Squad news

SET-PIECES: THE WEAKNESS AT DEPORTIVO

29 May 2014
It isn’t a novelty, but the set-pieces continue to strike Deportivo. 64% of the goals allowed on this season were conceded after a set-piece. The corner-kicks continue to be the main headache for Depor’s defense.

On last Sunday, there was a modification at defense as Manuel Pablo entered the formation replacing Diego Seoane at the left-back position, despite it wasn’t confirmed by Fernando Vázquez, it was commented that it was a novelty seeking to have a better control at the moment of defending the set-pieces.

However, CD Numancia only needed 22 minutes to find a new crack at Depor’s defense at the moment of defending the corner-kicks. The cross of Julio Álvarez from the left was easily found by Regalón, who was alone enough at the box to head the ball home.

That was the ninth goal allowed by Deportivo after a corner-kick. Totally Depor have conceded 21 goals in set-pieces (9 in corner-kicks, 8 in free-kicks, plus 4 penalties). It means the 64% of the goals leaked during the Segunda tournament.

It isn’t a new issue at Deportivo. Coach Fernando Vázquez stated his concerns on this subject after the first round game against CD Numancia (matchday 19, December 21), match in which his team allowed three goals in set-pieces, “We always said that to defend the set-pieces was a pending subject to us and it’s like that. Sincerely three goals in set-pieces are too much and we need to search for solutions, because the bleeding is too strong.” He said at the time.

Five month later the issue hasn’t been fixed despite the coach has switched the way to defend these kinds of plays. Before there was a personal mark during these actions, later it was switched to a mark by zones, which means that each player in defensive tasks was responsible for defending a part on the field no matter who was standing there. It never worked as it was demonstrated on Sunday.

Vázquez also stated in the past that it was normal to allow goals in set-pieces, but that the issue is magnified at Deportivo as the percentage was higher comparing the mark with the total of goal allowed, ”It calls the attention our number of goals in set-pieces, but if we look across Segunda División you will realize that they also suffer with this. What happens is that you look at Depor and its freighting to see that the 75% of our goals have been allowed in set-pieces. So, the percentage is big. If we can avoid this then… God! It can be an obsession and it can bring stress into the team.” He said back in February before the visit to Real Murcia (matchday 25, game that was lost with a goal allowed in a corner-kick).

Beyond the tactic used to defend these plays, the problem seems to be the concentration of the players. Just to remember the goals conceded in free-kicks, actions in which the players were fooled by the intelligent moves made by the rivals, in this sense to recall the goal scored by SD Eibar at the Riazor (matchday 39, 1-1), a chipped ball was enough to dismantle the defensive system that was trying to defend a free-kick.

Also the draw against CD Lugo (matchday 37, 2-2); game in which the equalizer came at the end of the game in a free-kick in which Lux and Juan Dominguez lacked concentration to clear the ball before the pressure of Rennella. In the end the 21 goals allowed in set-pieces have cost 29 points in the Segunda tournament, a luxury that fortunately it hasn’t damaged the promotion aspirations of Deportivo.

LATE GOALS
Another stat to have in mind is the number of goal allowed within the last fifteen minutes plus the stoppage time, in past months Depor was known for been a team used to rescue points within the last minutes, after all 28% of its goals were scored in this frame of the games (8 between minutes 75 & 90 plus 5 in the stoppage time).

But the true is that Depor are also conceding a lot of goals in this frame of the games; the second goal leaked against CD Numancia came at minute 83, it cost the game and it was the 8th goal conceded in this frame of the matches. Depor also conceded a goal during the stoppage time (matchday 11, 0-2 at CD Tenerife), which means that 30% of the goals allowed in the Segunda tournament came in this part of the meetings.

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