Squad news


12 Jun 2016
Linked with football since his childhood, Gaizka Garitano has demonstrated to be a coach that likes to simplify things with his teams. He uses to play with a 4-2-3-1 and has been praised for his way to successfully change the plans during the games.

Gaizka Garitano, the new coach of Deportivo, has been linked with the game since his childhood, his uncles and grandfather were linked with professional football and his father, Ángel Garitano, was for two decades the assistant of José Manuel Esnal Mané, the coach that put Deportivo Alavés in a final of the UEFA Cup.

He spent a long -and not too successful- career as a player that included to perform for Athletic Club, SD Eibar, Real Sociedad and Deportivo Alavés, he was in Galicia when Deportivo conquered the title in la liga as he performed for Ourense between 1999 and 2001; later the former midfielder retired in 2009 due to an injury.

His career as a coach is shorter, but definitely more successful. In his first professional experience he conquered two straight promotions that put his name on the map. SD Eibar passed from Segunda B to Primera and soon it turned to be a big surprise in la liga. At Primera División, his team was the sensation during the first round. The Basques were 8th by matchday 19, having a 5-point mattress over the seventh place after only losing six games.

This was the peak of Garitano’s career’s as a coach, after two straight promotions his team was in a European spot, and the surprising formula for this was simplicity. Because he always preferred simple things, his teams were always practical outfits that weren’t too worried in having the ball possession and that preferred a solid defence and a strong counterattack.

Garitano is also a coach that likes to keep schemes and the same players at the lineup, at Primera he not only repeated the same team of previous games, but it was also the same lineup that competed at Segunda. He likes the 4-2-3-1 scheme, draw used in each one of the 19 games of the first round.

Things radically changed for the second round, SD Eibar only won two games and ended in relegation spots. From Europe to the pit. It was the darkest hour for the Basque coach, he never found the way to react and lived the exact same problem than Víctor Sánchez: He started to make changes and even once played with a line of five defenders (0-3 loss Vs. Real Madrid).

Veteran Mikel Arruabarena, who was one the captains of Eibar at the time, defended him and explained that he is a coach that always know what to do during the games, “He knows how he wants to play and later the team plays by memory, although we were aware of our limitations. Gaizka is very intense in practice, hardworking. In addition to knowing what he wants, he knows how, he sees football very well. He is very good at the tactical work, he knows how to modify a game and change things throughout the match. "

He was offered to continue at SD Eibar after the permanence was confirmed with the demotion of Elche CF, but he refused as a matter of “dignity”. His stage at Real Valladolid during last season was short and negative, he was fired after only nine matchdays. Once again he repeated the style saw at Eibar, including the use of the 4-2-3-1. Beyond the fact that he was fired after five games without a victory and as the team was in relegation, the media reported that he left the club due to a poor relation with the players.

But Borja Fernández, former player of Depor and Eibar, defended his relation with the players, as he told to La Voz de Galicia, “He is direct and never makes a difference with the players at the squad. He always had a good relation with the players. He knows how to see all the players feeling important and I saw him as one of the most hard working coaches in my career. He spends hours analysing the rivals… everything.”

Garitano was also pointed as a coach that had problems with journalists, the main incident occurred when he coached SD Eibar during a visit to UD Almeria. During the press conference after the game the first two questions were made in Basque and he answered in the same language, something that was protested by a journalist. The coach left the press conference upset and didn’t answer more questions.

Despite demonstrating a lack of patience, the press chief of Almeria, Juanjo Moreno, defended him, “We have spent six years at Primera and this has always been the way to make the press conferences. First he answers in euskera and later in Spanish, it’s the same when Barcelona or other teams have come to play here. We keep silence and respect others; this was a lack of respect.” He said at the time.

About his style with the trainings, Borja Fernández, also gave an explanation of what could be expected, “He works little with the video, maybe a couple of sessions on the week, never too long. And the trainings are also short, but are intense. He demands a lot and knows how to appreciate people that work hard and that are humble.”

Virtues and mismatches are evident, the true is that the fans have enough reasons to be both optimistic and worried. He reached the peak in his first opportunity, something that isn’t easy, and later didn’t know how to correct the course when things were looking easier. Besides, the problems with players and journalists cannot be forgotten despite his former players minimized these conflicts.



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