The Premier League benches have an increasingly Spanish accent, and the fact is that to the five coaches who were already in English football – counting the interim Rubén Sellés at Southampton – one more name has been added: Javi Gracia. Leeds United has decided to entrust the mission of saving the team to the Navarrese coach, formerly of Málaga, Watford or Valencia, among others. The duration of his contract, which Leeds himself considers “flexible”, will be extended depending on the objectives met by the Spanish coach, who comes to the team with his own staff of assistants and, in addition, Pacom Gallardo, the former player of the Sevilla, will take charge of Leeds sub-21.
The White’s They started the season with Jesse Marsch as a tenant on the local Elland Road bench, who was the one who managed to avoid relegation to the Championship during 2021/2022 after the departure of Marcelo Bielsa. However, the poor run of results for Leeds United after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the fall to the relegation places –the White’s They are 19th in the Premier League with 19 points, two of the salvation places – led the club’s board to do without the services of the American coach.
Although it could have been others who occupied the sixth place of Spanish coaches in England, due to the Leeds United’s previous interest in Carlos Corberán, from West Bromwich, or Andoni Iraola, Rayo Vallecano coach; Javi Gracia has finally been chosen. And it is that the Premier League is more English never. 30% of Premier League benches speak Spanish: Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City in 2016, Mikel Arteta left the coach’s own coaching staff citizen to take the reins of Arsenal in 2019, in the middle of this campaign Unai Emery and Julen Lopetegui arrived on the benches of Aston Villa and Wolverhampton respectively, and in the last league game against Chelsea the Spanish Rubén Sellés, although still on an interim basis He worked as a Southampton coach.
Javi Gracia’s previous stint in the Premier League was one of the most fruitful of his career. The Navarrese coach remained for 66 games and 595 days as Watford manager, figures that no other coach has managed to even come close to since his departure from Vicarage Road. Javi Gracia had to lead the hornets during the last 14 matches of the Premier League 2017/2018 once Marco Silva was dismissed. 2018/2019 was his first full campaign with Watford, and the team finished in 11th position, seven points behind the European places. However, the instability of the Vicarage Road team made an appearance again when they had barely played five games in the 2019/2020 season. After a victory (in the Carabao Cup), a draw and three defeats, the hornets They dismissed Javi Gracia and hired Quique Sánchez Flores in his place.