November 25, 2020

Mel’s experience as collateral

The yellow coach José Mel Pérez, before Eric Curbelo, during a training session, in Barranco Seco.

The yellow coach José Mel Pérez, before Eric Curbelo, during a training session, in Barranco Seco.

The novelist’s tables. 355 reasons to end depression. Veterancy and experience as fundamental elements to get out of the Montilivi hell with flying colors. José Mel Pérez, who has spent 614 days in office as UD strategist, accumulates 355 duels in the silver category -66 of them on the island bench-. A figure that puts it at number one of the 22 in the category – look at the graph on the right margin.

After chaining three days of drought – defeats against Cartagena (3-0) and Oviedo (1-2), draw against Albacete Balompié (1-1) -, the Gran Canaria block visits Girona FC this Monday (8:00 p.m., GOAL) on the eleventh day of LaLiga SmartBank. There has not been a pike in that square since 2014.

It is the second time in this league edition that 270 minutes have been accumulated without the glory of victory. But there are symptoms of decadence and lack of spirit in a project that generated tons of illusion. Ultrasonic UD, the one with high pressure and solidarity wear, wobbles. There are reasons for alarm. And the perfect storm is coming against Francisco’s team, in a scenario with tragic antecedents – in that stadium the UD took a (6-0) in 2018 and a (5-0) in 2012-.

With the dismissal of Pejiño due to an injury, what is the island team clinging to? At the mileage of his coach, the 15th in history with the longest run in Second. The champion of this experience table is a former UD technician, in two stages, like Paco Herrera (457 directed duels). And in the silver position, another name linked to the yellow past: Roque Olsen (447). In third place, the former Lugo o Deportivo Luis César Sampedro (436).

57 years, 141 victories

The Madrid coach of the UD is the oldest of the 22 of Segunda (57 years) and the fourth if we add the 20 benches of Primera. Pellegrini -Betis- is the oldest with 67 years, followed by José Luis Mendilibar (59) -SD Eibar- and Ronald Koeman (57) -FC Barcelona-. There is a curious circumstance that Bordalás (56) -Getafe- directed Mel in 1995-96 when the azulón coach was in charge of Benidorm in 2ªB.

With 141 victories in Second, the novelist Mel is the king in triumphs and contests (355) of the 22 that make up the list of silver preparers today. Sandoval -Fuenlabrada-, with 176 duels and 74 successes, is second in

this rank classification. The difference is substantial: 179 games and 67 wins. José Luis Martí (141) is third. Vicente Moreno (138) and Baraja (126) complete the privileged zone. It is worth mentioning the high number of debutants in the silver competition such as José Gomes (Almería), David Gallego (Sporting), Nafti (Lugo), Borja Jiménez (Cartagena) or Antonio Hidalgo (Sabadell).

The generational leap is evident. Mel accumulates thirteen tactical work campaigns in the Second Division and seven in the top flight – with a stint in the Premier League. They are two decades of baggage. Ziganda (54), Sandoval (52) and José Gomes (50) accompany him in the veterans’ zone. And in the antipodes, Borja Jiménez (35), Iraola (38), José Alberto López (38) and Fran Fernández (40). What’s more, on Monday, in Montilivi, he meets Francisco (42), who is part of this group of new order trainers -with 81 pulses directed in the silver category-.

Card collectors

Start from scratch. Mel’s mission is to reset the hard drive. Recover the personality that crushed Almería, Logroñés or Castellón. The UD has only won in Siete Palmas and has not been a visitor since June in Almería. “We have to return to the first box,” determined the yellow coach after succumbing to Oviedo against all odds.

With the losses of Pejiño and Ale Díez -by injury-, Las Palmas, the most punished team together with the Oviedo -32 cards between yellow (28) and red (4) -, seeks to win in an unavoidable way. The only commandment. Experience is the magical endorsement of a needy you.


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