ISL 2021-22: SC East Bengal part ways with Robbie Fowler, appoint Manuel ‘Manolo’ Diaz as new head coach

Under Robbie Fowler tutelage, SC East Bengal finished ninth last season with just three wins under their belt.

ISL 2021-22: SC East Bengal part ways with Robbie Fowler, appoint Manuel ‘Manolo’ Diaz as new head coach
ISL 2021-22: SC East Bengal part ways with Robbie Fowler, appoint Manuel ‘Manolo’ Diaz as new head coach
Follow Us On

SC East Bengal have announced that they have parted ways with Robbie Fowler and have appointed Manuel ‘Manolo’ Diaz as the new head coach for the upcoming Indian Super League season (ISL 2021-22).

Robbie Fowler was appointed as the head coach of the SC East Bengal last season (ISL 2020-21). Under Robbie Fowler tutelage, SC East Bengal finished ninth last season with just three wins under their belt. The Kolkata giants took to Twitter to announce Robbie Fowler and his coaching staff’s departure.

“SC East Bengal can confirm that the club has agreed with Robbie Fowler to a mutual termination of the head coach’s contract. We wish Robbie all the best with his future endeavours and look forward to his continued association with Shree Cement Limited,” SC Bengal tweeted.

“Alongside his assistant Tony Grant, he took charge of the team in a very challenging position of transition and managed to overcome significant odds to bring the fans some moments of joy in the club’s first-ever season in the Hero Indian Super League,” SC East Bengal said of Fowler, who had courted controversies during his one year stint at the helm of affairs,” statement added.

Just a few minutes after the first tweet, SC East Bengal made another announcement, this time that of the appointment of 53-year old former Real Madrid Castilla coach Manuel ‘Manolo’ Diaz as head coach.

“SC East Bengal is proud to welcome former Real Madrid Castilla coach Manuel ‘Manolo’ Diaz as the new head coach for the Hero Indian Super League 2021-22 season,” the second tweet read.

With over 20 years of coaching experience, including a significant period of time in the Real Madrid CF set-up, Manolo brings with him a wealth of experience and a winning mentality.

The 53-year-old has an overall win rate of 41.77 percent over 328 matches coached in his two-decade career and a 46.66 percent win rate in his latest stint at Real Madrid Castilla (2018-19).

“In Madrid, we say ‘Winning is in our DNA’. We love the pressure and expectation that comes with coaching a big club,” Manolo said.

“Time is short and there is a long and difficult road ahead, but we will do our best to deliver good performances for all SC East Bengal fans,” he added.

Manuel ‘Manolo’ Diaz Managerial Career

Manuel Diaz began his managerial career with the Juvenil (U-19) team of Real Madrid in 2002 but left it in 2006. After a brief period in Mexico, he returned to Spain and was appointed the head coach of a Spanish fourth division side CDA Navalcarnero.

He worked there for a year before returning to Los Blancos as the manager of their C (Reserve) team in 2009.

A year later, Diaz was named coach of the Real Madrid C team. In 2011–12, he guided the team to second place in the regular season and, despite losing in the playoffs, saw them achieve promotion to Segunda Division B.

In 2013, Diaz became Real Madrid Castilla (Real Madrid B team) manager and he took the reserves out of the last position in Segunda Division after winning 13 out of a possible 15 points and four consecutive wins. 

However, his initial stint ended in disappointment as they suffered relegation from LaLiga 2 that season. After being let go, he took over Segunda Division SD Ponferradina and managed them for a few years.

In 2017, Diaz was appointed Real Madrid youth system coordinator and a year later became the reserve team manager. 

In 2018 he was appointed as the head coach of the Castilla side, replacing Santiago Solari – who took over the senior squad.