AGONAsport Profile: Who is new Olympiacos coach Pedro Martins
After Oscar Garcia’s departure from Olympiacos last week, Portuguese manager Pedro Martins was named the new Thrylos boss for the 2018/2019 season. In connection with his recent appointment, AGONAsport takes a closer look at his career so far.
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When competing as a defensive midfielder, Pedro Martins enjoyed a relatively successful playing career. Having progressed through the Feirense academy, Martins went on to make 177 league appearances for the club between 1988 and 1994, scoring the one goal along the way. He later represented Vitoria Guimaraes, Sporting Lisbon, Boavista, Santa Clara and Alverca, spending the entirety of his playing days in his native Portugal. Martins earned the one senior cap with the Portuguese national side in 1997, emerging as a substitute in the 0:0 draw with Northern Ireland in the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. In 2004, he decided to hang up his boots after four years with Alverca.
EARLY COACHING DAYS
Intent on making a name for himself in the coaching business, Martins immediately became assistant coach of Vitoria Setubal after he retired as a footballer. He then worked with FC Porto’s and Belemenses’ coaching staff for a further two years, before finally landing a job as head coach with Uniao Lamas in 2006 in the Portuguese Second Division. Martins didn’t stay at Uniao for long though, quickly transferring to Lusitania next season where he would spend the next two campaigns.
Martins remained in the third tier of Portuguese football until 2010, managing Espinho in the 2009/2010 season following two solid years with Lusitania. His next stop was Maritimo B, but after managing the reserves for less than a month, he was promoted to the position of first team head coach. It proved to be the turning point for Martins, as the Portuguese stayed in the hot-seat for four years.
The now 47-year old was at the Maritimo helm for an impressive 152 matches, helping the club qualify for the UEFA Europa League group stages in the 2011/2012 campaign and finish fifth in the Portuguese championship.
Satisfied with his work at Maritimo, Martins departed in June 2014 and took over the job as Rio Ave boss. The Portuguese managed to repeat his Maritimo success with his new club, steering Rio Ave to the 2015/2016 Europa League group stages and registering a points-per-game average of 1.41 compared to 1.44 with his previous team. In May 2016, Martins revealed he was leaving Rio Ave and promptly put pen to paper on a two-year contract with Vitoria Guimaraes, a club which he used to play for.
MAKING THE CUP FINAL
One of Martins’ best days as a coach came in his debut season with Guimaraes, with the club reaching the Portuguese Cup final. Guimaraes lost that game 1:2 to capital giants Benfica, but Martins won plenty of plaudits for the team’s superb performances in the competition. Guimaraes made headlines in the domestic championship too, earning fourth place to qualify for the Europa League.
Unfortunately for Martins, a string of poor results gave him the sack from Guimaraes in February 2018.
WHAT OLYMPIACOS CAN EXPECT
Looking at Martins’ previous jobs, his preferred formation is 4-2-3-1 and he’s always eager for his teams to play an exciting, attacking style of game. That’s certainly music to Olympiacos fans’ ears, especially when you remember what a poor season the Thrylos supporters have endured with very little free-flowing football on show.
Martins signed a two-year deal with Olympiacos which will begin in the 2018/2019 season, accompanied by a salary of 400 thousand euros per-year. On average, Martins spends 1.43 years in charge of teams, but Olympiacos are in desperate need of stability and demand instant results from the Portuguese. Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis is hungry to give the squad a large overhaul and become competitive in all tournaments, however it remains to be seen whether Martins will be given the time to make his mark in Piraeus.