Javier "el vasco" Aguirre, the man who led Atlético Madrid to their first Champions League birth in over 10 years, has been sacked.
After finishing 2008 in 3rd place, Atlético has been awful in 2009. They have only managed 2 points from 5 matches, got eliminated from the Copa del Rey, and fell to 7th in La Liga, out of Europe , as it were. If I didn't know any better, I would think that Atlético would be in the Mexican Primera with the way they run through coaches. For those keeping score at home, it would be 11 coaches who preceded Aguirre since 1997.
I am not an expert on Atlético, but I did read their wikipedia page. I was able to deduce that Atletico is proud club and has a fair amount of tradition, but it seemed like every time Aguirre fell into a bad patch and the vultures hovered, he put his players in position to work through it. I don't see how this was any different. Atletico also had a very accessible fixture with Porto coming up in the CL round of 16. The timing could not have been worse.
Aguirre came to Atlético after transforming Osasuna from perennial drop zone squatters to a place in the Champions League. Before that, he saved Mexico from an embarrassing world cup qualifying elimination, guided them to a runner up spot in the Copa America, and a nifty world cup run in Japan. His world cup in Korea, though, came to an abrupt halt at the hands of the US.
Aguirre's future is in doubt. Rest assured, though, that a bad result in Columbus might expedite el Vasco's return to the National Team. But given the choice, would Aguirre go back to coach the Tri, or would he try his luck at another stop in Europe. The smart money would leave him in el viejo continente. But would money alone be enough to sway him back to Mexico? How much control would he ask for? How much would the suits at FMF be willing to give up? Stay tuned.