Heinze 'told players to LIMIT water intake' before Atlanta sacking

Gabriel Heinze ‘cancelled days off and told players to LIMIT how much water they drank… prompting club medics and MLS Players Association to COMPLAIN about Argentine’s behaviour’ before his sacking as Atlanta United head coach

  • Gabriel Heinze was sacked as MLS side Atlanta United’s head coach on Monday
  • The Argentine coach won just two out of his first 13 league matches in charge 
  • The ex-Man United man reportedly told his players to limit the water they drank
  • Club medics had to intervene with Heinze’s water request before his sacking
  • He also reportedly called off rest days and asked players to keep their phones on

Gabriel Heinze told his Atlanta United squad to limit the amount of water they drank, refused to give them days off and told them to always keep their phones on before his sacking from the MLS side, according to reports.

The former Manchester United and Argentina defender was sacked from his head coach role at the American outfit on Monday after just half a year in charge, following just two wins from his opening 13 league games in charge. 

As well as the on-pitch struggles, Heinze fell out with several senior members of the club – including star player Josef Martinez – who the 43-year-old head coach ordered to train on his own after he returned back from this summer’s Copa America.

Gabriel Heinze endured a tough time at Atlanta United and won two MLS games in charge

Heinze reportedly told his players they had to limit the amount of water they drank 

But according to FOX Sports, Heinze’s problems ran deeper than that and a request to drink less water in between training and matches forced club medical staff to intervene. 

The report also says the Argentine took away pre-arranged days off from the players due to poor form, while he also demanded that his players keep their phones on so they could be contacted or be called into the training ground at very short notice. 

The MLS Players Association reportedly filed a grievance with the league on behalf of Atlanta’s players due to Heinze’s behaviour. 

Despite the reports coming out of Atlanta following the announcement of Heinze’s sacking, Atlanta club president Darren Eales was positive about the influence the former defender had on the MLS club. 

The Argentine coach cancelled days off for the players and told them to keep their phones on

He said: ‘This was certainly not a decision we wanted to make at this point in our season, but it was the right one for the club. 

‘Gabi is a talented coach and is undeniably passionate about his craft and the sport of soccer. We are grateful to him for his service; and wish him all the best in the future.’

Eales said the club were not going to give any reasoning as to why Heinze was sacked, but did reveal that the team had ‘a number of concerning issues over the past several months and the process of evaluating them brought us to this decision today.’

Heinze leaves the Five Stripes with the club having accrued just 13 points from as many games in this season’s Eastern Conference, with his final match at the helm a 1-0 home defeat to New England Revolution. 

Heinze’s Atlanta picked up just 13 points from 13 matches in this season’s Eastern Conference

The club also beat Costa Rican side Alajuelense home and away in the CONCACAF Champions League round of 16 in April before losing 4-1 on aggregate to Philadelphia Union. 

Atlanta won the MLS Cup – the United States’ equivalent of Premier League – in 2018 under Gerardo Martino and were one match away from trying to replicate that feat the following year under now-sacked Holland boss Frank de Boer. 

However, the team’s form divebombed in 2020 and the slight upturn so far under Heinze in terms of position was not enough to save him. 

Only former Manchester United teammate Phil Neville’s basement side Inter Miami having scored fewer goals in the Eastern Conference so far this year. Heinze’s assistant Rob Valentino has been as Atlanta’s new new interim head coach

Miguel Almiron helped Atlanta to the MLS Cup in 2018 – but their recent form has been awful

Only Phil Neville’s Inter Miami have scored fewer goals than Atlanta in the Eastern Conference

After Heinze finished his playing career, which saw him play under the strict Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, the former Argentina defender stepped into management. 

The 43-year-old had previously managed Godoy Cruz, Argentinos Juniors and Velez Sarsfield in his homeland.  His career highlight in the dugout was guiding the second of those clubs to promotion to Argentina’s top flight.

However, on achieving that goal, Heinze decided to resign rather than remain with the cash-strapped side.  

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