Squad news


15 May 2006
Disappointing and frustrating. Two descriptions that could summerize the season for Deportivo. The objective of playing a European competition wasn't fulfilled and the Centenario will see Depor only competing in Spain. But other people believe that the balance of the campaign is positive; after all, this was understood as the beginning of a new era, a transition period that could end soon.

The liga season started in a positive way. It was feared that the beginning would be complicated since the calendar indicated that the first games were tough challenges, like the visit to Son Moix or the first home game against Atl?©tico. But the squad surpassed all the expectations when the players conquered seven of the first nine points. The win against Mallorca (1-0) and the last-minute victory over Atl?©tico Madrid (1-0) gave good sensations to the fans, a feeling that increased its intensity when Depor achieved a 2-2 draw with Valencia at the Mestalla.

But the doubts arrived immediately since the Galician team expended six matches without achieving a victory. The home draw against Betis (1-1) was disappointing although a new draw in Zaragoza (1-1) gave confidence to the fans. But the torture at the Riazor was just starting; Osasuna was the first club that took the three points from Depor's stadium (0-1)... and it won't be the last case. At least this match has its own happy moment: It was the debut of Iago playing with the first squad.

After a pause caused by the World Cup qualifiers, Depor offered one of the most exciting demonstrations of the season, the squad was losing 1-3 against the powerful Barcelona, but an impressive effort made at the end of the match was rewarded with a 3-3 tie. But as it happened all over the season, the good sensations disappeared immediately. Only seven days later Deportivo showed a complete different image when they lost 0-2 against Real Sociedad. A match that was played with the Blanquiazul squad wearing the second shirt of the rival thanks to a polemic decision of the referee Medina Cantalejo.

Once again Caparr??s' squad changed its mentality and three days later, they conquered a convincing home victory over Real Madrid (3-1), it seemed that the poor results at the Riazor were fading away when Depor conquered a new win at home, this time the victim was Getafe (1-0). In this way, Deportivo achieved two wins in a row at home after seven months without doing it. Despite of the situation, the papers started to criticise the passive style of the Galician team.

Then, the squad demonstrated that the positive run away from the Riazor will be the fortress of the season; a draw at M??laga (1-1) was followed with an effective win over Racing Santander (3-0). But Deportivo lost the way home. Once again the team was defeated at the Riazor, this time it was Villarreal who achieved the three points playing with a dominant style (0-2). It was the end of November and the lack of effectiveness in the strikers started to create worries in the club.

But this problems disappeared during the first days of December, Deportivo showed one of the most solids images of the season with three consecutive wins (an unseen fact since the year 2004). A situation that returned the euphoria to the fans. Sevilla (2-0), C??diz (1-0) and Celta (3-0) were the victims this time. In this way the squad arrived to Christmas in a Champions League position, a sweet dream  that nobody thought possible during the pre-season.

But Deportivo awoke from the European dream and the fans realised that the squad was living a nightmare in Riazor. Two home defeats against teams in the relegation zone increased the doubts about the near future: Espanyol (1-2) and Alav?©s (0-2). In the middle a win as visitor over Athletic Bilbao (2-1) gave a small sensation of relief, the match also saw the debut of Arizmendi with Deportivo. He was the medicine that Lendoiro bought in order to cure the sickness of his strikers. In this way Depor ended the first round in a UEFA place. The expectations were high at that point, although the latest defeats increased the sensation of panic when Depor was playing at home.

The second round started in the worst way possible, a 2-2 draw against Mallorca after leading the score with a 2-0 advantage during the first 24 minutes, but the terrible news was the injury of Juan Carlos Valer??n. The Canarian playmaker broke his foot at the end of the game and Depor lost its imagination for the rest of the campaign. The consequences were felt instantly and Depor lost the following two matches, at the Calder??n stadium with Atl?©tico Madrid (2-3) and at home against Valencia (0-1).

Tough and important wins as visitors were the following achievements: Betis at the Luis de Lopera (1-0) and Osasuna at Reyno de Navarra (2-1), in the middle a 1-1 draw at home against the always dangerous Zaragoza. Seven important points that increased the hopes of reaching the Champions League zone.

 Later the hopes of reaching the biggest European tournament started to vanish out when Depor failed in Barcelona (2-3), and specially after the home defeat with Real Sociedad (0-1), a new disappointment against a team fighting in the relegation spots. But the most serious damage occurred one week before against the Calatans: the serious injury of Andrade. A blow that left him out of the World Cup and Depor without the pillar of the defensive line.

But once again, the story changed in just one week.  Depor gave more reasons to believe when the squad achieved two consecutive wins: The first against Getafe (2-1) and the second against M??laga (2-1). The win over the Madrilians was important, because it was the first home win in 2006 after expending four months without a smile at the Riazor. Another positive factor came from the bench; Xisco who entered the game as replacement, scored the winning goal of this game, it was the first goal of a Fabril's player during la liga campaign... It was time to dream about seeing the future becoming the present.

And the dream ended soon, the following visit cancelled the hopes  of reaching the Champions League, it was against Real Madrid, a 0-4 defeat that was the worst result of la liga campaign, a new home win over Racing (2-0) gave hope of been able to reach an UEFA spot. But the best news was that Iago scored for the first time in Primera. Was this a new sight of the brilliant future that everybody wishes? Only time could tell.

But later things got complicated with three consecutive draws: Villarreal (1-1), Sevilla (0-0) and C??diz (1-1). This results can’t be seen as negative ones, Caparr??s suffered several absences in his defensive zone, even in the match with Sevilla he was forced to play with two wing-backs (Romero and H?©ctor) in order to cover the centre. But it’s also true that these ties gave negative sensations since Depor had enough chances to secure the three points, especially in the games with Villarreal and C??diz. In both occasions the squad took the advantage in the score, just to lost it during the last minutes of the matches.

Maybe the most painful defeat of the season was against Celta in the Galician derby played at the Riazor (0-2), this strong blow started the pessimism about the possibility of ending in a UEFA spot, then the hopes started to rise again when Depor defeated Espanyol as visitor (2-1). A win that was achieved thanks to another youngster: Iv??n Carril, he scored one goal and gave the assistance to the second one. Carril’s contribution gave a new joy to the fans, like it happened with Iago and Xisco, the good performance of Iv??n seemed and indication that Caparr??s’  project was producing its first benefits.

But once again Depor lost all the credit accumulated at home, and the script was the same since a team trying to escape from relegation, Athletic Bilbao, came to Riazor and stole the three points (1-2). In this way Depor said goodbye to the UEFA cup and the new objective was the Intertoto. A goal that was never fulfilled since Depor lost the last match of the season against Alav?©s (0-1).

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