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THE YEAR OF ARANZUBIA

29 Apr 2009
Nobody knew what to expect from the ex-Athletic keeper when he arrived in June, ten months later he is a key piece in Deportivo’s season with six penalties stopped (three in UEFA) and with the fourth best numbers in la liga.

The fans had doubts when the club announced the signing of Daniel Aranzubia, it was a personal bet of coach Miguel Angel Lotina, who was aware of his quality, and that never gave importance to the keeper’s mistakes at Athletic Bilbao. The true is that nobody was expecting to see so good results in a short period of time, because the Basque has probed that Lotina was right with his signing. All thanks to his saves, his secureness and especially to his six penalties stopped during the present season.

Each penalty has a different story and newspaper Xornal de Galicia made a resume of those six saves:

1- Vagaan Moen (Brann): It was the second penalty in the shootout against Brann Bergen for the UEFA Cup. The Danish player threw the penalty to the right side of Aranzubia, but the keeper waited until the last moment and deflected the shot with one hand. Before the shot, the keeper was discussing with Brann’s player about the collocation of the ball over the penalty spot.

2- Bakke (Brann): The captain of the Norwegian club failed the third penalty of the shootout after Aranzubia stopped his effort. The shot was sent to the same place of the previous one, though this one didn’t have the same strength.

3- Hasntveit (Brann): It was the fifth and definitive penalty in the series with Brann Bergen. This time the shot was sent to the left and it was a drilling effort, but Aranzubia kept the calm and waited until the last second to see where the ball was going. In the end he made the save and gave the pass to Depor.

4- Iraola (Athletic Bilbao): The first penalty stopped by Aranzubia on the liga season, it was against his former club and against a shooter that he knows quite well, actually Dani knew the exact place where Iraola was sending the shoot, that’s why he threw himself a couple of second before the shooter touched the ball, that was the secret why he stopped a drilling shot that was going to his right side. It was a key save, because the score was 1-0 in favour of Depor at that moment and that goal would have meant the equaliser. In the end Depor won the game 3-1.

5- Senna (Villarreal): Maybe the penalty that had less importance since the scoresheet was already 3-0, but it’s always a moral boost to stop a penalty against a specialist as the Brazilian/Spaniard midfielder. Senna sent his shot to the right side of Aranzubia, again the keeper lasted until the last second and clinched a clean sheet thanks to this save.

6- Apo?±o (Malaga): The most important save of the season and also the weirdest one. Aranzubia told to Apo?±o that he would throw himself to the right, while the midfielder told the keeper that in that case he would send his shot to the right. And that’s what happened, both men fulfilled their word and Aranzubia stopped a penalty that keeps Depor fighting for Europe. To have in mind that Apo?±o had a mark of seven penalties scored in seven attempts before this one.

4TH IN SAVES AND IN THE ZAMORA LIST
The statistics also shows up the great season lived by Aranzubia, so far Depor’s keeper has allowed 41 goals in 32 matches for a ratio of 1.28 per game, that’s the fourth best mark in the list for the Zamora trophy, only surpassed by V?­ctor Valdes (0.78), Iker Casillas (1.06) and Palop (1.10). In terms of saves, the Basque keeper has completed 114 on the liga season, that’s the fourth best mark, only surpassed by Diego L??pez (121), Kameni (117) and Juan Pablo (115) from Numancia.

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/09

ZAPPING


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