Former Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka has failed in his attempt to preserve the La Liga status at Granada. The Spanish outfit were relegated on the final day of the campaign after a 0-0 draw with Espanyol.
It had looked like a tough ask from the off. A battling 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid, another point against Celta Vigo and two wins against Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao had provided hope.
Last weekend’s defeat to Real Betis proved detrimental though and a share of the spoils last night means Granada join Levante and Alaves in the second tier next season.
It’s not been the renaissance that Karanka needed. After winning just eight of 38 games at Birmingham, the former Real Madrid star needed to make this job work.
Now, he has a relegation on his CV and it will be interesting to see whether he will commit his future to the club for the 2022/23 campaign.
Karanka’s time at Forest proved unsuccessful. He tried to make Forest tough to beat but left after a year following a dispute with the club’s hierarchy.
He won 16 of 52 matches, leaving Trentside with a win ratio of just 30.8% and the football was often pragmatic rather than free-flowing.
Karanka was out of the game for 16 months after leaving Forest in January 2019. He was given the Birmingham job in July 2020 and again failed to make his mark.
Karanka relegated and the ex-Forest boss looks like a spent force right now
A lot of the damage was already done when Karanka arrived in Spain. Although he’s overseen some good results, his team were once again found wanting when it mattered the most.
That has been the case throughout his career as a manager; with promotion to the Premier League coming at the second time of asking with Middlesbrough.
It will now be interesting to see what Karanka does next.
Clubs in England are unlikely to take a punt on the Spaniard and with that in mind, he could be forced into a season in the second tier with Granada.
Forest fans were sad to see Karanka go, especially when it was announced Martin O’Neill was the man tasked with replacing him.
Now, however, he doesn’t look like a major loss and Karanka’s style of play is clearly proving a problem.