La Liga minnows have beaten the odds before but their sense of fun and colourful manager look set to drop down to Segunda
José Luis Mendilíbar says he likes the “sound of football”, boot on ball, and mostly football likes the sound of him. Old school and potty mouthed, no pretence or pretentiousness, he’s not messing about. Anti-VAR, pro-fans, attacking authorities and challenging charlatans, cutting through the crap, he has a way with words and his way is direct, blunt, warm and often funny. The coach whose response to a former player apologising for scoring against him was “don’t do it, then” and who admitted “we’re a bunch of cheats in La Liga; touch us and it’s like someone killed us”. He is the man one footballer says could never manage a big club because the media would murder him if he said in Madrid and Barcelona what he says in Eibar.
What he says in Eibar is the truth even when the truth hurts. And this hurt. At the end of their 4-1 defeat at Granada on Thursday, Mendilíbar was asked: “On a scale of one to 10, what chance do you think Eibar have of surviving now?” At which he looked at the screen and the man sitting 813km away, at the hope slipping further even than that, and said: “Not much.”
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Beautiful finish by Roberto Soldado!
A delicate curler that was confirmed as the opener for Granada after a VAR check ⚪ pic.twitter.com/kUIgoDJdB6
Related: A night at Eibar, where the best seats are, well, in the house | Sid Lowe
Cádiz 0-3 Real Madrid, Elche 1-1 Real Valladolid, Alavés 2-1 Villarreal, Real Betis 0-0 Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna 3-1 Valencia, Levante 0-1 Sevilla, Barcelona 5-2 Getafe, Real Sociedad 2-1 Celta Vigo, Granada 4-1 Eibar, Atlético Madrid 2-0 Huesca