Posted : 2 December 2010
After suffering a miserable 0-8 loss to Barcelona, Almeria announced that they were relieving Juan Manuel Lillo as the club’s coach. Lillo is known as one of Guardiola’s good friends but Pep just gave Lillo a really really hard time in their match and low and behold, it led to him losing his job. Lillo was replaced by Jose Luis Oltra who doesn’t really impress me at all.
To be honest, I don’t think Lillo brought anything to Almeria this season. He only got a single win in 13 matches and scored only 9 goals, the lowest in Liga A. I completely understand why Almeria let Lillo go.. they just couldn’t take it anymore! But what about Oltra? Can he do something? I don’t know.. but I heard that he said, “I’ve seen positive things and I am optimistic, though there’s still a long way to go.”
Oltra’s career as a soccer player is not a story of success if I may say. In 10 years, he only played in low level leagues and I think he even settled for amateur teams. In 2001 he tried to coaching to see if he would fare better. The 2004-2005 season gave him an opportunity to coach Levante in Liga A with 4 rounds left in the season. He didn’t have an impact with the team at all and they faced relegation which led to Oltra being fired after 10 matches in Liga B. I haven’t heard anything about him after that.
Going back to the current season, Almeria faces Real Zaragoza next which I think is a tough team but they are not well organized. I hope the new coach can have more faith in his players and I hope he could deliver more than just being optimistic about the team’s performance and future. Almeria has some young geniuses in their team, it’s not too late for them to make a fresh start. The Asian Handicap gives the Home team -0.5. I think the bank agrees with me, it’s a good chance for them to gain points.