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Pepe Mel’s second coming ends in tears after inciting Betis board to take action

If Real Betis sack me, no problem, Pepe Mel said canada goose, so Real Betis sacked him C two years and two months after the last time. History repeated itself, that same recurring dream: the one that starts with him riding to the rescue, resuscitating them, but ends in tears, the hero watching it all slip best canada goose jacket style inexplicably through his fingers. The man who saved Betis twice and brought them back twice has now been fired twice; maybe next time hell think twice. Last time, he didnt. Betis is my team, the club of my life, where I am happy, he said. That was December 2014; thirteen months on, hes gone again, the news broken to him by everyone except the man who was supposed to break it to him.

Mel watched the end come through a window at the Coliseum. Suspended, he spent Saturday nights game against Getafe in a radio booth at the top of the main stand. Down below he saw chances go by, from Alfred NDiaye in particular, and he saw lvaro Vzquez squeeze in the games only goal for Getafe, making it eight games without a win for Betis, five without even scoring a goal. Betis have to offer more and the coach is the man with the greatest responsibility, he conceded afterwards. I know what this world Im part of is like and if Real Betis decide to sack me, no problem. He knows, alright, and not just because of the results. Maybe not even because of the results.

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The writing was on the wall. At the clubs training ground, there was graffiti attacking the manager and his mercenary players. When he arrived back at Santa Justa station, cameras followed him. Im so famous, he smiled, sarcastically. The following day a board meeting was called for late afternoon and went on for five hours. When finally theyd agreed to sack him, it was almost eleven oclock. They tried to call him, but his phone was off. He best price for canada goose jacket found out anyway; Mel saw his sacking on Twitter. Id like to apologise for that. Someone leaked it in the short time between deciding and being able to talk to him, said the president, Juan Carlos Ollero.

And so the circle was completed again: salvation, promotion, the sack. buy a canada goose jacket online

Top scorer when Betis won promotion to the first division in 1989-90, Mel first became the clubs manager in 2010. Relegated the previous season, they were dead, in the words of one player. Taken into administration, there was a legal battle over shares which is still not resolved – one which has seen them have six presidents in six years – and a power vacuum into which he stepped. Turning to him had made sense: he was a btico with a season ticket at the Benito Villamarn, a man who connected with the fans like few others. And above all he was cheap. It turned out he was also rather good.

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Drawing mostly on young players, Be?at Exteberra, Adrin San Miguel and Jos Ca?as among them, Mel took Betis to the title and back to the first division. The year after that, they qualified for Europe. But it did not last. Mel once claimed that hed rather his daughter fell pregnant than Betis got relegated, and that was becoming a distinct possibility. The relegation, that is. Everything that could go wrong was going wrong: key players were injured or sold, the differences between him and the sporting director, Vlada Stosic, and others on the board were increasingly apparent, and ultras had invaded training. Results were bad and performances worse.

Mel had rebuilt Betis but he was sacked fifteen weeks into the 2013-14 season after three and a half years in charge, with the team bottom. This is the press conference I hope never to have to give, he said, his voice cracking, his eyes stinging as the cameras flashed, getting up quickly and dashing behind the sponsors backdrop where he could shed a tear in private. Through the walls, fans could be heard chanting his name and throwing stones at the stadium. The support that had been his great canada goose coat 0f strength had ultimately undermined him, serving to make him less popular with some directors, who resented his popularity and saw him as a manipulator of the masses. When they could act against him, they did.

Fans waited for the manager outside, cheering him as he drove away. 385 days later, he drove back again. Hed been to West Brom in the meantime. How have you changed? he was asked. I speak a bit of English now, he said. Betis had changed too, or so it seemed: this was a different board now, a new president and a new era.

Besides, they needed him. Things had not gone well without him; his departure had only made things worse, the institutional crisis engulfing them. Mels successor Juan Carlos Garrido lasted forty-eight mostly angry days as manager; there are too many fronts open, he complained. Gabi Caldern followed him and could do nothing to prevent relegation, Betis surrendering before a disastrous season was out. And under Julio Vzquez in the Second Division, there wasnt much sign of them coming back.

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By winter 2014, they made a change. Vzquez was sacked, but no one else was signed yet. Betis had been looking for a manager for twenty-seven days, a deal virtually done with Fernando Vzquez, when they hit upon the idea of calling Mel. He was hanging around in the city doing nothing, after all. In fact, he was hanging round in the stadium most Sundays. He admitted that the first time was traumatic, that it had hurt, but he was optimistic and he was home. Why had they waited so can i wash my canada goose coat long?, he was asked. Good question, Mel said. But I want to be positive.

Interim manager Juan Merino had won four in a row, leaving buy canada goose coat uk to applause and the bumps from his players and stepping aside for Mel to take over with the team sixth, eight points off promotion. We have to go up, come what may, Mel said, and they did. With two weeks still to go they won the title with a 3-0 win over Alcorcn in front of 50,000 fans. Theyd racked up eighty-four points. Under Mel their record read: won 15, draw berlin film festival ends canada goose jacket sponsorship amid 6, lost 1. I hope this is the last promotion we ever have to win, he said.

It still might be, and not just because of the man who comes in. For now, incidentally, it is Merino again, but he is not expected to stay for long. Mel has been sacked with Betis fifteenth, five points from the relegation zone and three points off the top half, which is not so bad. But things have changed since last season, and there has been a sense that things are just not buy canada goose jacket in canada quite right. His daughter got married, for a start. Worse, she got married to a Sevillista – the son of former president Jos Mara Del Nido, a board member at the Snchez Pizjun.

Betis have scored only thirteen goals all season, their plan mostly just to give the ball to Joaqun and hope that he can invent something. They have won once at home – and that was against David Moyess Real Sociedad. They were beaten at home by Sevilla in the Copa del Rey, meaning that in all likelihood, they will be knocked out tomorrow night. No one has scored fewer goals this season. And Mels relationship with the sporting director has become tense too. Not with Stosic this time but with Eduardo Maci, once of Liverpool. Eight players departed, ten arrived. The manager has not been impressed.

In October graffiti at the training ground insisted: If we have to be relegated to the third division, let it be with the man who brought us back to the first. While an opinion is no more valid because the person holding it is also carrying a can of spray paint, that message has changed now. On Saturday night, fresh graffiti read: Mel, you dont feel the colours. It was quite some accusation to level at someone with over three hundred games and three promotions to his name, as a player and a manager, and others are firmly on his side, the board blamed for another sacking that, on top of it all, was handled badly, but it was telling too.

Betis was supposed to be the club where Mel was happiest, where he is most loved, but he has not been happy. A few weeks ago, he admitted that there were other reasons why it wasnt working, things that he could not say, but increasingly he has said so, publicly pointing the finger at the construction of the squad. Which is rarely a good way of staying in a job; in fact, at times it felt almost like he wanted to be sacked. And on Saturday night, he said it. If Real Betis sack me, no problem, Pepe Mel said Real Betis did.


Talking points

? Atltico Madrid are Winter Champions. (Sort of). They reach the half way stage of the season, when every team has played every other team once (sort of), at the top of the table after a hugely impressive 2-0 victory in Vigo. The first, scored by Antoine Griezmann was superb. Atltico stand four berlin film festival ends canada goose jacket sponsorship amid points clear of Real Madrid and two ahead of Barcelona, who have a game in hand to play, against Sporting (hence those sort ofs). They have conceded just eight goals in 19 games and are looking stronger all the time. It was muddy, heavy and it wasnt easy, Carrasco said. Asked if Atltico are contenders, he replied: If were top … pausing to add: If we can keep on like this, we can do something important this year.

? Krychowiak kicked the floor, flew into the air and got a penalty for it Kevin Gameiro scored. It was the second of the game as Sevilla defeated Athletic 2-0. There was good news for Athletic, though: Ral Garca was carried off but tests have shown that his injury is not as serious as first feared.

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? Perhaps the weeks best news came down in tercera buying canada goose jacket online …

? Eibar. 30 points. A European place. And deservedly so. Wow. This is not us winning games by the skin of our teeth, Mendilbar said, quite rightly. Of 19 games, we have probably only had two bad ones.

? Levante got a huge, huge win over Rayo Vallecano at the Ciutat de Valencia and Deyverson celebrated his strike by doing a bit of a Pat Cash, running over to the fans, climbing over the advertising boards and making his way through the crowd to his family, seven rows up, embracing his dad. It was the first time his family have been able to travel to Europe to see him play and it was such a special moment that when he got back to the pitch the referee was waiting for him too. With a yellow card.

? Villarreal have now won six in a row but they wont win much more if they play like this. Thats what coach Marcelino thinks anyway. We produced two brilliant plays and nothing else, he said. If we play like this, we will drop a long way down the table. For now, at least, they are fourth, on 39 points, having matched their best ever first half to a season. Roberto Soldado did it again. No, not score: assist. No one in La Liga has more assists than him. I admit that [the attacking partnership] is the opposite way round to how I expected, but hes playing very well, Marcelino said.

? Gary Nevilles Valencia were beaten 2-0 at Real Sociedad and are still awaiting their first league win under him.

? Gareth Bale took a souvenir home from Zinedine Zidanes first game in charge: the match ball. We feel sorry for Rafa, but you only have to look at the performances, really, Luka Modric said.

? At least someone did. A week on and still no one from Real Madrid has bothered to explain the decision to sack Rafa Bentez, or even take responsibility for it. The president who called the media in to blame denounce a conspiracy against the club and insist that Bentez was not in danger and just needed to be given time, the president who sacked him just thirteen days after going on the radio to insist that he was the solution, decided that this time he didnt need to answer questions. And nor, the following day, did the institutional director Emilio Butrague?o. That doesnt matter now, he said. No contrition, just celebration. Barely even a thanks, or a goodbye. Certainly no apology. Instead, it is like Rafa Bentez never happened.

Five coaches since 2009. Is it always the managers fault? Carlo Ancelotti said, saying much.

? Messi scored a hat-trick and took home the match ball. Tonight hell probably take home the golden ball. Etc and so on.

Results: Barcelona 4 -0 Granada, Getafe 1 – 0 Betis, Sevilla 2 – 0 Athletic, Real Madrid 5 – 0 Deportivo, Levante 2 – 1 Rayo, Villarreal 2 – 0 Sporting, Real Sociedad 2 – 0 Valencia, Eibar 2 – 1 Espanyol, Las Palmas 1 – 1 Mlaga, Celta 0 – 2 Atltico.

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