Gregorio Manzano: Time To Play High Stakes
For some, Gregorio Manzano is the best Spanish coach right now. The way he involves the training and tactics side of soccer with his knowledge of psychology to motivate his players renders big results in nearly every team he coaches.
The last proof of the quality of the Andalusian coach was the amazing season Mallorca just had. A team without its key player, Juan Arango, who left to Germany last summer, held a Champions League position for most of the season, only to lose it in the very last game of the year to Sevilla, who scored in the 93rd minute to clinch the fourth place.
Manzano, who already gave Mallorca a great year with the Spanish Cup in 2003, and won the Don Balon Magazine award for the best coach in Spain in 2008, has shown in his over two decades of coaching that he is ready for a bigger team.
The huge economic problems Mallorca is going through at the end of this season, with the president Bartolome Vidal resigning along with part of the board, stopped the negotiation process to renew Manzano's contract, which ended this summer.
Gregorio Manzano had said he was willing to continue in the island for another year, but he wanted a well-earned increase in his salary for a season that would involve Liga, Spanish Cup and Europa League.
Nobody expected the club to be in Europe next season. Manzano has made it happen for the first time in six years, and he deserved a raise.
With the team and the coach going different ways, and as the news of Manzano's resigning was official two days ago, the question is: how good can Manzano be?
With several teams wanting a new coach this summer, the Andalusian could land in a bigger Spanish team, or even outside of the Peninsula. A couple of teams come to mind when it comes to finding a new home for Manzano.
It seems a bit of a stretch for Manzano to arrive in Madrid, but the truth is, he is as ready as Vicente del Bosque was (and he won La Liga and the Champions League in his last year).
However, the fixation Florentino Perez has with Mourinho will most likely give the job to the Portuguese.
President Del Nido has already admitted he is in talks with Manzano to take charge of the Andalusian team this summer. Even though Sevilla's current coach, Antonio Alvarez, has just won the Spanish Cup, his way of making the team play is not what Sevilla is used to.
Even though Filippo Galli seems to be the best positioned coach to take over at the fashion capital, Manzano could do a better job. He has already admitted the possibility of working outside of Spain, and Milan would certainly be a good place to prove himself.
With the entire summer ahead of him, Gregorio Manzano can sit down and relax for a couple of weeks, while the job offers roll in. He has a rising reputation, and a hidden potential that any big team could benefit from.
Whatever happens, we can expect to see the Andalusian coach in a title-contender team in Europe by August.
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