Former Chelsea midfield Claude Makelele was sacked as coach of French side SC Bastia on Monday. The decision comes after the club has only won two of its first 12 games in Ligue 1 since the former PSG assistant coach to charge at the club. Arsenal legend, and former international teammate Patrick Vieira was quick to jump on twitter and defend his colleague, but the Arsenal legend is defending Makelele without taking the facts into account.
Vieira, via his twitter account, said this:
“It’s difficult to understand how Makelele has been fired after just 12 matches. It shows the importance of choosing your first job.
C'est difficile à comprendre comment Makelele peut être virer après juste12matches. Ça montre l'importance de bien choisir ton premier poste— Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) November 3, 2014
Celui-ci était un cadeau empoisonné.— Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) November 3, 2014
He followed that up with a separate tweet declaring the Bastia job “a poisoned chalice”
French clubs love this time of year to relieve coaches of their job. Fellow Corsican club AC Ajaccio said goodbye to Fabrizio Ravanelli at the same stage last year. The Italian had only won once in 12 games and only found the net eight times. Makelele hasn’t featured that much better.
Bastia was far from a poisoned chalice before Makelele took over. Last season the club finished 10th in Ligue 1 and at the Stade Armand Cesari, Bastia had the fifth best record in the league. Under Frederic Hantz, they only lost four out of their 19 games at home, conceding 18 goals.
It was this home record that saw the club from the island of Corsica climb from France’s third division to become a mid-table side in Ligue 1. They were a club far from trouble.
After 12 games they now sit 19th and have only won once in their opening six home games. They have conceded 17 goals and scored just nine times. The Bastia owners had to do something to try and save their place in the league.
Makelele lost a few players this summer, the most important was Wahbi Khazri who moved to Bordeaux, but he was allowed to bring players in. Floyd Ayite, Guillaume Gillet, and El-Hadji Ba from Sunderland to name a few.
The tactics and decisions made by Makelele during the season have clearly failed to develop this season. He has fallen out with players and also suffered the disappointment of losing striker Brandao over a head-butting incident, but that doesn’t excuse the team’s results.
Bastia was an excellent opportunity for Makelele; the club was in a great position, but now faces a struggle to stay up. Bastia will take some advice from Vieira and their next appointment will be a very important one.