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Manucho - the supersub. And RIP Yanko Daučík (25th May, 2017)

Last week, the striker who promised Valladolid he'd score 40 goals and actually scored five, the striker who became friends with fellow lusophone Diego Costa, the striker who has played in Turkey and England, Greece and Spain, and who took four seasons to reach 97 league appearances at Valladolid reached 100 league appearances at Rayo in three.

It's interesting to think that Manucho started out as a left-winger - and a pretty good one at that - in his native Angola. Nowadays, he revels in the super sub role, coming on in the last 10 or 20 minutes as Rayo's plan B.

He isn't quick by any means, but he brings direct play, a powerful header and a central focal point to the attack. And hard work - lots of it.

Out of the 100 league games, Manucho has started in just 31 (of which he has completed the full 90 minutes in 27). That's right - Manucho has had 69 substitute appearances. And while 14 goals in that time sounds measly, those 100 league games total a mere 4213 minutes of action, which suddenly makes 14 highly impressive for a striker at a small club like Rayo.



It's a little late, but better late than never.

Yanko Daučík, the son of Ferdinand Daučík (about who've I've written about before here), passed away on the 13th of May, 2017.

The former Real Madrid striker won two La Liga titles - in 1963 and 1964. He played for Rayo for a season too - the 1968-69 Segunda season saw the striker score seven goals - the third highest in the squad - despite appearing in just 14 games.

My thoughts are with his family and I offer my condolences at this difficult time.



Perception is a funny thing.

Sandoval, Baraja and Míchel have each managed 13 games apiece. And while Míchel's record of three wins and four draws is inspirational, Sandoval has won four and drawn three - in contrast, Baraja has won three and drawn four. That's a difference of just two points.

The fact is that Míchel has had one of the toughest run-ins anyone could think of and has done remarkably well.

But the fact is that Sandoval had a torrid time. There was infighting off-the-pitch - the public spat of Sandoval with Piti comes to mind. The team with the second highest budget in the league had players that did not look motivated enough.

In contrast, Baraja's time had the players look motivated and playing some good football - but you could see the fans and the board clashing on several issues such as the Zozulya case and the criminalization of fans, and you could see the players affected by it.

Rayo's board is more unpopular than ever, and criticizing their sackings is misguided in hindsight. But the irony is that if Sandoval had been allowed to continue, the board would have been praised for putting faith in a former managerial legend.

So the question is - do the things off the pitch cloud our eyes? Maybe more importantly - should we let them? Should we factor in non-sporting chaos into sporting failure or success?



A little treat, just to show you the high Daily Mail journalism standards:

(Do want to point out that Manucho was actually loaned out due to issues with obtaining a UK work permit).





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He was short. Very short. At 5'3", the left winger sometimes played in an over-sized shirt.

The ball never left his feet. His feet were tiny but they had magic. A dizzying array of body feints, close control, direction changes and sheer speed, often resembling a roller-coaster, left opposition defenders outwitted. And yes - sometimes, he frustrated. Sometimes, he was irregular.

But when he turned up, the world was at his feet.

If Juan Quero plays against Real Madrid he'll be playing against the club that let him go. The club that didn't think he had it in him to become a La Liga player.

The club that was wrong. Very, very wrong - he went fr…