UPDATE (Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 6.14pm CST) Local media have confirmed that Roger Schmidt has been dismissed as the head coach of Beijing Guo’an, with former Lyon coach Bruno Genesio in the capital ready to take charge of the team.
After holding an eight-point lead at the top of the CSL earlier this season, Schmidt’s team have fallen four points behind league leaders Guangzhou Evergrande after a poor run of form.
The drop off has coincided with the injury of Spanish star Jonathan Viera, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with broken ribs he suffered in Beijing's Matchday 18 win over Beijing Renhe.
Manager of the club since July 2017, the dismissal of Schmidt will come as a shock to Guo’an fans after the German brought Beijing its first silverware since 2009 last season. The Imperial Guards edged past Shandong Luneng on away goals after the two-legged CFA Cup Final finished 3-3 on aggregate. The former Bayer Leverkusen manager has also turned Guo’an into title contenders, but after a run of three successive away defeats, the fall from the summit has seemingly cost Schmidt his job.
The timing of the dismissal comes at a pivotal point in the season, with a crucial title game against Guangzhou Evergrande just 11 days away. Indeed, with 10 games left in the season, Guo'an are yet to face both Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG at the Workers’ Stadium, as the they look to bring a first CSL title to the club since 2009.
Image via @OL/Instagram
An incoming Bruno Genesio would come in under pressure as Guo’an look to steady the ship. He enjoyed a successful spell at French club Olympique Lyonnais. After taking over in December 2015, Genesio guided the club to a second-place finish in his first season.
Most notably, however, the Frenchman masterminded Lyon’s route to a semi-final berth in the 2017 UEFA Europa League and also guided the club to a memorable away win at Manchester City in last season’s Champions League group stage.
[Cover image via @guoanfootballclub/Instagram]