Coach Pepe, out of ideas… and his job

Granada 2 CD Tenerife 1

ONE point from the last three games (two at home) brought the inevitable sacking of CD Tenerife coach Pep Marti after 108 games in charge.

This defeat was littered with the same problems and lack of solutions, and, for long spells, Tenerife looked void of confidence. They are now in 13th place and are dangerously close to the relegation zone.

The defence had to be rebuilt again  because of suspensions for Camille and Jorge. But Carlos Ruiz was back in favour in the centre of defence and Inaki took the left-back slot.

The back-line had plenty to deal with, and Pedro won a corner, from which a shot flicked off the post. A few hundred Tenerife fans were praying for a spark of invention, but all the electricity was about to come from Granada.

Malchis picked up the ball on their left flank and fired a long-range screamer into the Tenerife net. You don’t get many like that, unless you waited for another couple of minutes at Granada,

This time, on their right, Pena added another pearl, despite the presence of three markers closing in, hooking a lovely shot into the visitors’ net. Twenty minutes gone and Tenerife were in free-fall.

Last week’s new signing Milla, who found it hard to influence the game, picked up a booking for a foul on Pedro.

And, in a desperate rearguard action, Inaki had to block Diaz for a corner, while Dani did well with his foot to block a raid at the far post.

All this left little room for Tenerife attacks, though Aitor Sanz won a header on the half-hour to keep the home keeper busy.

Then came one of those comedy moments from Malbasic, when the ball arrived at his feet, and he froze before losing it. A weak Tenerife clearance invited Conde to have a long-range shot that cleared the bar, and half-time couldn’t come quickly enough for the beleaguered Tenerife team.

A double change after the break brought Suso and Juan Vilar on for Aitor Sanz, booked and suspended for the next game, and Malbasic.

It brought the usual flicker of improvement, Suso showing some of his old fire when ghosting past the home defence to flash a shot at the keeper. Alberto and Costa then linked up to create a half-chance that the Granada keeper took cleanly.

The final Tenerife sub was Juan Carlos Real for Alberto, which highlighted another long-running criticism of the coach.

The team are often one-sided and predictable, with no left-side option. Juan Carlos is a natural for that position, but he was quite low on Pep’s choices.

Worse still, he slotted into a more central role this time. Luis Perez made a run down the right and Juan Carlos was able to cut in for a low shot at the keeper.

There seemed little hope of a goal from Tenerife, but when it came, it flattered them on the run of play. Bryan Acosta put in one of his pinpoint crosses, and Vilar showed his natural goal touch with a header at the post.

If only Vilar could keep himself fit, the season might have blossomed instead of wilting, but there have been too many of those “if-onlys” this season.

There was to be no late fightback, and the players must have known what was coming the next day: a subdued flight back to Tenerife and a parting of the ways.

This Sunday, the new coach starts his campaign in the Carnival game, at home against Cordoba at 7pm.

Wild costumes will adorn the terraces, but the fans are hoping for a bit more reality on the field.

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Posted by on Feb 9 2018. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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