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LaLigaWeekly On August - 5 - 2010

Segunda Focus: Hired To Be Fired Managers

Celta head man Paco Herrera

Life as a futbol coach in Spain comes with plenty of scrutiny. Sure the coaching turnstile at Real Madrid never gathers any rust but the same could be said for the head men in the Segunda Division. Let us never forget the four changes made in four months at Alicante during the 2008-2009 season.

Essentially they are hired for one reason which is to get their respective club promoted to the Primera. With there being 22 teams in the Segunda and only three getting to stamp a ticket to play the following season against Spains elite, then reason would follow that of the remaining 19, a fair number would lose their jobs.

Look no further than the nine coaching changes made over the summer. We have some familiar names on the list, others whom are new and a couple who come from intriguing backgrounds and offer a bit of an unknown.

Lets meet a few of them.

Antonio Gomez (Valladolid)

A no-nonsense coach who had been assisting former Liverpool coach Rafa Bentitez the past two seasons in England. Gomez plans on bringing to Valladolid the same intensity and structure found in the English game. He likes speedy wingers and a 4-4-2 system.

A few of the players showed up out of shape for preseason much to his dismay, but early results have proven to be positive including a recent well-played 0-0 draw against Scottish club Inverness where Valladolid was clearly the better team.

Another new aspect that Gomez brings with him is a code of ethics and behavior from his players. His team will be disciplined both on and off the field, but how long will they adhere?

Gonzalo Arconada (Tenerife)

The last name is familiar to fans of La Seleccion as older brother Luis was a goalkeeper with the national team for many years including Spains run to the 1984 EuroCup final. Younger brother Gonzalo boasts nearly 20 years of coaching experience and will have to rely on that as there will be plenty of pressure to limit the islanders stay in the Segunda to just one season.

Much of Arconadas coaching experience came in his native Basque country with lower-division teams but soon enough he snagged jobs at places like Numancia, Burgos and even served as interim coach at Primera side Almeria after Mexican coach Hugo Sanchez was dumped.

The re-signing of 2008-2009 Segunda Pichichi Nino will certainly help Arconadas job who hopes to see another banner year from his top striker.

Paco Herrera (Celta)

The success of the Villarreal B team last season not only manifested itself for Juan Carlos Garrido getting the job with the senior side in midseason but also for Paco Herrera, who took over the B team once Garrido departed, and kept the team rolling to its top seven finish.

Herrera parlayed that into a job with Galician club Celta de Vigo, a team that has been stricken with injuries and bad luck the last two seasons. Like Gomez, Herrera spent time at Liverpool as the teams head scout so the man has a keen eye for talent and evidently sees enough in David Rodriguez to bring him back in a second stint at striker.

The fans in Vigo are desperate to rejoin their Galician rivals Deportivo back in the top flight and Herrera does not hide his ambitions for the club. At least a sixth place finish and a berth in the promotion playoffs or bust.

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