Tony Adams’ Granada football debut ends in disaster


LAST SEASON’S less than impressive performance by Gary Neville as Manager at FC Valencia has not deterred other ex-England footballers trying their hand at management in the Spanish league.

The ex-England midfielder’s disastrous stay in charge at Valencia last season ended in dismissal after just 4 short months, with his win percentage of 18.8% being the worst in the club’s history.

However Neville’s record obviously didn’t stop his former England colleague Tony Adams accepting the job at relegation threatened Granada last week.

Rather predictively his first match in charge of Andalucian club ended in a comprehensive La Liga defeat by a Celta Vigo side with one eye on the Europa League.

The former Arsenal captain, appointed last Monday until the end of the season, faces relegation with his side seven points from safety.

Jozabed clipped in the opener for Celta, who made 10 changes to keep players fresh for their European push.

Marcelo Diaz’s free-kick made it two, and Claudio Beauvue added a third.

The striker volleyed in the rebound after Theo Bongonda, having cut in from the left, had driven a shot against the near post.

Celta face Belgian club Genk in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, defending a 3-2 lead.

Adams said afterwards: “People will look at the result and see 3-0 and think it’s been all Celta Vigo.

“Celta Vigo are a very good team, but I thought we created a lot of chances. They scored and we didn’t.

“We’re trying our best. We have limitations. We’re all aware of our limitations. We’re running out of forwards. I’m going to have to get my boots on. We’ve got a lot of injuries.”

Adams’ team , next to bottom, remain seven points adrift of Leganes, who lost 1-0 at home to Espanyol earlier on Sunday.

Granada are owned by Chinese businessman Jiang Lizhang (often referred to as John Jiang), also the part-owner of NBA basketball team the Minnesota Timberwolves, who bought the Andalusian club last summer from Italian entrepreneur Gino Pozzo.

Adams is a vice-president of Jiang Lizhang’s DDMC Football Club Management Company, and last year he had a spell in China as sporting director for the Chinese Super League team which is owned by DDMC, Chongqing Dangdai Lifan.

After leaving China, Adams moved to Spain midway through the current season, working in a similar role for Granada with the aim of helping Jiang Lizhang construct his plans for the club’s long-term future.

Adams was the logical choice to deepen his role by becoming a part-time interim coach before, assumedly, the appointment of a long-term successor in the summer.

“We inherited 106 players, of whom only 44 actually belong to Granada.

“Our aim is to return Granada [Football Club] to Granada so the people here can identify fully with their team and their players.

“I’m here to put the Spanish structure in place, with players who will belong to Granada CF and who will fight for Granada.” Said Adams after his appointment.

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