednesday's league game at home to FC Barcelona.
Source: Xinhua