Yesterday Valencia football club secured its passage into the next round of the Europa league, substitute Goncalo Guedes dramatically equalising in stoppage time to send his team through to the last eight.
Though Valencia are also in the final of the Copa del Rey, with the team’s La Liga campaign petering out manager Marcelino may have to secure at least one of those trophies to secure his job.
Marcelino, Valencia’s 8th manager in five years, joined an underperforming club sitting in 17th place. Last season, his focus on fitness and hard work turned things around, taking them to fourth place in the La Liga and qualification for the Champions League.
The club, which celebrates its 100th anniversary next week, currently sits in 7th place in La Liga. Though they have not lost any of their last five games, they have drawn three, and fans are beginning to get restless. In fact, Valencia have drawn more than half of their league games this season, the highest in the division. Although they are in no danger of relegation, supporters in Spain’s third largest city expect more excitement dominant performances from their team.
A Dramatic Return for Grau?
According to Paddy Power, the favourite to take over in the managerial hots seat is Miguel Grau at 11/2. Grau, a Valencian by birth, managed the Valencia B team from November 2017 before resigning last month when his team was defeated 2-3 by UE Lleida.
Second favourite, at 11/2, is Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, who was responsible for the most successful period in the club’s history. Between 2001 and 2004 Valencia won two league titles and one UEFA cup. Though a return to previous glory may have a nostalgic appeal for both Benitez and the team’s fans, the move could prove complicated. Benitez’s family is settled in England, and should he decide to leave Newcastle he would have little trouble finding another job in the Premiership.
Also linked to the job are former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and the current Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim. Both are available at 7/1.