Villarreal turn to Javi Calleja after axing Fran Escriba

Villarreal have appointed Javi Calleja as their new head coach having sacked Fran Escriba after just six games this season.

Escriba, 52, left the Estadio de la Ceramica in the wake of Sunday’s 4-0 humbling at Getafe.

A club statement read: “Villarreal have decided to end the contract of Fran Escriba as coach of the first team.

“The club would like to thank the coach for his work and dedication.”

Valencia-born Escriba departs Villarreal having taken seven points from six games, which is far from the worst record in La Liga.

Last season, his only full term in charge after replacing Marcelino, he took Villarreal to a sixth-placed finish which earned them Europa League football.

In that competition they are currently top of their group after one game, having beaten Astana 3-1 in their opening fixture.

Escriba’s replacement is former B-team boss Calleja, who steps up until the end of the season.

Calleja, 39, was part of the Villarreal squad who reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2006.