Two-time Portuguese league champion and former free agent Vitor Pereira has reached an agreement with the Greek powerhouse. Formerly at the helm of Saudi club Al-Ahli, and more famously FC Porto, the much coveted tactician is set to sign the dotted line this Wednesday for Greek Champions Olympiakos Piraeus after reports linking him with the Crystal Palace job.
Michel shown the door
After two successful seasons in the Kokkinoi dugout, including two league titles and the 2013 Greek Cup, former Getafe and Sevilla coach Michel Gonzales has been formerly retrenched from his post.
The 51-year-old had been recently criticised after a series of poor performances, particularly at their home fortress of Karaiskakis Stadium; although the Spaniard was expected to stay on after strong backing from fans.
However, the board of the most successful club in Greek football history saw otherwise, issuing a statement following an unimpressive 2-1 victory over Platanias on Sunday and an early Champions League exit in the Group Stage:
“Olympiakos announces the end of its cooperation with the coach Michel Gonzalez.”
A managerial merry-go-round
Despite Michel’s recent success, including a run to the Round of 16 in the last season of the UEFA Champions League, his tenure was hampered by ‘unattractive’ football. Greek media has said that Olympiakos owner Vangelis Marinakis was unhappy with his side’s style of play, despite only trailing Greek leader PAOK by one point after 16 matches.
This recent parting has only further fuelled the fire brewing in regards to the destructive nature of recycling football managers in Greek football. Controversially seen with countryman Leonardo Jardim, who was shown the door having been undefeated domestically upon his sacking, Pereira is now faced with the challenged of winning over trigger-happy Marinakis, a largely scrutinised board and a legion of hard-to-please fans.
A second chance
Olympiakos’ 22nd manager in 13 years, Vitor Pereira will need to stay on his toes as to not repeat the fate of his predecessors, especially in light of his infamous blow-up in Saudi Arabia.
Having been lost in the murky waters of football in the Middle East and free agency, the tripeiro will hope to resurrect successes of years past, his main priority being to build some consistency in retaining the capital club’s status as Greek Champions.
If that hurdle, being the bare minimum at this point, is traipsed, it is crucial that Pereira looks to build foundations towards next season and plan for the future with European success a must.
Although the key to a successful tenure in the red and white half of Athens has become as difficult question to answer as the ‘Meaning of Life,’ the Portuguese manager must learn from those who have graced the dugout before him.
To balance the demands of idiosyncratic fans and a highly volatile owner and board seems to be impossible in light of Michel and Jardim’s departure, but if anyone has felt the weight of expectation of a city on his shoulders; it is Vitor Pereira.