This year has seen amazing footballing action, from 4 goals in 9 minutes to 10 goals by a team in a single game; from the miraculous run of Leicester City to the even more astonishing decline of Chelsea, from sackings to mind boggling signings, we have had it all and surely 2016 is going to bring in its own share of crazy moments. So as we look back on the year that it was you cannot simply avoid the contributions and achievements of football managers in this calendar year. From Ranieri to Allegri the year has been of the bosses.
So in that light we look back on the top 5 managers in La Liga this year-
The Deportivo boss has had his plate full. After taking over from Victor Fernandes, the Spaniard had his work cut out for him. After a loss to Cordoba, Depotivo sacked Fernandes and handed the reins of the club to their former midfielder Victor Sanchez. Deportivo has had a shoddy run in the league being relegated in 2011 and 2013, and finishing the last season just shy of the relegation zone. But Sanchez has turned things on their head. With 26 points from 16 games, Deportivo currently sit in the 6th position in the league. This has been a considerable improvement for Turks who have been languishing the bottom half of the table for most seasons. Sanchez has beautifully used the resources at his disposal and has also made opportune buys like Lucas Perez who has scored 12 goals in the 16 games that he has played for Galician club.
The Argentinean has been a revelation and the shining light for the Rojiblancos. Cholo has taken to Atletico to new heights and given the light of his past achievements, this season though great just seems like a prelude for the action to come. The Rojiblancos sit above their city rivals on the 2nd position in the league and have recently given the La Liga giants a run for their money. What makes Cholo such a force is how he has turned the club around with the limited resources he had. The club hadn’t won a single title since 1996, but the coming of a that Argentinean led to a Spanish Super Cup, a Europa League, a Copa del Rey and who can forget the Champions League final where they were on the brink of the biggest feat which potentially would have been the most historical victory in the game. Cholo spells class and demands hard work from his players and we are all witness to what his tactics have led to!
Unai Emery’s career has been marked by stabilising teams which were on the brink of breakdowns, and that is what he has achieved with his current club Sevilla. Emery has led Sevilla to two back to back Europa League titles and currently the club occupies the 8th position in the league. Emery’s tactics have made Sevilla a formidable side being able to hold back teams like Barcelona. Brilliant counter attacking is Emery’s trademark which is working well for his club and his players. Emery does not leave behind a legacy for being the rescuer for clubs but also has had a hand in creating players like Mata, Alba and now Banega and thus without any doubt makes our list!
The story of Eduardo Berizzo is what we call ‘Champions stuff’. The Argentinean took over the club in 2014 and has been stabilising the bottom dwellers since then, that now Celta Vigo occupy the fourth spot in the league with a win against the Catalan giants and draw at the Vincent Calderon. Celta Vigo were never accounted for much, but Berizzo has totally turned the tables with his fast-paced tactics that reflect the philosophy of his predecessor Luis Enrique and his mentor Bielsa. Berizzo’s game is marked with instinctive and flamboyant tactics which have left the teams second guessing. If you look at Celta’s games you will find that the players move the ball very well between them and the tactics employed to force the opponents to play to Celta’s benefits. That is what Berizzo has achieved and who knows where the club will be at the end of the season!
What can one say about the Barcelona boss? The man won the treble in his very first season and for us, that is proof enough of the prowess of the boss. Though Enrique enjoys support now, it wasn’t the same always. The Spaniard had to face the brunt of the fans and the management for his tactics which were supposedly not in accordance with the legacy of the club. His tactics were not the same as Guardiola under whom the focus was on keeping maximum possession in the game. But for Enrique possession wasn’t of paramount importance, winning the ball and taking it forward was more important. The result of this was in the semi-final win against Munich where the Catalans recorded a possession of 50% but scored on 3 occasions. When the wins began to pour, Luis Enrique’s philosophy has now become the new legacy!