These tacticians couldn’t leave a mark at their respective clubs having departed very early.

In modern football, coaches are rarely afforded the time to implement their plans and get their ideas across to the players duly. The failure to get the players to adapt to their methods, in turn, affects results leading to their abrupt departures. There have also been bizarre cases when coaches have left in just a matter of weeks or months after joining their respective clubs. Similarly, in Indian football too, there have been cases when tacticians didn’t even last till the opening day of the league campaign.

Let us take a look at five such instances:

5. Bastab Roy

Bastab Roy
Bastab Roy during his time at ATK

After an unsatisfactory 2017-18 I-League campaign where East Bengal finished in fourth place with 31 points, the Red and Gold cut their ties with coach Khalid Jamil and appointed former ATK assistant Bastab Roy as the head coach. However, he was demoted to an assistant’s role when Spaniard Alejandro Menendez was announced as the coach before the beginning of the new season.

Menendez brought with him a wealth of experience at the highest level and was a high-profile appointment. He had previously managed Celta Vigo and also had a stint with Real Madrid Castilla, where he had coached the likes of Dani Carvajal, Nacho and Alvaro Morata among other well-known Spanish players. The Spaniard spent almost two years at the Kolkata outfit before parting ways with the club in January this year.

4. Subrata Bhattacharya

Mohammedan Sporting had brought in veteran coach Subrata Bhattacharya back in May 2019. His time at the club though was short-lived as he was sacked in August, prior to the start of the I-League on the back of abysmal results in the 2019 Durand Cup and Calcutta Football League.

The Black Panthers only won one game in the Durand Cup, failing to advance from the league stages, in addition to drawing both their games in the CFL. Bhattacharya was subsequently replaced by coach Saheed Sunkanmi Ramon with Dipendu Biswas roped in as the technical director for the Kolkata giants.

3. Marcos Paqueta

Marcos Paqueta had been appointed as the head coach by then FC Pune City ahead of the fifth edition of the Indian Super League. During the course of his managerial career, Paqueta had coached numerous clubs and boasted some stellar achievements, that even included leading Brazil to victories in both the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cup in 2003.

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He looked like a solid choice to lead the charge for the ISL club. However, an offer from Botafogo forced Paqueta to mutually terminate his contract and return back to his homeland. Things didn’t go to plan though, as Paqueta was sacked after just five games by the Brazilian outfit. During his dreadful tenure, he lost all five matches, including a 2-1 defeat against Nacional in the second round of the Copa Sudamericana, which was his final game in-charge of the side.

2. Fernando Santiago Varela

Fernando Santiago Varela
Fernando Santiago Varela had a successful second stint with Gokulam Kerala

Head coach Fernando Santiago Varela left Gokulam Kerala for a second time, a few weeks ago. During his latest stint, the Kozhikode-based club won the prestigious Durand Cup and reached the semi-finals of the Sheikh Kamal International Cup. Gokulam were also placed sixth on the table with 22 points across 15 matches in the I-League lasts season, before it was cancelled.

However, the coach’s first stint in 2018 was quite brief, as he had to leave within the matter of a few months due to personal reasons, before the I-League began. However, even during that short stay, Varela won the Kerala Premier League with the Malabarians, playing attractive football along the way and simultaneously provided a glowing account of himself.  

1.  Albert Roca

Albert Roca parted ways with Hyderabad FC to become a part of the coaching staff at Spanish giants FC Barcelona. After a disappointing debut season in the Indian Super League, where Hyderabad finished bottom of the table, they appointed Roca on a two-year contract ahead of the upcoming campaign.

The Spaniard has a proven track record and he is a highly-regarded coach in Indian football. He previously had a successful stint at Bengaluru FC, where he guided the club to the final of the AFC Cup in 2016, making them the first Indian side to achieve that feat.

On the other hand, following a humiliating 8-2 defeat to eventual winners Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Barcelona showed Quique Setien the door and brought in Dutch manager Ronald Koeman to carry out a complete squad overhaul.

As part of the many changes, Koeman asked Roca if he was willing to be a part of the coaching staff at the Spanish outfit. Given the prevailing situation and the nature of the opportunity, it was a pretty straightforward choice. The Spaniard thus expressed his desire to leave his post, which was amiably granted by the Indian outfit. The 57-year-old has previously been in the first-team staff at Barcelona for five years from 2003 to 2008 and will now join the side as a fitness coach.

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