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Mel out, Cristobal in for struggling Deportivo La Coruna

Mel out, Cristobal in for struggling Deportivo La Coruna

Deportivo La Coruna have made a change in the dugout on Tuesday afternoon with Pepe Mel getting sacked and replaced by Fabril coach, Cristobal Parralo. The news was confirmed via a statement made on the clubs official website which also said Cristobal would be in charge until the end of the season.

The final straw in Mel’s reign in at Riazor came on Monday night when they lost 2-1 at home to newly promoted Girona. That result saw Depor slide to 16th in La Liga and the board have decided that enough is enough and that it was time to make the change.

Mel had took over the club in February and made a great start to his time at the club with two wins and two draws in his first four games including a draw with Atletico Madrid and a famous 2-1 win over Barcelona. However, he was unable to keep that pace up and only won four and lost eleven of his next twenty games until his sacking today.

Cristobal, who has been named as Mel’s successor, began his career with Barcelona and made over 30 appearances for the Catalan giants during the Johan Cruyff era. He was never really a regular feature at Barcelona and would be better remembered for spells at Oviedo and Espanyol before finishing his playing career at Paris St Germain. His coaching career has never really taken off with several short stints at various clubs before he was appointed coach of Fabril in July 2016. He has done a great job with Depor’s second string, guiding them to promotion from the Tercera Division last season and they are currently top of Segunda B1 this season so it could be said that he has earned this shot with the first team.

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Cristobal now faces the challenge of turning things around at Riazor and his first two games will be against another new manager in Pako Ayesteran who has just recently took over Las Palmas. Depor will take on Las Palmas in the Copa del Rey on Thursday before the sides meet again in La Liga on Monday. Deportivo will have reason to feel optimistic as Las Palmas have lost their last five games in a row and Cristobal will be hoping he can get a positive reaction from his squad. With talent at his disposal like Lucas Perez, Florin Andone, Zakaria Bakkali and Federico Valverde there’s no reason Cristobal can’t turn fortunes around but at this level there’s usually little time to settle in and he will need to hit the ground running.