After 22 games in charge - four wins, six draws and 12 defeats - Ronald Koeman has been put out of his misery and sacked as manager of Valencia: Spanish football's most turbulent club...
If anything, it's a miracle that Koeman lasted this long at Spanish football's most famous soap opera. Ronald Koeman was the fifth coach appointed by club president Soler since the portly presi took charge of the club in 2004. Immediately prior to Soler's arrival, the club had enjoyed one of its most a successful periods in its history, a period in which Valencia won two league titles and qualified for two Champions League finals in four years.
Since then, aside from working their way through five managers, the club has won no trophies, experimented and fallen out with heaven knows how many sporting directors and been in a state of constant civil war. If that wasn't bad enough, Valencia has accumulated debts of around €260m.
When Soler sacked Quique Sánchez Flores back in October, Valencia were just four points off La Liga leaders Madrid. He lost his job because the fans thought that he was boring: the same fans who turned on Rafa Benitez and Hector Cúper for the same reason in spite of the club undergoing one of it's most successful periods ever.
Soler has since resigned (Click here), but he, and Koeman leave Valencia two points above the relegation zone and staring in to the abyss. Sure, Valencia have a nice shiny Copa del Rey trophy to console themselves with, but that's hardly going to bring harmony to Spain's most turbulent football club. Its a clear sign of just how bad things are when the city council and the club itself formally announces that it will not be holding any from of celebration for winning Spain's domestic cup trophy.
That cup win was last Wednesday, and when that was followed by Valencia's worst defeat in 25 years with a 5-1 thrashing at Athletic Bilbao, you already knew that Koeman's time was up. And so did he. After winning just one match in the last six and losing five, as well as successfully alienating almost his entire team, the Dutchman can have no complaints.
As La Liga Review discussed a couple of weeks ago, (Click here) Koeman believed that he had the support of 'at least four or five' of the dressing room, yet who those players were was unclear. It certainly wasn't Joaquin, who complained that the team 'plays like a load of headless chickens,' or Helguera or accused Koeman of having no respect for the players.
It was inevitable really, and kind of what you deserve when you sack a manager in spite of being in fourth place in La Liga. Still, that's how things are done in Valencia.
It's now up to some other poor sod to try and win the respect of those players. Who might that be you ask? Someone with experience and leadership skills in abundance, someone who can command the respect of the players - maybe even bringing the ostracised three - Albelda, Canizares and Angulo - back in to the fold.
Don't be daft. This is Valencia.
The job had been given to the bloke who's idea it was to excommunicate the three club stalwarts from the training ground in the first place and who's biggest claim to managerial fame is having promoted a Levante B team from the fourth to the third division. His last job involved handing out the team sheets to the referees and press before games at the Mestalla. He is now responsible for a 150 million plus worth of football talent. His name's Voro, and if you haven't heard of him, don't worry, no one else has.
Not even David Villa; that should convince him to stick around past the summer.