Squad news


16 May 2006
Weird. This is the best word that describes the statistical performance of Deportivo. The best historical record of the club playing away from Riazor, but at the same time, the worst performance at home in 100 years of history. A clear example of the contradictions experienced during the season.

In a general sense, Deportivo's statistics presented poor numbers for the second consecutive year, the season has been understood as a transition year and for that reason this situation shouldn't be strange, but several people were hoping that the club would improve the problems that the squad showed during Irureta's last campaign.

However, the numbers of both seasons are very similar. Depor ended in the same position (8th) and achieved a similar number of points (55 against 51 on the previous year). Even the balance between goals scored and allowed is almost the same. On the present season the Galicians conquered 47 goals and allowed 45. On the past season it was 46 in favour and 50 against.

The numbers of goals scored is the main problem presented by the squad. Since the season 1999/00 the team has scored at least 60 goals per campaign, but during the last two years this number has decreased to less than 50. The departure of Makaay, the injury of Valer??n and Trist??n's bad shape were some of the explanations for this situation.

A key to understand the absence of goals is the lack of participation and influence of the strikers. In the season 2003/04 the trio Luque-Trist??n-Pandiani scored 56% of the 54 goals achieved by the squad, the percentage was better one year later and the same trio plus Xisco scored the 65% of the goals. On the present campaign this number has dramatically decreased to just 38%. The numbers of the strikers are really poor: just 18 goals in 38 games.

The only explanation are the departures suffered by the team. With Luque and Pandiani out of the squad, the effectiveness of the strikers disappeared. Trist??n (11), Rub?n (3), Arizmendi (2), Taborda (1), Xisco (1) and Senel (0) were the strikers that enjoyed of an opportunity to act during the season, only Trist??n scored a decent numbers of goals, although that he was criticised for the poor image that he left on the pitch.

Maybe the best news of the season was the solid performance that Deportivo demonstrated playing away from Riazor. The squad wasn't able to break the record of nine victories, but the Galicians achieved the 56% of the points disputed as visitors, that's a record for the club. Until the present season the best mark was achieved in the season 1996/97 (54%). On that opportunity, the team also conquered nine victories, the difference is that la liga had 12 teams and the season was composed of 42 matches instead of the current number of 38.

Analysing the performance of the team during the away games is where the first weird thing appears, it was previously said that the lack of goals is a factor that has affected negatively the squad on the present season, but this same factor is one of the things that explains the good run of Deportivo. Depor scored 28 goals playing away from Riazor, that's the second best number in the club's history, only improved by the 29 goals conquered on the 2000/01 campaign.

And here's another curiosity, 12 of the 18 goals scored by the strikers during the season were achieved in the away games. That means that the forwards only scored 6 goals at the Riazor. Fear to the fans? or just an statistical accident?. It's hard to explain why this situation has happened, one of the most accepted ones is that the rivals arrived to Riazor with a defensive mentality, and since Depor had troubles to generate occasions to score, the chances for the strikers simply didn't exist. The opposite happened in the away matches, the rivals were more obligated to play and that situation opened the spaces that Depor were needing.

If the away season broke the club's record of effectiveness, the home performance has been the opposite. Deportivo's worst performance at the Riazor during the 36 seasons that the club expended in Primera. The Galicians only achieved the 40% of the points disputed at home,  Before this season the worst record happened on the 1964/65 campaign when the team only conquered the 43.3% of the points. Last season was near to this when the squad only achieved the 43.9% of the points played at the Riazor.

Deportivo and Racing Santander are the only two teams  that accumulated more points away from home than in their own stadiums. The best reason to explain this situation is once again to check the number of goals scored. Depor only conquered 19 goals at the Riazor, that's the worst number since the season 1972/73 (17), exactly the same season that Depor suffered the last relegation to Segunda.

In resume, the season 2005/06 saw two contradictory situations: Depor achieving the best scoring record playing away from Riazor, but at the same time the worst scoring record at home of the last 33 years. Really weird... But this isn't the only contradiction, Deportivo was also the team that scored more goals in set-pieces (24) and if the reader want to guess... it was also the team that allowed more goals in set pieces actions (20).

This last situation seems difficult to explain, how is possible that experienced defenders like Andrade, Coloccini or Juanma aren't able to clear the danger in their own area? and how is that this same players won the ball when they were in the opposite area? Caparr??s tried to explain the situation before: "This are punctual actions. The players need concentration and if they get distracted anything can happen."

Without doubt there a lot of things that coach Caparr??s needs to improve, maybe that’s one of the reasons why he is announcing that the club needs to open a window in order to breathe fresh air... At least  somebody must open a door at the Riazor, maybe the goals will arrive then.

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