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If you are in charge of a football club in Spain and looking for a manager to spruce up the joint, to put a happy smile on everyone's faces, to turn those frowns upside down, then Bernd Schuster is probably the last person you would ever choose.
The German is one of the biggest grumpy-headed, misery pants in La Liga. Schuster makes Gordon Brown look like an early morning kids television presenter in comparison. However, despite these drawbacks, Málaga - a team who have suffered one or two slings and arrows of misfortune over the past two years - have given Schuster the role of rebooting the coastal club.
Schuster spent every second of every minute of every day in a year-and-a-half spell managing Real Madrid, looking like he was completely hating the experience. To be fair, it is easy to see why. Carlo Ancelotti has already developed a look of infinite weariness and despair over endless questions about Cristiano Ronaldo or Barcelona from the media. The day that Schuster announced that it was possible to beat Barça in an upcoming clash in 2008 and promptly got the sack was probably one of the greatest of the manager's life.
After that soul-restoring moment for Schuster, the former player who turned out for Barça, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid led a fairly quiet life. Aside from managing Besiktas for a bit, playing an awful lot of golf, trimming his moustache and making the odd comment to the media on current football affairs, Schuster was very much out of the limelight in Spain. Links to clubs would come and go with nothing ever happening.
But then Málaga came a-calling, looking for some help to cover the departure of Manuel Pellegrini to Manchester City and to rebuild a squad that has seen anyone of real quality having departed. As Julio Baptista pointed out on his return to Brazil this summer, "I was the first to come in and the last to leave."
All the exciting footballers brought in over the past two years are now just memories along with thrilling times both in La Liga and Europe. The close season has seen the transfers of Isco, Javier Saviola, Martín Demichelis, Joaquín and Jérémy Toulalan. Less illustrious names have come in their place - Bobley Anderson, Roberto Chen, Flávio Ferreira - to name but three, a sign of the times at more low-cost Málaga.
"The club has given a signal that we will take a very different path," admitted Schuster on his unveiling as the coach of the Spanish side, potentially for the next five years. "Even I was surprised they offered me that (deal)," said Schuster, who is battling to bring in Niklas Bendtner from Arsenal. "He has to decide what to do, make up for lost time or keep earning money," noted the German on the internal battle for the Dane.
Málaga's new direction is for the club not to spend more money than it earns, a bold initiative that is still rare in the near-destitute Spanish game. A reduced budget and ambitions sees the southern side looking for mid-table security in the campaign to come rather than anything more lofty. "I'm not going to say that we can fight for the Champions as that will be a bit crazy," said midfielder Ignacio Camacho.
The unknown nature of the quality of the recent arrivals already makes Málaga's future very unpredictable. This uncertainty is increased with Schuster in charge of the team. The new boss is going to have to deal with an institution that still has no clear direction from the top. What's more, there is no guarantee that issues in regards to the prompt payment of players have not been resolved. These are the same issues that were partly the cause of Málaga's ban from this year's Europa League by UEFA, despite finishing in sixth last season.
The approach needed to face such challenges is either stoic, quiet professionalism as offered by Manuel Pellegrini or a kind of insane cheeriness. Joaquín Caparrós, for example, would have been ideal. Schuster is not known for either of these qualities. Málaga fans have been through an awful lot of ups and downs over the past three years, so the hope is that the German will turn out to be the right man for the job, despite certain reservations over his suitability. After all, the club deserves a bit of a break from recent rollercoaster rides in La Liga.
Tim Stannard - follow him on Twitter