The Saint: Las Palmas Vs Villareal

 UD Las Palmas logoVs80px-Villarreal_CF_logo.svg

It’s been a busy week for Las Palmas Football Club. After last week’s pathetic display away at Getafe, LP were totally out played and lost 4-0 with 2 players being sent off! They played in such a disorganised way that they didn’t even manage a single shot at goal. So there were no surprises to see Paco Herrera sacked as UD Las Palmas manager on Monday morning, after a series of bad results, becoming the first La Liga manager in the 2015-2016 season to be fired.

Herrera, who has enjoyed previous managerial stints at Celta (where he was also sacked after a loss to Getafe) and Zaragoza among others, took the Las Palmas job in 2014.

He led the Canary Islands club to the Segunda Division playoffs in his first season, where they defeated Real Zaragoza in the play-off finals to win promotion to La Liga. Herrera was only able to achieve one success with Las Palmas in the top tier of Spanish football, a 2-0 win over Sevilla on September 23. That left the club in 19th place with 5 points from 8 games, one point better than bottom of the league Granada.

So late on Monday evening, Enrique Setién Solar (27/09/1958), known to most as Quique Setién, was appointed the new manager at UD Las Palmas. As a player, he made his debut at Racing Santander in 1977. He also played for Atlético de Madrid, CD Logroñés and Levante. He has 3 international caps for Spain. His third and last match for Spain was in the Estadio Insular ( former home to Las Palmas) on January 22nd 1986. He went to Mexico in ’86, where Spain got to the last 16 but he never played a minute during that World Cup. Quique Setién, was a midfielder with great passing and delivery skills.

As a manager, he only has experience in Segunda División and Segunda División B in Spain. For one season he was also Equatorial Guinea’s National Team manager. The last six seasons he has managed CD Lugo. He took the team from Segunda División B and got promoted to Segunda División two years later. He left Lugo in June 2015 due to all the changes to the Directors’ Board. He brings to Las Palmas his assistant manager Eder Sarabia.

My good friend, and local Arguineguín Football pundit, Juan Antonio Santiago, commented on the appointment of the new manager, “If good results are not coming soon, it is going to be tough for him as most of the fans had a lot of sympathy for the former manager Paco Herrera. But most probably it is going to be harder for the Chairman Miguel Ángel Ramírez, absolute owner of the club, as fans are very sick of all the bad signings for this season. Las Palmas support is amazing and this season the club has more than 19.000 season loyal fans. They cannot see where most of the money has gone, apart from keeping Argentinian Sergio Araujo.” Juan Antonio finished by wishing the best of luck to the new manager, who has been signed for the rest of the season and has the option to stay next season, if he keeps the team in Primera División.

Courtesy of

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So with the new manager taking his first home game, LP entertained Villareal who have started the season in good form with 5 wins already and sit in the top 5.

The first half was a tight affair with the best chance falling to Araujo in the first 10mins. A free kick played to the far post where he was unmarked but his shot was well saved by Areola in the away goal.

Las Palmas had plenty of the ball in the first half but not really creating any other chances.

Half Time = 0-0.

Very tight half with LP defence holding firm and the visitor’s not troubling Varas in the home goal with even a single effort on target.

 LP were obviously lacking confidence in the final 1/3 of the pitch but they are playing a lot more solidly as a team.

LP starts the 2nd half on the front foot, and wins a couple of corners.

Villareal bring on the ex Spurs forward Soldado to try and bring a bit more attacking options to their play.

On 62mins, LP create the best chance of the game,a  good passing move down the left, finds El Zhar who whips in a great cross but it’s just over hit with no one there to finish the move off.

Araujo manages to break the offside trap and is clear on goal but a great tackle denies him a shooting chance.

In the last few mins, both teams are attacking but some good defending denies any real scoring chances.

Final score – Las Palmas 0 Villreal 0

The Verdict of The Saint – A much more solid display by LP with the defence playing a back 4 and looking a lot more organised than recent weeks. We still lack the attacking flair and only created a couple of good chances. With the next match away to Real Madrid, a point was OK but they must start winning at home soon before they lose any more ground to the teams above them.

The 18,517 crowd go home knowing that they need to be entertained more in the next home match, Friday 6th November against David Moyes Real Sociedad, KO 19.30 . Pio Pio