Official: Álvaro Pacheco fired by Vasco after four matches in Brazil

Álvaro Pacheco’s time at Vasco da Gama has come to an end after just one month in Brazil, during which he failed to win any of his four Brasileirão matches in charge.

Pacheco’s dismissal was confirmed on Thursday, following a 2-0 defeat at Juventude. According to the local press, the decision was made purely for football reasons, with both the club’s fans and board unimpressed with the Portuguese’s performance.

Having left Vitória in acrimonious circumstances in May, Pacheco was presented as Vasco coach almost exactly one month ago. However, his tenure in Rio de Janeiro was a disaster from the first match, which saw Vasco suffer a worst-ever 6-1 derby defeat to city rivals Flamengo at Maracanã.

A 2-0 loss to Abel Ferreira’s Palmeiras followed, after which a goalless home draw with Cruzeiro saw Vasco fans directing abuse at Pacheco at full time. The rapid unravelling was made starker by Vasco having won their previous league match before Pacheco’s arrival, meaning when Vasco headed to Juventude this midweek there was little patience left.

Pacheco’s side were beaten 2-0 by Juventude and his post-match press conference saw the 52-year-old attempt to demonstrate calm. “I can't give up or doubt my abilities,” he said. “We are going through a moment that we didn't want, but we have to work and focus.

“In our life there are good moments and bad moments, and in moments of failure we have to become stronger. I will become much stronger as a coach. I really believe in what I work on, in what I am developing with the squad and I believe that the results will appear.

“I'm not a coach who really likes to make excuses, but we arrived at Vasco at a complicated time, of a lot of transformation and instability and we are getting to know the club and especially its players.

“We need a little more tranquillity and security to make our decisions. And I, as a coach, have to give it to my players. We can't run away. As a coach, I'm not going to run away.”

By the time Pacheco arrived back in Rio de Janeiro, he would have been aware of the strong speculation that he would be fired. Vasco duly announced his departure on Thursday, bringing an end to one of the shortest managerial stints of the season.

According to Globo Esporte, the directors of Vasco had become irritated by Pacheco’s talk of progress when the performances were so widely received as abysmal. Vasco conceded a high number of opportunities from the beginning of his tenure, meaning Pacheco’s attempt to put a positive spin on his work only incurred frustration.

Team selection, including the omission of ex-Benfica defender João Victor, as well as being perceived to have overloaded the midfield, also drew derision from observers. Pacheco’s delay in making changes from the bench was another point of criticism.

By @SeanGillen9