Catalan-based daily Sport believes that the Sevilla board will dismiss current coach Manolo Jimenez at the end of June this year for failing to meet many of the club’s objectives, even though there’s still over a quarter of the season to go.
The former youth-team coach took over the hot-seat in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan dug-out in October 2007, replacing Juande Ramos when the club was in turmoil on and off the pitch. But he managed to steer the team back in the right direction and they ended up qualifying for this term’s UEFA Cup.
He was immediately rewarded with a permanent role on the bench and despite losing numerous key figures for this season, the club still managed to re-assemble a squad that Jimenez was expected to guide to at least one title. President Jose Maria del Nido has always publicly defended his coach, but even he has now run out of patience following the latest series of flops.
Sevilla’s shock exit in the group stage of the UEFA Cup and last Wednesday’s elimination in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey to Athletic Bilbao – despite holding a 2-1 first leg lead – have all but ended their hopes of silverware. Although they are still mathematically in the Primera Division race, they are unlikely to threaten the top two,
The Blanquirrojos are sitting pretty in third place, well on target to qualify for the Champions League next term, but Sport does not believe that even securing a berth to Europe’s premier competition will save Jimenez. There is speculation that he could be promoted to take on a more technical role instead, but his coaching career with the Nervionense club seems all but over.
Two names have already surfaced as his possible replacement. The first is former Espanyol and current Olympiakos coach Ernesto Valverde, whose contract with the Greek giants coincidentally expires on June 30 this year. The second option is ex-Valencia trainer Quique Sanchez Flores, who is the coach at Benfica at present.
KS Leong, Goal.com