Squad news

A RADICAL CHANGE

05 Sep 2006
One clear conclusion can be obtained after analysing the new squad of Deportivo: the team is becoming younger. As result of this situation, the squad is now conformed by a couple of veterans and a big number of rookies. This is a scenario that worries coach Caparr??s, but that also motivates him.

Deportivo has been dubbed the 'experienced team' during the last few la liga seasons. The participation in the Champions League, the conquers in copa del rey and the fights at the top of la liga created a group that was becoming exposed to intense pressure. Now, the new project that president Lendoiro has started to build is changing everything. The construction of a new team has meant the signing of young and inexperienced players, a total facelift to what has been done so far.

The best way to expose these differences is by running through the last Deportivo team to have won a title. The last title won by Deportivo is the copa del rey in 2002, the centenariazo in Santiago Bernabe??, The starting lineup that Javier Irureta used was: Molina (32) - Romero (31), Naybet (32), C?©sar (24), Scaloni (23)- Mauro Silva (34), Sergio (25)- Fran (32), Valer??n (26), V?­ctor (25)- Diego Trist??n (26). -The number in brackets indicates the age of the players at that time.

The average age of this squad was 28.18 and five players were above the 30's. As comparison, the starting eleven that debuted in la liga on the past week was composed by: Aouate (28) - Barrag??n (19), Lopo (26), Arbeloa (23), Capdevila (28) - Sergio (27), Coloccini (24) - Arizmendi (22) , Juan Rodr?­guez (24), Riki (26) - Bodipo (28).  

Only the name of Sergio is repeated in the two lineups; in fact, the Catalan and Valer??n are the only survivors from the squad that conquered the copa. Also, the average age of the new team is 25, a decrease of three years from the average seen in the centenariazo Lineup. Another key point here is the   participation of players above 30 years of age in the squad. The squad that won the first liga game against Zaragoza didn't have a single player above the 30's. More precisely, in the new squad, only Valer??n (31) and Manuel Pablo (30) have marked three decades in their calendars. Now the First-team has begun to revolutionise and it now comprises of two U-20 players: Antonio Barrag??n (19) and Adri??n L??pez (18), an unthinkable fact during Irureta's era.  

This faculty of being 'younger' is what marks the new team of Caparr??s, one that can be very ambitious but at the same time very ingenuous. The lack of experience has been pointed as a weak point in the new Deportivo. So far Caparr??s has been tring to fight this problem with a simple solution: to only use the most experienced men at the beginning of the games and slowly but surely inject youthful talent into matches to gain experience.

It's possible to get this result with just taking a look at the starting lineup against Zaragoza. Only Barrag??n was debuting in Primera and Arbeloa could be included too since he only participated in a couple of Primera matches with Real Madrid. The rest of the lineup was composed by young players, but with enough experience in Primera. Even Arizmendi is in this group, the Madrilian striker has been a regular starter with Caparr??s since his arrival in December. It's expected that the Sevillan coach will introduce the rookies little by little; in fact, he started to do it in this game when he sent Rodri and Cristian Hidalgo during the second half.

The absence of experience is a problem that could complicate Deportivo ambitions and Caparr??s' objectives during the current season, but Caparr??s is alert to the situation and has been quoted to have said "We are missing some experience, but we will cover that with our hope. We are asking patience to the fans, I believe that they already noticed it and they will support us. But patience is a word that doesn't exist in the world of football, we must find the maturity in the middle of the competition and that's a risky thing, but I am assuming the challenge."

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