Last Update 21:59
Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Benitez beware as Chinese clubs go on trademark sacking spree

AFP , Friday 2 Aug 2019
Benitez's predecessor Choi Kang-hee replaced Quique Sanchez Flores at Shanghai Shenhua, who under the former Watford manager found themselves in a relegation fight. PHOTO: AFP
Views: 861
Views: 861

Rafael Benitez's arrival grabbed the headlines but Chinese Super League teams have sent the managerial merry-go-round into hyperspeed with five of the 16 clubs making changes in one month.

CSL clubs appear to have lost their nerve as they enter the final third of the season with the championship and relegation fights too close to call.

The biggest shock came on Wednesday when Beijing Guoan axed the German Roger Schmidt and named Bruno Genesio as his replacement.

The 52-year-old Schmidt can feel particularly aggrieved with Guoan third in the CSL, just four points off leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.

The former Bayer Leverkusen coach inspired Guoan to FA Cup glory last season and the capital club began the season with a record 10 CSL victories in a row.

But Guoan moved ruthlessly to replace him with former Lyon manager Genesio following a third defeat in a row in all competitions.

"Professional football is so cruel," correspondent Yuan Fang wrote in the respected Oriental Sports Daily on Friday.

"High income is accompanied by high risks and high pressure."

Yuan and other Chinese media said there had been murmurs of discontent with Schmidt's intense training methods, and a feeling that some players were underperforming.

Summing up the thinking at Guoan, Yuan wrote: "Changing coaches means a chance of winning the title, but if you don't change, the championship is gone."

Genesio was given a contract until the end of the season, giving him 10 matches to reignite Beijing's title charge -- or likely follow Schmidt out of the door.

Schmidt's surprise dismissal is a reminder to Champions League winner Benitez that Chinese clubs will not hesitate to bring down the axe.

The Spaniard has, however, made a good start at Dalian Yifang, winning four of his six matches and taking them into mid-table safety.

Benitez's predecessor Choi Kang-hee replaced Quique Sanchez Flores at Shanghai Shenhua, who under the former Watford manager found themselves in a relegation fight.

Other changes last month saw former AC Milan midfielder Roberto Donadoni arrive at Shenzhen FC, who are fighting to avoid relegation.

Rock-bottom Beijing Renhe, who are four points from safety, also switched coaches, swapping out Aleksandar Stanojevic from Serbia for the Spaniard Luis Garcia.

Of the 16 CSL teams, 11 have foreign coaches.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.