Athletic Club Sack Eduardo Berizzo, Gaizka Garitano Takes Over As First Team Manager
Athletic’s season wasn’t supposed to go like this. After a disappointing year under Kuko Ziganda the club made several big moves and brought in top talent like Dani García, Ander Capa, and Yuri Berchiche. The biggest prize of all was hiring manager Eduardo Berizzo. The Marcelo Bielsa disciple brought excitement and high expectations that the Lions could return to glory. It was wishful thinking but it didn’t work.
After winning their first game of the season in stoppage time against Leganés, Athletic have gone 13 straight league games without a victory. It is the worst stretch in the history of the club and the blame falls on the manager. On Monday night the Lions suffered an embarrassing 3-0 loss to Levante and the club has had enough. Before the game was even over fans were calling for a change and it would come swiftly.
On Tuesday Athletic announced that they had terminated the contract of Eduardo Berizzo. Making any managerial change was always going to be difficult with Athletic’s Presidential elections taking place in just a few weeks. As expected, Bilbao Athletic manager Gaizka Garitano has been promoted to first team coach. He will be tasked with guiding the Zurigorri out of the relegation zone and whoever becomes the new President on 27 December will have to make a decision on the long term of the position.
Garitano already has experience in La Liga, having coached Eibar and Deportivo. He has been doing great things with Bilbao Athletic, but leading the first team is a completely different job. The club announced that he will officially take over as Athletic manager on Wednesday ahead of the team’s Copa del Rey second leg match against Huesca which will take place the following day.