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FERNANDO VÁZQUEZ RETURNS TO DEPOR

30 Dec 2019
It was announced late on Sunday: Fernando Vázquez will have a second stage as Depor’s coach. He is signing a deal lasting for the rest of this campaign plus two additional years.

Fernando Vázquez is the new coach of Deportivo, the fifth in 2019. The 65-year coach will have a second stage at the club after reaching an agreement that was announced on Sunday’s night. The deal is announced as for the rest of the current campaign plus two additional years. It was previously reported that the two additional years will depend on objectives, but that wasn’t clarified in the press release. He will direct Monday’s training session and will address the media after it.

Vázquez arrived for his first stage at the club at the end of the season 2012/13. At the time the Galician coach landed at Depor with his team been the bottom club at Primera, six points below the safety with only fifteen matchday remaining in the calendar. So, the scarcest resource in A Coruńa was hope. And that’s exactly the main contribution of Vázquez during his stage at the club, because he brought back the hope, with a peaceful attitude at the press room and encouraging at the moment of facing the fans, El Profesor turned into a sympathetic figure for the public and also for the players.

He lived three stages during the last stretch of the season, in the first the Castrofeito-born man struggled to get the team that he wanted, as a result he only picked one of the first twelve points that his team disputed, then he rescued the 4-2-3-1 figure, sat the players out of form and picked back the most talented players –Valerón & Juan Dominguez- to gain a spot at the lineups.

And he got the results as Depor chained four straight wins, an unexpected rally that pulled a dying Depor out of relegation putting it in safer lands. But the coach also committed mistakes, and the biggest one was going to cost the relegation: he miscalculated the real state of the team for the final part of la liga. And it’s that Depor only won one of its last seven matches, and players like Valerón, Riki and Pizzi looked exhausted and lacking ideas. Vázquez was unable to fix the situation and the team lowered the pace. Still, Depor arrived alive to the last matchday and depending of itself, but Vázquez failed again as he didn’t prepare the last match as he should, the result was  defeat in the match against Real Sociedad that cost the spot at the elite.

Vázquez stayed for the campaign 2013/14 and his team was going to clinch the promotion to Primera, though there were doubts with him. But it must be admitted that things were complicated that year. The pre-season was chaotic, the signings arrived late and the team was only reinforced with B team members for the friendly matches; actually Vázquez only had 18 players at the first team for the first months in the competition, a really low number considering this is the longest league competition in Spain. He even lost Bruno Gama, who was supposed to be the main player of the project.

And this delicate situation brought the best of the coach, because by the end of 2013 Deportivo were already the leader at Segunda División ,just when the fans had more doubts and when even to only clinch the permanence was considered to be a good outcome for the season.

But the problems weren’t over, after lasting a couple of months in building up a team around Culio, El Profesor had to start all over the again after the Argentine man decided to leave. However, the club seized this situation and converted it into a positive situation, because the money collected from the sale of Culio was wisely used to reinforce the team.

Deportivo released three players and made five signings during the winter window, raising the number of players at the first team to 21. Suddenly Depor scared off the doubts and by January it was already the favorite in the competition, even considered as the best team in the league due to the players at the squad.

It was then that, strangely, Fernando Vázquez started to commit important mistakes, just when the situation seemed more manageable, something that increased the doubts on his skills to control the situation of a team that, in case of reaching the promotion, was destined to live difficult times at Primera.

His insistence in playing with three centre-backs was very unpopular among the fans and analysts, especially after the team failed to achieve the results in the games, like in the 1-1 draw before CD Tenerife at the Riazor (matchday 32). Even in the game won by Depor using this system, the 1-2 win at AD Alcorcón (matchday 27), the tactic was questioned for not bringing confidence to the team.

Vázquez was also criticized for some more specific decisions, like leaving Luis Fernández out of the list of picked players without a clear reason, or to pull players like Marchena and Juan Carlos out of the starting formations just when their replacements (Rabello and Lopo) didn’t match the expectations.

Deportivo reached the peak on matchday 35 after a 0-3 win at RCD Mallorca, after that Depor lived a low point in which it only won one of the last seven matches. The criticism towards the coach was increased then, because he never found the solutions to fix the problems. The team was going to end as the runners-up and Vázquez was confirmed to direct the team ahead of the Primera season 2014/15.

But he was not going to direct any official game at the elite, because he was fired during the pre-season after the coach criticized the signings during a public act; it provoked an earthquake as some of the targets in the transfer window were offended with the comments. The true is that the board of directors were already losing a connection with the coach and this incident was just the stroke that broke the camel's back, as former president Tino Fernández explained during a press conference, “He wasn’t fired for the declarations made in Arzúa, but for a lack of confidence and his latest speech contributed to lose that confidence.”

After leaving Depor, Vázquez only coached RCD Mallorca. He arrived for the second round of the campaign 2015/16 and left a grey impression as he achieved the same number of win and defeats (8). But he managed to continue for the following season and it was a disaster. His team was among the main candidates to promotion, but ended relegated to Segunda B, he was fired on matchday 17 after only winning 4 matches. His last game was a 0-3 loss at home facing Real Valladolid (December 4, 2016). Since then he has remained retired.

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