Squad news

ALREADY TIRED?

14 Apr 2009
Deportivo has only added one of the last twelve points disputed in la liga, situation that’s complicating the European aspirations of the team. It has been said the squad is already tired after a long season, but there are other five reasons for the debacle.

The defeat against Atletico Madrid has complicated the European options of Deportivo ahead of next season, the Galicians seemed in the way to continental football after defeating Racing Santander with the first back-to-back win of the campaign (5-3), but after that result the squad has only added one point in four liga matches.

A lot has been written about the causes for this poor form, the main one is the physical fatigue after a long season. And it’s that Depor has been competing since nine months ago, more precisely since July 19, day in which the squad started to play the Intertoto Cup. Since then, Depor has played 46 official games while eight matches remain in the calendar. So far, Aranzubia (41), Lopo (41), Juan Rodr?guez (40), Lafita (38) and Verd?? (33) are the men with more games at their shoulders.

But Depor’s physical trainer, Eduardo Dom?nguez, is not convinced this is a decisive factor for the recent poor results, he prefers to appoint to a mental problem, as he said to newspaper Xornal De Galicia, "Last week there was no competition and we took advantage of the situation to make some adjustments and an assessment of how the squad was. On the purely physical sense, the team is fine. There is no parameter that indicates that we’ve accumulated fatigue. But in football, there is also the psychological tiredness. We have been training since July 1 and this affects, but that's not the main problem. The latest results have been negative and the group has created an atmosphere of pessimism that we have to reverse."

Dom?nguez continued analysing the situation of the squad, ?Winning a match would be vital. If we succeed, surely the team will react, it would be the best possible incentive. A dead team doesn’t have the reaction we saw after the first goal against Atletico. It wants but it can’t. The goal was encouraging, as it would be a positive outcome."

Alongside the physical and the mental state of the squad, there are other five reasons that can explain the current poor form of Deportivo:

1- Defensive frailty. During the first round in liga, it was emphasised the fact that Depor achieved eight clean sheets in the first nineteen games (42% of the total). Something that for Lotina was very important. But in the second round, the squad has only conquered three clean sheets, actually Deportivo has allowed at lest one goal in the last five games. To make things worse, in those five games the team leaked twelve goals. Something just comparable to the thirteen goals received between matchday 15 and 19 (Valladolid, Recreativo, Getafe, Sevilla and Barcelona).

2- Incapacity to turn up a result. ?The first goal killed us? Was the explanation gave by several players after Sunday’s game, but they have said the same since the season started. To see the rival taking the lead is something that always ?kills’ the squad. Of the 20 victories in official games, 19 came after the squad took the lead. In the other side, the team has lost 15 of the 17 games in which it starting losing in the scoresheet (the exceptions were the 1-1 at Mallorca and the 5-3 Vs Racing). This incapacity to react when the rivals score first demonstrates a ?mental fragility? at Depor.

3- The injuries. Deportivo was fine until January 17, day in which it was visiting Barcelona FC. Since then, the injuries started to affect the squad. The line more affected is the striking zone, due the injuries cases Lotina hasn’t been able to reunite three attackers for a single game within the last two months. The last time was for the home match with Valencia (February 22), day in which Lassad and Bodipo played, while Omar Bravo stayed on the bench. This fact hasn’t allowed Lotina to alternate his players when the circumstances needed it.

4- The sense of accomplishment. The squad hasn’t won a liga game since the 5-3 over Racing Santander, curiously that game marked the day in which the permanence at Primera Divisi??n was fulfilled. This indicates a sense of ?laziness’ in the players. Together with this, Lotina has only made substitutions due the injury cases, with the only exception of Pablo Amo, who replaced Colotto. Therefore the starters are feeling they have an undisputed spot at the squad. Therefore they are feeling ?accommodated’. That’s why Lotina is seriously thinking in making some changes at San Mam?s, something explained by Eduardo Dominguez, "It could be a good remedy. Thus, players who have participated less and are eager will have the opportunity to feel more important. At the same time, sited on the bench some players will start to think and would work harder in order to retrieve the lost spot."

5- The renewals and the rumours. Of the seven players ending contract plus the one that has a buyout clause by other club, three have been usually starters throughout the season (De Guzm??n, Lafita and Verd??), while one of them has been a starter in the last two games (Pablo Amo). The first three have presented a poor performance lately. De Guzm??n is not the same ?lung’ of past seasons, Lafita has lost his sparkle and has only scored once within the last eleven games, and Verd?? is missing the last pass. Without doubt they are more worried about the future and are losing interest in yielding with the squad. However, Pablo ?lvarez seems to be the exception, this since he was one of the best players in the last game with Atletico.

Meanwhile, the rumours might be affecting the performance of other players, like the cases of Riki and Lopo, men that have been linked with other clubs lately. All of this affects the mind of the players, as Eduardo Dominguez explained, "There are players who are just ending contract, others that may have offers and that fact can affect them. This happens in any business: if a worker receives an offer, your care and concern can be focused on it. But we have to deal with not doing so. It’s our obligation as professionals. We must think that we are very close to Europe and that we have a great opportunity to do something very important.?

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