The reasons why Atlanta United parted ways with Gabriel Heinze
The Five Stripes lost 1-0 to New England Revolution last weekend and the bosses decided to dismiss Argentine Gabriel Heinze from managerial duties.
In 2018, Atlanta United won the Major League Soccer Cup under manager Gerardo Martino, who followed it by taking the Mexico job in January 2019. Since then the bosses from the Five Stripes have been searching for the ideal candidate to lead the team to another title, but have failed to appoint the right manager.
Frank de Boer became the second manager in the club’s history and in 2019 he won the US Open Cup and the Campeones Cup. In July 2020 he was let go following Atlanta’s elimination from the MLS is Back tournament after losing all three of their group stage games.
Gabriel Heinze had a bad relationship with Josef Martínez
On 18 December 2020, Gabriel Heinze became the third manager in the history of the MLS franchise, but his two-year contract was terminated this weekend after Atlanta suffered their fourth defeat of the season against the New England Revolution.
The Argentine manager decided to separate the Five Stripes’ star Josef Martínez from the team and publicly confirmed that it was a coaching decision. The 2018 Major League Soccer MVP had been training by himself for over a week since recovering from covid-19 and he received the green light by the medical staff to play against the Revolution.
After the loss this weekend, the fans at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium were chanting Martinez’s name as a sign of disapproval of Heinze’s decision. According to multiple reports, the relationship between the player and the manager was so bad that Josef wanted out of Atlanta.
Heinze’s words after Saturday’s loss
“Josef will start tomorrow with the group and we want to see him fit,” Heinze said. “To clarify, I had a conversation with Josef. Everything that somebody like me decides is with Atlanta as my first thought. After that, the rest. I can tell you how I manage myself. Josef will be back and will help us get through this moment.”
Atlanta United has not won any of their last eight games and they are in 10th place with 13 points in the Eastern Conference. This season they have only won two of their 13 games, so the bosses decided to part ways with Heinze after his seven-month, 212-day tenure as manager of the club.
When Heinze arrived at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the bosses hoped that he could lift this team up, but as they never saw an improvement tactically and the results after each game were not what he promised when he signed his two-year contract. The Five Stripes failed to create chances under Heinze and they average one goal per game so far this season.
It was also reported that the Argentine manager denied players Collective Bargaining Agreement mandated days off. Also he limited the amount of water players could drink during pre-season practices and forced the medical staff to intervene.
On top of everything, his temper didn't help his cause. Earlier this season, Gabriel Heinze was suspended one game by the league due to yellow card accumulation. He was constantly arguing with referees during the games and twice he had an exchange of words with the Philadelphia Union coach, Jim Curtin.This are the many reasons why his time in Atlanta ended after seven-months.