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The Cádiz Chronicles with @Vam_os - Part 2 (15th August, 2017)

Welcome back! This is part 2 of a series on Cádiz by the founder of injuriesandmore.com, a website that focused on sports medicine and Spanish football. On Twitter, he is @Vam_os - go ahead and follow him!

This part is about the club management and the fans...

Club management

Since being relegated to Segunda B in 2010, Cádiz have made no fewer than eight coaching changes!
Álvaro Cervera came into the club in April 2016 with only four games left of the regular season in Segunda B, replacing Claudio Barragán as the push for promotion at that time had faltered.

By that time Cádiz were starting to lose touch with the promotion leaders and the support weren’t happy with either the results or the performances on the field. Having lost to Bilbao Athletic in the promotion play-off final in season 2014 -15, Cádiz fans expected so much more. When this didn’t happen, and with a place in the play-offs looking less and less likely, understandably people became restless.

It was widely anticipated that Claudio would be replaced sooner or later; and for many, it was simply a question of when. Finally, after the 2 -1 defeat at Almería in April 2016, Claudio was relieved of his position and Álvaro Cervera came in.

In Claudio’s defence though, it’s often the case that when teams just miss out on promotion that the following season can be a big disappointment for a number of reasons.

Players who feel they can play at a higher level move on; and loan players such as Lolo Plá are either recalled to their parent clubs or placed elsewhere. In the early part of that promotion season (2015-16) Cádiz found it hard going to carry the momentum over from the season before.

Álvaro Cervera didn’t get off to the best of starts in his first game either; with Cádiz only drawing against Mérida at the Ramón Carranza. That particular day began badly with Dani Güiza being injured in the warm-up and things just seemed to go from bad to worse thereafter.

Victory just wasn’t on the cards but as so often happens, the other results went Cádiz’ way as their promotion rivals also slipped up.

Things did improve after that, and as it turned out qualification for the play-offs was quite comfortable in end. As we all remember, Cádiz faced Hércules in the final. Carlos Calvo’s stunning free-kick gave Cádiz a slender lead at the Ramón Carranza before Dani Güiza clichéd promotion with the decisive goal in the second leg in Alicante.

Back to the management though and in terms of coaching changes, Claudio Barragán had been in charge for roughly eighteen months before Álvaro Cervera came in. Claudio himself replaced Antonio Calderón in late 2014; after Cádiz had been involved in a number of drawn games which inevitably saw a number of points dropped.

Before Antonio were Raül Agné, Ramón Blanco, Alberto Monteagudo, José González and Risto Vidaković. That’s a high turnover in personnel in only a few seasons. But it’s worth mentioning at this stage that the club did go through some major changes particularly before and during the period Antonio was in charge; so it was a difficult time for any coach at that stage.

Antonio was totally committed to Cádiz but at that time events off-the-field and financial matters just seemed to take priority. A few months after leaving Cádiz, Antonío linked up again with another ex-Cádiz coach at Granada, José González. Together, they managed to keep Granada in La Primera but were still replaced at the end of the season by Paco Jémez. Antonío is now in charge at Fuenlabrada and José is in China.

Mood of the fans, agree with them or not?

In general yes; because they’re so passionate about the team. Although taking Dani Güiza as an example; I can also understand their frustrations. Football fans have long memories and Dani said a few things about Cádiz in his younger days that he’s since regretted as he got older and wiser. I'm a big fan of Dani Güiza and you can’t fault his commitment to Cádiz. Although there’s no getting away from the fact that he’ll be remembered mostly for his goal in Alicante, Dani did a lot more than that.

Dani turned out regularly for Cádiz and I’ll always admire him for the way he just got his head down and played despite it all. It couldn’t have been easy for him at that time when there were less fans for him than against, but all credit to him for sticking it out. Like Joaquin Sánchez at Betis who hails from nearby Puerto de Santa María, you just can’t buy that sort of experience or mental toughness easily.

Dani struggled with a few injuries though and last season in La Liga 2 didn’t go as well as it could have for him as a result. As you get older, injuries take longer to heal and the muscular strains in particular become easier to pick up. These restricted his appearances for much of the time; and he didn’t manage to make the same impact on the team that he did in the promotion season.

I think Dani managed to win over a fair percentage of the Cádiz crowd during his two years at the club and that’s a huge achievement in itself when taking into account the reception he got when he arrived.

It was sad to see him finally leave Cádiz after giving so much for the club. This was acknowledged by the players on his final morning and was evident from the send-off they gave him once the decision to move on had been taken. I hope everything works out for him at his new club, Atlético Sanluqueño. At least he’s staying in the area!

Everyone knows that the Cádiz support are fanatical and provide a huge backing to the team whether they go. The fans deserve an immense amount of credit themselves for the way they always get behind the team week-in week-out. In particular, the play-offs always put an extra strain on personal finances as these additional games nearly always involve a long journey.

Those who trekked all the way up to Oviedo, Racing Ferrol, Alicante and Bilbao in the space of a few weeks at the end of a long season deserve a bit of praise. Last time around it was to Huesca and Tenerife for the latest round of play-offs.

The obvious difference in recent times of course is that La Segunda is a national league as opposed to regional. For fans that means there are far more long-distance away games than in Segunda B and these are also on a more regular basis. That places an additional strain on people’s finances in the current climate.

Like everywhere else, there also seems to be ongoing political / ownership issues which can be a distraction but it’s looking as if these are going to be settled shortly, and hopefully before the season gets going. We don't get to know the true ins and outs of these so I wouldn't dream of commenting without knowing all the facts.

I prefer to stick to the injuries, the fitness and the football!

Watch out for part 3 tomorrow!

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