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Player power defeats the former West Brom Premier League manager, who now holds a new position at the struggling La Liga team



Just one month after leaving his last position as manager of West Brom, Pepe Mel has secured a new one.

The 61-year-old has been named Almeria’s next manager. Almeria is a struggling La Liga team right now. He takes over a team that is 14 points out of safety and at the bottom of the division after failing to win a single game.

He takes over for Gaizka Garitano, who succeeded Vicente Moreno, although the two of them were unable to win a game. Less than two months after quitting his job in Greece, Mel is back managing football teams.

Mel was the manager of OFI Crete, a team that competes in the first division of Greek football, prior to accepting the position at Almeria. However, he left the team amicably after just one victory in 12 games. Now, he will have to take on a job where he will be on the verge of bankruptcy.

However, supporters of West Brom will be reminded of how, under his leadership in 2014, they came dangerously close to quitting the Premier League. When the team was in 14th place in January 2014, he succeeded Steve Clarke. The Madrid-born manager managed seventeen games, only coming out on top three times, but maintaining a three-point lead.

Ben Foster, a player at The Hawthorn’s for seven years, talked candidly about his time working with Pepe Mel. He revealed that he and the players objected to the Spaniard’s efforts to change the playing style, despite having played for 223 games under several different managers.

“I want you to start playing out from the back,” was the main message that the former Man United and England goalie gave when discussing his time working under Mel. The back four are Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Liam Ridgewell, Craig Dawson at right back, and me, Ben Foster, in goal.

We’re not attempting to act shady! That isn’t even real! On the training field, the first thing that happens is, “let’s start with a goal kick.” Ridgewell and Dawson extend their pitch. To stop us from doing it, the opposing team must exert pressure on us. We were unable to leave.

Keith Downing, our assistant manager, was still with us. We had to tell Keith and the manager that something wasn’t working. We are no longer able to accomplish this. We have to tell Keith that he needs to go back to doing things the best we know how to do them at this stage. In other words, he would essentially leap to become Pepe Mel’s joint manager. Keith Downing would lead the training session and provide all the instructions, with Pepe Mel serving as its public face.

“We managed to avoid relegation by winning a lot of games in the end. I can only think of one instance in which we truly had to say, “We’re not going to play that kind of football.”

Mel left the Baggies that summer, replacing Alan Irvine, despite the initial reports that he had signed an 18-month contract. Mel went on to manage Malaga, Las Palmas, Deportivo La Coruna, and Real Betis.



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