Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pako Ayestarán appointed Valencia manager until 30 June 2018

VCF Official Statement

"Valencia Club de Fútbol wish to announce the appointment of Francisco Martín Ayestarán Baranadiarán -Pako Ayestarán- as head coach of the first team, on a deal running through to June 30th, 2018.

The squad were informed of the decision this morning by club Chairwoman, Lay Hoon Chan, and Sporting Director, Jesús García Pitarch at the Ciudad Deportiva de Paterna.
...
A press conference with Pako Ayestarán, Lay Hoon Chan and Jesús García Pitarch will be held at 6:30pm this Tuesday afternoon, in the VIP Box at Mestalla."

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All a bit of an anti-climax, after names like Mourinho and Pellegrini were thrown around. The former just seemed to be using us to force Manchester United's hand, however, the latter seemed a real possibility. Instead, we have yet another manager who's largely unproven at the top level. When will the club stop gambling this way and learn the lesson that a skilled squad needs a real leader to get the best from it? Pako's record towards the end of last season was not that impressive. 3 wins, a draw and 4 defeats. That did include a win at Barcelona, but we often seem to raise our game against the top teams, only for this to prove worthless as we squander points with defeats at Las Palmas or at home to Sociedad. Can Pako get a bit extra out of this underperforming squad? I remain to be convinced.

On the plus side, he does have the fans on his side...for now...so next season can start without the negativity that dogged last season. His priority will be to work alongside Suso and revamp the squad, throwing out some of the dead wood.

Lay Hoon Chan gave an interview recently (link here) where she did admit to mistakes made last season, specifically: "The key thing is to plan for a balanced squad. What we learnt from the last season was that our squad was a bit too young and inexperienced."

Talk is cheap, so the summer transfer window will show if words can become actions.

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