Sanchez Flores quits as Shenhua manager

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail SHINE, July 4, 2019
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Enrique 'Quique' Sanchez Flores resigned as manager of Chinese Super League side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on Wednesday.

Enrique 'Quique' Sanchez Flores resigned as manager of struggling Chinese Super League side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on Wednesday. 

The Spaniard will very likely be replaced by former Dalian Yifang head coach Choi Kang-hee of South Korea.

The club made the announcement through its official Weibo account on Wednesday evening.

"Enrique Sanchez Flores handed in his resignation to the club due to personal reasons. After some consideration, the club decided to accept his resignation. Mr Sanchez Flores and his team worked hard and devotedly since taking over the club last December. Despite the team's dissatisfying ranking after the first half of the CSL, a batch of young players has been given playing opportunities by Sanchez Flores and, as a result, have improved their ability, which will benefit the team's future development."

"The club thanks Mr Sanchez Flores and his team for their hard work in the past seven months and wish them all the best in future work and life," the statement added.

Shenhua lies third from last in the 16-team CSL standing with 12 points from 15 rounds. The club is yet to announce the Spaniard's successor, though Choi is the favorite to land the job.

Dalian announced Sanchez Flores' compatriot Rafael Benitez as Choi's replacement on Tuesday. The South Korean joined Dalian at the beginning of the season. He previously coached Tianjin Tianhai, a club which could not afford Choi's salary after its major investor got involved in illegal commercial activity.

When Sanchez Flores first took over at Shenhua, the former Espanyol and Watford manager set two goals for himself — to achieve better performance than Shenhua's seventh rank in the 2018 CSL, and to give younger players more chance.

Obviously, the club recognized his effort on the second goal, but its current league position was untenable.

Sanchez Flores said in an earlier interview that he considered his new career in China a challenge in terms of both football and cultural differences. During his short reign, the Spaniard kept experimenting with formats, using 14 different starting line-ups in the past 15 rounds of league play.

Shenhua only won one out of its seven home matches in the first half of the season. The club is on the lookout for a new foreign striker to help drag the team out of its current lowly status and predicament.

Former club general manager Zhou Jun, who left Shanghai for Dalian Yifang last year, made a return to Shenhua recently to help the team go through "its most difficult period". 

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