With only one game left in the Spanish second division, Torrevieja’s soccer coach Juan Ignacio MartÃnez and his club Real Zaragoza are sure to end up in mid-table, which seemed highly unlikely when he arrived from Kuwait in mid-December.
At this point Los MaÃ±os had only two wins and just under 13 points on the board with 18 games played. They were firmly anchored at the bottom of the Segunda rankings.
However, since arriving, JIM has managed to reinvigorate the squad, reverse the insecure mood of the players and, through hard work and good results, gain the trust of the local press and Zaragoza fans.
After the Christmas break, the team surprised everyone with stability and defensive strength, which allowed them to regularly score points and climb the rankings to a respectable position, having achieved 37 points out of a possible 66 since arriving, the second best team in the entire league, only behind the leader
In his playing career he only appeared as an amateur and never got beyond Tercera, where he ended his days at FC Torrevieja in 1990.
JIM’s managerial career also began at this level, with a brief stint at Alicante before moving to Orihuela and then to Torrevieja FC.
Since then, he has coached at many levels and at clubs in Spain including Levante UD in La Liga, China and the Middle East with Al-Arabi SC of the Kuwaiti Premier League, which he left late to lure Real Zaragoza last year.
Despite its success, JIM could be on the road again. When asked about his future earlier this week, he said it was far too early to say. âWhen the season is over we need to take stock, both the owners and me. We have to decide what is best for the club. I was brought in for short-term help. I’m just grateful that I was able to do my job. “