Editorial – March 05/2009

BITTERSWEET WEEK FOR DEPORTIVO
By caabrego


Thursday, 5th March, 2009. I was trying to find a word in order to define the last seven days lived by Deportivo, and suddenly I found the perfect one: Bittersweet. Our �loved’ Wikipedia defines very well the term: �Bittersweet refers to a combination of the standard tastes of sweetness and bitterness, and is often used as a metaphor for experiences which have elements of both happiness and sadness.�

And that’s exactly what all Depor’s fans have lived within the last seven days, sadness, repent and even shame after Depor was squeezed by Aalborg mixed with the hope, relief and the happiness felt with the victory at Numancia.

But first, let’s start by the beginning. I’m sure that a lot of you still shocked with the elimination in UEFA. Because is hard to explain how a Spanish side could have been wiped from Europe by a side that had two months without competing. The Danes truly deserved the qualification –the 6-1 in the aggregate score isn’t an accident- and that only makes more painful the elimination.

Some of you might be blaming the coach or the same players, but I think is a mixing situation in which external circumstances were also involved, because to face an important tie with eight casualties at the squad is not easy, especially if for the returning leg, moment in which you were needing goals, you are forced to play with a striker that is not at a 100% level –Bodipo- plus another one that had his mind in Mexico –Omar Bravo-

In the end we all feel sad, it was a pride to see Depor back in Europe, but it’s truly disappointing to see us going by the back door so �early’. It’s not that we thought we would win the competition, but I’m sure the major part of us were counting with reaching a farthest stage.

And Depor’s squad gave us a reason to smile again on the past Sunday, day in which Lotina’s  warriors defeated last place Numancia no matter they suffered two casualties before half-time –Antonio Tomas and Ze Castro- result that has left Deportivo tied with the sixth place in the table and only two points under the Champions League places. Suddenly the calculations about a new return to Europe have merged again. From sadness to happiness in just seven days, isn’t football wonderful?

Unfortunately, the good news weren’t so good thanks to... Caparr??s! Yes, the ex-coach of Depor, because his Athletic Bilbao was able to surpass his loved Sevilla in Copa (accident?). This means that now the Basques are going to Europe on the next season (Copa Europa), this no matter the result of the final in Copa Del Rey, and it also means that only the six first places in liga will qualify to the European competitions of the next season.

It seems the six European places in Spain will be disputed between the current eight clubs at the top. So, time to make calculations: Giants Real Madrid and Barcelona will fight for the title in the remaining thirteen matchdays. Sevilla, with a five point-gap over the fourth place, seems to be the only team between the top-eight that already knows where it will end the season (3rd), and that’s demonstrating to be the best of the rest, the best of those �less divine’, the �mortals� of la liga. That leaves the remaining five teams of the top-eight group involved in a quest for the last three tickets to Europe.

These teams are: Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Malaga and Deportivo. Currently, only two points are separating these clubs. Let’s check the challenges remaining at their calendars:

matchday/team

Villarreal

Atletico

Valencia

Malaga

Depor

26

vs Espanyol

at Real Madrid

at Numancia

at Getafe

vs Racing

27

at Atletico

vs Villarreal

vs Recreativo

vs Sevilla

at Sporting

28

vs Athletic

at Mallorca

at Racing

at Barcelona

vs Betis

29

at Almeria

vs Osasuna

vs Getafe

vs Real Madrid

at Espanyol

30

vs Malaga

at Deportivo

at Sporting 

at Villarreal

vs Atletico

31

at Valladolid

vs Numancia

vs Sevilla

vs Mallorca

at Athletic

32

vs Recreativo

at Racing

at Betis

at Osasuna

vs Almeria

33

at Getafe

vs Sporting 

vs Barcelona

vs Deportivo

at Malaga

34

vs Sevilla

at Betis

at Espanyol

at Numancia

vs Valladolid

35

at Barcelona

vs Espanyol

vs Real Madrid

vs Racing

at Recreativo

36

Vs Real Madrid

vs Valencia

at Atletico

at Sporting

vs Getafe

37

Vs Valencia

at Athletic

at Villarreal

vs Betis

at Sevilla

38

at Mallorca

vs Almeria

Vs Athletic

at Espanyol

vs Barcelona

At first sight, Depor is the side having the less complicate calendar, something that can be explained due to three reasons: because it faces seven of the last thirteen games at home, because it only faces two direct confrontations against the other four sides involved in this quest for Europe –direct rivals-, and because it only faces two of the three top-teams in the (Sevilla and Barca). All the other sides, with the exception of Villarreal, are only facing six games at home. Besides, all the other teams, with the exception of Atletico, still have to face the three-top teams in the table. Finally, Sevilla and Villarreal have three direct confrontations against direct rivals (marked in yellow in the table), while Valencia and Malaga only two, like Depor.

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