The Western Sydney Wanderers have announced the immediate departure of coach Josep Gombau, following the club’s disappointing seventh-placed finish this season.
The club released a brief statement, saying:
The Western Sydney Wanderers today officially announced that Josep Gombau will leave the club, effective immediately.
Following a review of the season the decision has been made to appoint a new head coach for the 2018/19 season and beyond.
The club would like to thank Josep for his time with the Wanderers.
The 41-year-old Spaniard took charge of the Wanderers this season, following the departure of inaugural coach Tony Popovic to Turkey, but didn’t join the team until Round 5, interim coach Hayden Foxe having started the season in charge.
His career at Western Sydney got off to a rocky start, with the team scoring just two goals in his first five matches at the helm – a stretch that saw them lose three games and draw twice.
A run of three wins in four games seemed to have the side back on track, but in reality, they never really got going.
They didn’t win more than two games in a row all season, and eventually missed the finals for just the second time in the club’s history, after a 3-2 loss to Adelaide last weekend.
There were rumblings of discontent among the playing group for much of the season and, just three days ago, Gombau was forced to deny unrest in the dressing room.
[latest_videos_strip category=”football” name=”Football”]
Gombau’s first foray in Australian football was a two-year stint coaching Adelaide United. The Reds finished sixth in his first season, but in his second year they won the inaugural FFA cup and reached the A-League semi-finals.
He managed Australia’s u-23 team in between his time in Adelaide and Western Sydney, while also serving as an assistant to the Socceroos.
Prior to coming to Australia, he had managed Hong Kong side Kitchee for four years, while also serving as a Barcelona youth coach for six seasons.
The Wanderers are yet to name any candidates for the now-vacant manager role.