López Muñiz's challenge with Alavés in just four games

Josean Querejeta is hell-bent on turning the rudder to stop Alavés' free fall. To do this, it has broken the weakest link and has dismissed Asier Garitano and the vast majority of its coaching staff. Yesterday, Sunday, on an intense afternoon, Bergara was informed of his departure from the club, which also closed the arrival of his substitute.

Juan Ramón López Muñiz, coach who has led 103 games in the First Division, signs until the end of the season. He has before him a very complicated calendar, with four opportunities to add the three points necessary to seal the permanence. The albiazul team and the Asturian coach have included in their contract the option to continue in the next course, provided that both parties agree.


The tension is palpable in the albiazul locker room. Querejeta has not only dismissed his first coach, something habitual, but has also dispensed with what until yesterday was his coaching staff. Javi Cabello (assistant coach), Miguel Pérez (assistant), Nenad Njaradi (physical trainer) and Juan Miguel San Román (goalkeeper coach), all very close to Bergara's, have also been dismissed and have ceased to belong to the club.

Only one of the members of the previous coaching staff, the physical trainer José Antonio Morga, continues and he will join the work team of López Muñiz, who at 52 has passed through the benches of Alcorcón, Levante, with which he promoted to Primera, and Málaga. The Asturian will be accompanied on this brief adventure -two weeks- Álvaro Reina as second coach and Antonio José López Mengual, goalkeeper coach.

Difficult challenge

Although Alavés has everything in their favor to get rid of the descent, the true objective of López Muñiz will be to correct the free fall of a team now ruled out. In this return to the competition, the albiazul team accumulates a single victory and six defeats, five of them consecutive, which have served to reach the 35 points that keep it at the gates of salvation.

Already in relegation positions are Mallorca -18º with 29 points- and Leganés -19º with 28-. The ensemble has the particular average gasteiztar in favor with the vermilions and tied by the cucumbers. Therefore, the Balearic team needs to add a minimum of seven points out of 12 at stake to beat him and the Madrid player between seven and eight, depending on how the final particular average between them is.

Another thing is the mental spirit of the team, broken by the streak of lousy results and by the very tough negotiation during the confinement to agree at the last minute on one of the most severe salary cuts to be applied in the First Division.

López Muñiz's competitive stage starts this Friday at the Bernabéu. Then, in the next week, visits from Getafe -on Monday, the 13th- and Barcelona -sunday, the 19th-, interspersed with the departure to the field of Betis -Wednesday, the 15th-, will dictate whether López Muñiz continues or not in the turbulent bench babazorro next season.