Manager tracker: Surviving the drop

Manager tracker. The 2021-22 La Liga season is heading toward the homestretch.  

Not only does it have action in the title race, with Real Madrid leading the way, but also the thrilling drama of surviving relegation. 

With only a seven-point gap between them, the bottom three clubs are already racing against time to avoid the drop to the Segunda, in which they made drastic changes to their football managers. 

Here’s what we’ve learned so far. 

Deportivo Alaves (20th) 

The league’s current bottom club made two executive changes, with Jose Luis Mendilibar succeeding Javier Calleja towards the end of 2021, with the club being 18th at the table and already out of the Copa Del Rey. 

However, on April 5, Mendilibar was let go after only scoring just seven points in 13 league matches and dropped to the cellar. Replacing him was Julio Vasquez, whose debut was spoiled by a late loss to Osasuna on April 10. 

Levante (19th) 

Levante made its first change earlier than Alaves, as it sacked Javier Pereira on November 29, 2021, with the then-winless Frogs only having seven draws to show for with the club then dead last. 

Italian Alessio Lisci took over the following week and has finally won at the 20th attempt with a shutout at home over Mallorca. But despite winning thrice more (including a shocker at Metropolitano over Atleti), Levante moved up just one place after a heartbreaking loss at home to Barcelona on April 10. 

Cadiz (18th) 

Fan favorite Alvaro Cervera was let go last January 11 after a seven-match winless run, with the club at 19th and only fourteen points to show for it. 

Former Spain international Sergio was brought in after round 20, and he made exactly 14 points in just eleven matches. That form gave them a glimmer of hope as they were just a point behind Granada and Mallorca. 

Oh, what about Mallorca and Granada? 

Despite barely being in the safe zone and level with 29 points, both clubs have replaced their football managers, making survival their priority. 

Seventeenth-placed Mallorca let go of Luis Garcia last March 24, two days after losing their sixth-straight league match. Mexican legend Javier Aguirre was brought in for his sixth La Liga club and got out of the jam with a stunning home win over champions Atletico Madrid who were his former employers. 

Meanwhile, sixteenth-ranked Granada showed former Robert Moreno the door last March 6, after dropping all the way down from 13th to 17th due to a bad run of form. It did not go anywhere to find his replacement when they appointed reserve team boss Ruben Torrecilla as caretaker for the rest of the campaign.