Squad news

CONCLUSIONS ON THE PRE-SEASON

16 Aug 2011
There are lights and shadows after the pre-season matches completed by Deportivo; RCDLC.com analyzes the main conclusions of a team that’s targeting the promotion to Primera División.

Deportivo played nine pre-season matches ahead of the Segunda season 2011/12; seven of the rivals were coming from lower leagues (Viveiro CF, RC Villalbés, SD Negreira, CD As Pontes, CD Lugo, Real Oviedo and Racing de Ferrol), while the other two were Primera clubs (Rayo Vallecano and Sevilla CF). The balance was quite positive with seven victories and two draws; the team also scored twenty-six goals and allowed only three.

There were other issues occurring outside the pitch, and after one and a half month after restarting the trainings Depor is ready to face the competition at Segunda División. It was possible to notice some factors that will probably have an impact on the campaign 2011/12. RCDLC.com analyzes the main issues and makes a list of conclusions diving them in the positive (lights) and negative (shadows) things.

THE LIGHTS
1- Oltra has a plan: It must be reminded that Jose Luis Oltra arrived just two months ago and sometimes it is quite difficult for new coaches to adapt to their new clubs; it happened to Lotina, but not to Oltra. Because the Valencian man has adapted quite easily and it’s evident that he knows what he is doing. He has been described as an offensive coach that isn’t afraid of making offensive changes, but at Deportivo he is aware of the importance of the balance and is emphasizing the use of a 4-2-3-1 draw. 

It might be the same draw used by Lotina, but at the same time is different, because Lotina was obsessed with the defense as he was demanding more defensive tasks from his offensive players. Oltra is not like that as he gives more freedom to his attackers, which causes a more offensive approach on the pitch. It is something that the fans already noticed during the pre-season.

2- Oltra has a lineup: This is a consequence of the first light, because it is clear that Depor’s coach already discovered a starting formation that can work in the games. There will be changes, but it’s always good to start a season with a fixed team. This fixed lineup is the one used against Sevilla: Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Aythami, Ayoze – Jesús Vázquez, Álex Bergantiños – Bruno Gama, Valerón, Guardado – Riki.

3- The new arrivals could make the difference: One of the reasons for last season’s painful relegation was the failure of Depor’s officials at the moment of picking the reinforcements, now things look quite different. Depor made six signings so far and three of them are already undisputed starters (Ayoze, Bruno Gama and Jesús Vázquez), but the most important thing is that the signings are adding things to the team.

Jesús Vázquez is what Depor needed at midfield: a player with the vision to play the ball and also with the capacity to help in the defensive task. Ayoze seems strong enough to cover the hole had since the departure of Filipe Luis at the left-back position, and the most impressing addition has been Bruno Gama, who has scored twice plus giving three assists in the six friendly matches that he disputed.

4- Recovering players: Last season was irregular for some men, like the cases of Saul, Lassad and Pablo Álvarez, but now Oltra is rehabilitating them; as example Saul, who scored three times in the six matches that he disputed before falling down injured. They might be important during the regular campaign.

5- A chance for Álex and Juan Carlos: Oltra was very clear since his arrival: he won’t give chances to Depor’s youngsters just for the pleasure of doing it. They must earn a spot. And in this sense it’s always good to see products from Depor youth system succeeding at the first squad. Álex Bergantiños, the former captain of Fabril, is finally getting a spot at the first team, all thanks to his performance, while Juan Carlos earned an opportunity during the pre-season, though in the end he will be alternating between Depor B and the first squad.

6- The return of Riki: Last season was a disaster for Riki due to his endless injuries, but he had a strong pre-season as he took part of the nine matches disputed in the period and even ended as the Pichichi of the team with ten goals in favour. He surely will be important at Segunda.

7- Keeping the block: It was feared that the relegation was going to dismantle Depor’s team at Segunda, but the true is that, despite the large numbers of players that left the team, so far only three of them were normal starters and important players (Lopo, Juan Rodriguez and Adrián). So, Depor continues to be a solid team at defense that’s trying to improve up front. Besides, the arrivals of Xisco and Jesús Vázquez, plus the presence of Aythami are covering the departures. Even the possible exit of Guardado is covered with the presence of other four wingers at the team.

8- The honeymoon with the fans: Some clubs suffer the indifference coming from their own fans after suffering a relegation, but the opposite is occurring at Deportivo, because the Galician club is now feeling a strong support coming from the public. Deportivo already passed the mark of 20,000 socios, a mark even bigger than the one had a Primera. The support from the Riazor might be a decisive factor during the season.

THE SHADOWS
1- The level of the rivals: The numbers on the pre-season were impressive, but it must be reminded that the major part of the rivals were inferior teams that barely put Depor in troubles. Only Lugo, Racing de Ferrol and Sevilla gave some problems to Deportivo, and Oltra’s team only managed to win one of those three games. Depor only faced two Primera clubs, and they weren’t too demanding on the pitch: Rayo Vallecano is the main candidate to relegation at Primera and barely disturbed Depor, while the Sevilla that visited the Riazor was full of substitutes. In the end it leaves the question of what will happen when Depor faces the real matches against Segunda clubs that will go out for everything.

2- The endless nightmare of the injuries: The shadow of the physical problems still chasing Deportivo; there were some injury cases during the pre-season and right now the main worries are on three players: Juan Dominguez practically missed the whole pre-season due to an inopportune muscular problem that will force him to start from zero, while Saul (hamstring) and Bruno Gama (groin) are doubtful for the liga debut against FC Cartagena, this after showing interesting things during the pre-season.

3- The uncertainty of the exits: Lendoiro has made a great jog regarding the arrivals to the team, but has faced big problems with the departures. Depor’s boss has been unable to find a buyer for Guardado, while the case with Ruben Pérez is stuck. Neither has he found an exit to the discards (Bodipo, Morel and Iván Pérez). All of this is just creating uncertainty at a team that can’t be distracted during a critical season for the club.

4- Problems with the set-pieces: It was one of the main weapons during the era with Lotina, but now things are radically different. Depor scored 26 goals during the pre-season, but none of them came on a set-piece, while the team showed big lagoons defending these kinds of plays; a clear example was the equalizing goal of Sevilla, which came after Depor’s defense was unable to clear the ball at the area after a free-kick. Oltra has dedicated several training sessions to refine the issue, but clearly he still has a lot of work to do.

ARCHIVE NEWS AUG/11

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