The Austrian coach was known as Mister Whip because of the harshness of the training sessions to which the squad was subjected. His translator and interpreter was the incomparable José María Negrillo. Merkel introduced in Spain the method of warming up on the pitch half an hour before matches. His first season was very good, reaching third place. The second was more discreet, being knocked out of the Fairs Cup by Turkish side Eskisehirspor. He was replaced by Diego Villalonga on the last matchday due to the unrest caused by the news that he had a pre-contract signed with Atlético de Madrid.