Squad news

TEN REASONS THAT CHANGED DEPORTIVO

25 Nov 2010
Deportivo has experienced a radical change that has affected its results in la liga; and it’s possible to identify ten reasons that explain this change. It goes from the tactical draw on the pitch to a simple explanation like the good luck.

In just a month Deportivo has passed from been drowned at the relegation to be living in a comfortable position in mid-table. On October 25 the team was trashed by Real Sociedad at Anoeta with a 0-3 score, since then the Galician team is undefeated and improving with the pass of the days. Newspaper La Opinión a Coruña made a list of ten reasons that can explain this sudden change. 

1- Union and commitment: It was the contribution of the fans and the message transmitted by the Riazor Blues in a training session before the goalless draw with Osasuna; the team wasn’t able to win that match, but it got a message that stimulated the mind of the players.

2- The mini-concentration in Haro. When things were more complicated for the Galicians, just one day after the defeat at Real Sociedad ,Depor went to the peaceful city of Haro in order to prepare the Copa clash with Osasuna. The team had the chance to relax for a couple of days and work away from the tense atmosphere had at the time in La Coruña. It was at the pitch of El Mazo stadium that Lotina started to test the system with five defenders and where the players started to believe in themselves. It was the place where ‘the miracle’ started.

3- Support for the coach. In the world of football and when the results aren’t arriving, it is usual to see the players losing their confidence on the coach, but at Deportivo it happened the opposite. There was a commitment with the work of Lotina and the players offered an extra effort on the pitch in order to save his job. Something that was demonstrated in the home game with Espanyol as the players dedicated the second goal to the Basque manager.

4- The switch in the system. Perhaps it’s the main reason appointed by the media as the cause of the reaction. Depor not only has a stronger defense since it plays with a 5-2-2-1 figure, but it also gives the sensation of been more dangerous in attack. And the numbers demonstrate this: Within the first eight matchdays in liga the team only scored three goals and allowed fourteen; and since the switch the Galicians have scored eight times and only leaked one goal.

5- A fixed starting eleven. Lotina is finally finding a starting squad, within the first eight matchdays the coach used twenty-nine different players in his starting lineups, which was the highest number among the twenty teams at Primera. Now, and since the day of RCD Espanyol, the coach has just made three modifications, two of them for injury reasons –Rindarøy and Riki- while the only modification for technical reasons was the entry of Desmarets for Saúl in the latest match against Málaga FC.

6- Tactical order. Since the pre-season Lotina was ordering to practice a more offensive and attractive football, always looking at the opposite goal and forcing the squad to move the ball over the grass. The coach realized that it was a mistake –he even admitted it in public- and decided to change. Now the team is more focused in defending and surprising the rival with quick counterattacks and long throws; it is a strategy that suits the most to the skills of the players and it is demonstrated in the results.

7- Defensive mentality. Together with Real Madrid and Espanyol, Depor is the team with more clean sheets on the season (6), and three of those six clean sheets occurred within the last  four matches. Everybody at the squad is now focused in defending, and it’s the simpler way to achieve a positive result, because if the team doesn’t allow goals, then it surely won’t lose the match.

8- The set-pieces. Deportivo has become into a specialist in set-pieces; the team gives the sensation of danger each times it is taking a free-kick or a corner-kick and it is seizing the opportunities. In the latest game against Málaga the first two goals were born in a corner-kick coming from the left corner.

9- A better physical state. At the beginning of the season several players were looking tired and not fit to complete the ninety minutes, it was the case of men like Juan Rodriguez. Now they look refreshed and it seems that they are at the peak in physical sense. It could also be a mental inertia caused by the positive results achieved in recent games, after all anyone would feel better if things are working out.

10- Good luck. It might look like a simple explanation, but it is true. The luck was against Depor at the start of the season and now it has changed its side. Against Getafe the team had twenty-two attempts to score, but just scored twice from the penalty spot. Against Osasuna in liga Depor had the 63% of the ball possession and completed eleven shots on target, but it ended scoreless. Now, the luck is favourable to Depor; against Mallorca the rival hit the post twice and Depor got a point, and in the last game with Málaga the Galicians just made three shots on target, but they scored three goals.

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