After 16 Games Without a Win, Fran Escriba is Back to Rescue Elche

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Despite making a positive start to life back in Spain’s top flight, the realities of being a newly promoted club are hitting Elche hard. The La Liga new boys won three of their first five league games but since then, Elche have gone 16 league games without a win and find themselves in deep trouble; trouble Fran Escriba must get them out of.

Jorge Almiron has left his role with the experienced Fran Escriba returning six years after his first spell. Escriba is tasked with guiding Elche to safety.

In a season like no other, it’s been challenging in more ways than one for the side based in Alicante. They were given very little time to prepare for the new season after their play-off final victory, not to mention the fact their manager resigned following their promotion.

Survival is the ambition and despite their 16 match winless streak, they are still very much in the mix and can beat the drop. Significantly, they also have two games in hand on all of their relegation rivals having started the season late.

Elche need to find that win and quickly to spark their season back into life.

16 Games and Counting Without a Win For Elche

Months of Struggle After a Bright Start to the Season

When Elche kicked off their campaign in late September, nobody expected the club to make the strong start they did. They collected ten points from their first five league games, including three victories.

New manager Jorge Almiron made an excellent start and Elche appeared to be establishing themselves well in La Liga. However, that has been as good as its got for them since. That fantastic derby win over Valencia on the 23rd of October was the last time Elche collected a win.

Its 16 games and almost four months since they last collected a victory in the league. Their struggle has seen them collect just eight points from those 16 games. They have lost five of their last seven and their difficulties finding a win have seen them drop into the relegation zone.

While their defence hasn’t been too leaky, the goals have dried up in their baron run. Elche were efficient in their opening five matches, scoring five times which yielded ten points. However, their 16 match winless streak has yielded just 14 league goals. Surprisingly, Elche have only failed to score in five of those games, but have only scored more than once in just two of those matches.

Goalscoring is proving to be a problem. Only Getafe and fellow strugglers Huesca have scored fewer – this has been a factor in their struggles.

Lack Of Preparation for the Season Didn’t Appear a Problem Until Now

Elche only secured promotion to La Liga in late August after seeing off Girona across two legs. They were given extra time to rest and prepare but the realities meant they only had around a month’s worth of preparation time.

Little time for the players to rest, little time to get new faces into the squad as well as minimal time for a new manager to take over and put their ideas across. Following their promotion, Pacheta resigned as manager and has since taken over fellow strugglers Huesca.

Jorge Almiron was thrust into the job and had little time to put his ideas across. Yes, they did start the season brightly, but it appears during their 16 match winless streak, things have caught up with the club.

The lack of preparation and rest appears to have arrived in recent matches. Their competitive streak cannot be questioned but they have looked fatigued andlike a club lacking ideas. This may have been a factor in Almiron’s decision to leave but he cannot be made accountable for the lack of time between seasons.

Its been a difficult season for all clubs involved because of the ongoing global pandemic but Elche have felt the effect hard. A short turnover from last season to this has not helped their course.

Lack of La Liga Experience

Elche’s struggles for a win have been the headlines but their actual performances on the pitch haven’t been bad. They have been competitive, determined and fought hard but the lack of quality has been evident.

Elche were very competitive in their opening ten league games. They lost just two of their opening ten and managed to grind out difficult results against the likes of Celta Vigo and Villarreal.

they took real positive steps but, since then, the realities of La Liga and the quality of their opponents have shone through. Since those opening ten, Elche lost seven of their next eleven.

Its been a rapid fall down the table to a point where the slide needs arresting and quickly. Endeavour and spirit doesn’t yield points and, unfortunately, their hard work isn’t being rewarded. They do have quality players that performed in the Segunda Division but have found the step up hard.

The team severely lacks La Liga experience despite having a well-balanced side in terms of youth players and experienced campaigners. They did look to address this in the transfer windows by bringing in the likes of Antonio Barragan, Guido Carrillo and Miguel Cifuentes. A lot of pressure has been put on the experienced heads to guide them through this tricky patch and it’s proving a difficult task.

Elche Have Turned to Former Manager Fran Escriba 

Jorge Almiron, tasting his first experience in La Lig, found the pressure too much and resigned following last Friday’s defeat to Celta Vigo. It was a difficult tasked assigned to him and for a first-time manager in La Liga, it was always going to be difficult.

His replacement is a man who knows the football club well – Fran Escriba. He is back and ready to keep Elche in the top flight. Back for a second spell, he is a real favourite at the club having guided them to promotion in 2013.

He only left the club after their financial meltdown and administrative relegation in 2015. Escriba will look to make Elche efficient and hard to beat similarly to Almiron. However, Escriba has the vital league experience.

Escriba and Elche appear to be a perfect fit. The experienced manager arguably enjoyed his most successful spell in management at the Valencian based side. His first spell at Elche really enhanced is reputation as a coach but disappointing spells at Getafe, Villarreal and Celta Vigo have followed. He is very respected in Spanish football and he will be relishing a return to Elche.

His first task is simply to stop the rot. Their winless streak needs halting and quickly. Escriba has to reinvigorate the dressing room and get the players going again. There is quality in that side but it needs confidence that only victories yield.

As well as halting their slide and rotten run, Elche need goals wth just 19 this campaign with top scorer Lucas Boye boasting just four this campaign. He needs support and Escriba has to find a way to inject goals into the side.

Creativity has also been a problem but if Escriba can unlock talented midfielders Josan and Raul Guti, Elche can start to pick up the right kind of results.

Escriba Faces Difficult Start to Elche Return

The return of Fran Escriba will bring plenty of optimism and belief but his tenure kicks off with a series of tricky games.

Escriba’s first game back in charge is a vital six-pointer at home to Eibar. A huge game for both sides and Escriba will target this as a perfect opportunity to ignite their survival bid. Eibar themselves, are on a difficult run- winning just one of their last 12 league games. Elche can move level on points with their opponents if they can complete the league double over Jose Mendilibar’s team.

That crucial clash is followed by a series of tricky ties against the bigger sides in La Liga. They head to the Nou Camp to face Barcelona, play Sevilla twice and head to face Real Madrid before mid-March. Sandwiched in those run of games is a trip to Granada as well so it’s a very daunting run of fixtures.

However, the pressure will be on the bigger sides to collect the points so Elche can approach those games under no pressure and see it as a free hit. Any points in that time will be a bonus but certainly, Escriba will be judged on games against the likes of Eibar. A tough run of fixtures but one the players and the returning manager will relish.

A win in that time could breed plenty of confidence and ignite their survival bid. Its been a long drought without a win for Elche but the return of Fran Escriba will ignite some hope that they can steady the ship and, more importantly, stop their long winless streak.

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