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Thursday January 25 2018
Writing on the wall for Las Palmas?

Luke Taylor questions if Paco Jemez will be able to save Las Palmas from the drop this season.

Las Palmas’ season hit a nadir a fortnight ago as they were thrashed 6-0 at Girona in a game which can only be described as absolutely humiliating and excruciating from their perspective. When you take into account the fact that the club recently hired its fourth Coach of the campaign in Paco Jemez and that they lie deep in the relegation zone, this is not the type of performance that you would associate with a team that is fighting for its top-flight status.

So far Manolo Marquez, Pako Ayestaran and Paquito Ortiz have all tried and then been dismissed by the Canary Islanders in an attempt to keep the club in La Liga. It must be said that Jemez is probably the Coach that suits the club most out of his predecessors; he is from the island, has already been Coach of the club in a previous short spell and his style of football is in line with the type that we have seen during Las Palmas’ most successful periods. On the other hand, is this something that will go against him in his fight for survival? Is it too little too late?

Jemez’s best spell at a club was with Rayo Vallecano where he was Coach for four years, keeping them in the top division and even finishing eighth in one campaign before they were relegated in his final season. His next post saw him sacked after just six games at Granada, which seemed harsh considering he was meant to be leading an ambitious new project under new owners and his style often takes a while to acclimatise to.

There is a feeling that even though Jemez suits Las Palmas, his appointment will not keep them up. Not only due to the fact there are now seven points separating them from getting out of the relegation zone, but also because the 47-year-old’s teams have always been known for suspect defensively and at times suicidal - which we saw against Girona, and that is not exactly suitable for a team looking to avoid relegation.

It can be entertaining of course when his teams are in full flow going forward, but that will take time, and maybe too much time.

“What happened on the pitch was a disgrace,” Jemez said after the Girona game. “We did things very badly, myself more than the players. We apologise to the fans. This result is what it is, more for my failures than those of the team. After their second goal, the team collapsed due to us not believing we could come back. I assume responsibility. We have the second round to come, and we’ll work hard and fight to get things moving.”

They will keep fighting, and it is certainly not impossible for them to stay in La Liga, but it would be a massive achievement if they did. Perhaps if Jemez had come in at the start of the season, which was not actually possible, he could have had more of an influence on his team’s performances. Saturday evening’s 2-1 victory over Valencia definitely went some way to righting the wrongs of the 6-0 thrashing. Right now though, it just feels as though time is running out a little too quickly for Las Palmas.

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