Squad news

LIVING AT THE EDGE

23 Oct 2012
Deportivo is once again living inside the relegation zone and present very negative numbers regarding the defense, but no one can’t deny that the team has demonstrated interesting things and a fighting spirit that can turn any game into an enjoyable spectacle.

Eight matchdays have passed and Deportivo is living for the second straight opportunity within the relegation zone; despite the tough calendar, which included matches against Valencia CF, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona cannot be said that the current situation is an accident.

The statistic demonstrate that the mismatches at defense are costing points, errors that coach Oltra has been unable to fix in this start of season, but at the same time the team has left the impression, in the major part of the games, that’s capable of bringing joy to the fans if the errors at the back zone are corrected.

THE PROBLEMS: WEAK DEFENSE AND A POOR START
It’s already known that Deportivo’s main problem is the defense, and the stats just confirm this situation: after eight Primera matches Depor is the worst defense in la liga with 19 goals allowed. Oltra’s team was only able to achieve a clean sheet for the opening game Vs. CA Osasuna (2-0), which by the way is the only victory achieved so far.

After that the team has always leaked at least once: 3-3 at Valencia CF (matchday 02), 1-1 Vs. Getafe CF (matchday 03), 1-1 at Granada CF (matchday 04), 0-2 Vs. Sevilla CF (matchday 05), 1-5 at Real Madrid (matchday 06), 1-2 at Rayo Vallecano (matchday 07) and 4-5 Vs. FC Barcelona (matchday 08).

It’s the worst mark for a start of season at Depor in 55 years; the last time Depor allowed so many goals in the first eight games was back on the season 1955/56: 21 goals: 4-5 At Real Murcia (matchday 01), 1-2 Vs. Las Palmas (matchday 02), 3-0 Vs. Hércules (matchday 03), 1-4 at Barcelona (matchday 04), 5-3 Vs. Alavés (matchday 05), 1-4 Vs. Real Valladolid (matchday 06), 3-2 Vs. Sevilla (matchday 07) and 2-1 at Real Madrid (matchday 08).

As it happened in the clashes against Rayo Vallecano and Barcelona, the team has demonstrated a worrying lack of concentration at the beginning of the matches, which eventually have cost some points. A fact that illustrates this problem is that 13 of the 19 goals allowed so far (69% of the total) have been conceded in the first part of the games.

The side defenders have been blamed for this situation, but there are other factors hitting the squad in this aspect, the main ones is the lack of aids from the midfielders, which force the defenders to step into midfield in order to cover the gaps. This problem was evident in the clash against Barca as the Catalans always found a highway each time they were releasing a counterattack after Oltra’s team was losing the ball at midfield.

It’s a similar situation to what happened on last season at Segunda División, but this time the difficulty is higher as in la liga only a few mistakes are allowed and Oltra needs to correct the defensive problems now before it’s too late.

THE VIRTUES: SCORING GOALS AND A FIGHTING SPIRIT
No one have liked the latest results, but neither can deny that Depor’s game have been highly entertaining, and this is happening for the offensive view of the team and the fighting spirit to overcome very adverse situations. The matches against Valencia CF and FC Barcelona are a clear example of this.

At Mestalla, Depor was losing 1-3 at half-time after a terrible first half in the defensive aspect, but pushed hardly in the second part to grab a 3-3 draw and even with the possibility of clinching the final victory. Against Barca the team was losing 0-3 by minute 17, and again the comeback spirit put things upside down to end scoring four goals, though it lost the game. It’s just the first time in 218 official games that Barcelona allows 4 goals in one single match [the last time was a 3-4 loss visiting Atletico Madrid, March 1, 2009]

Besides, Depor have scored 13 goals so far, it’s the 4th best mark at Primera División; it’s the same mark of Malaga CF, club currently living at the 3rd position. And it’s that the Blanquiazul outfit has just ended goalless in one opportunity: the 0-2 loss at home against Sevilla CF.

It’s an unseen thing in recent years as with Lotina and Caparrós it was usual to see the team having lesser goals in favour, though it also had lesser goals allowed. The last time Deportivo scored so many goals after the first eight matchdays was on the season 2003/04; at the time Irureta’s team was the leader in the competition with 19 goals in favour and only 6 goals allowed.

The conclusion is that Oltra needs to find a balance, because to score so many goals hasn’t been worthy due to the mismatches at defense. Therefore the challenge is to improve the defense and reduce the bleeding, but without affecting the efficiency in attack.

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/12

ZAPPING


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