After 72 games, Pedja Mijatovic did take long in making Juande Ramos the 11th coach in ten seasons for the Merengues, the ninth this decade. The writing was on the wall for Schuster after Madrid lost their first home game of the season against Sevilla. According to several reports, the former German international lost his team, especially the team leaders. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he mentioned that Madrid had “no shot” against Barcelona this coming weekend in the biggest game in Spanish football.
The change was quick as reports of the Schuster sacking began making the rounds early in the Madrid afternoon when news wires like Cadena Ser began reporting that the former Merengue coach was given his walking papers and the former Tottenham and Sevilla coach stepped in immediately. Ramos signed a contract that will have him in the Madrid bench until the end of the season.
Criticisms have been raised as far as the quickness in which the hiring was made. The press was shocked at the fact that Ramos was even introduced almost in the same breath as Mijatovic was announcing that Schuster accepted his sacking “well, but with a great deal of sadness.”
“There’s nothing higher than being (the coach) at Madrid,” said Ramos at his “introductory press conference”. Things do not get easier for Juande as he will have to assume right away. He took over the team today and will be sitting on the bench on Wednesday for Madrid’s Champions League match against Zenit St. Petersburg. Oh, also add to that the fact that his debut will be against none other than Barcelona at the Nou Camp this coming weekend.
After his glorious reign at Sevilla where he won the UEFA Cup twice, the Copa del Rey, and the European and Spanish Super Cups he left unexpectedly in the middle of last season to White Hart Lane. Despite winning the Carling Cup with Spurs, Ramos did little to right the ship there. So bad was the situation there that the London side was at the bottom of the table prior to being shown the door. Not all was to blame in the Spanish coach as both Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov were sold during the summer and their substitutes Luka Modric and Pavlychenko were not adapting to play in the Premiership. Or weren’t they?
Can a coach make such a difference that a team go from being at the bottom of the table in England and not being able to win a game to winning 10 out of their last 12 matches. I guess there is no need for footnotes on that one…