Squad news

PREVIEW: REAL SOCIEDAD – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

25 Oct 2010
New final for Deportivo as the Galician team faces a direct rival for the permanence; for the clash Lotina is relying in six young players, while reconstructed club Real Sociedad is missing Tamudo, its best scorer.

STATISTICS: A FAVOURITE STADIUM FOR DEPOR
Since the last promotion to Primera División, Anoeta has been a placid visit for Deportivo, because the Galicians have obtained twelve positive results within the last sixteen visits to San Sebastián. Actually, between the nineteen rivals at Primera División and since the season 1991/92, this is the second visit in which Depor has conquered more victories (eight wins), only surpassed by the nine wins clinched in Santander against Racing.

But Real Sociedad is a strong team at Anoeta; the Basques have only lost two of the last twenty-four liga matches disputed at home; one loss occurred on the past Segunda tournament against Elche, and the other was the 1-2 defeat against Real Madrid during the present Primera season.

Besides, everybody knows that Depor is living a tough moment, without victories on the season and dragging a poor mark of only three wins in the last twenty-six matches at Primera División, also remembering that the last away win for the Galicians occurred almost one year ago (in Santander against Racing). The main problem is that Depor has only scored fifteen goals since the start of the past second round, reason why Lotina’s team is currently living inside the relegation zone.

Neither Real Sociedad is living a positive moment; the Basques started strongly adding four points in the first two games, but later suffered three straight defeats and currently are just three points above Deportivo. Like Depor, the team from San Sebastián is having big problems to score the goals, and it’s that it only has seven goals in favour, and to mention that they have only scored once within the last three liga games.

DEPORTIVO: YOUTH IS THE MEDICINE
Lotina’s Depor is in crisis, the Galician team hasn’t won yet on this liga season and contrary to what it could be expected the coach is searching for solutions in the youth of the team and not in its veterans. And it’s that six of the eleven starters for the game are U-25 players, starting with 19-years-old David Rochela, who is debuting on this season as the replacement of Antonio Tomás , midfielder that got injured on Thursday.

His team mate on the pivote functions will be 21-years-old Ruben Pérez del Mármol, while the other four youngsters at the starting eleven are right-back defender Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ (25), left-back Diego Seoane (22) and strikers Lassad Hassen Nouioui (25) and Adrián López Alvarez (22).

Seoane was analyzing this fact before the game, ”Others might be doing other thing due the circumstances, but the coach is not afraid of putting us. It is something to be thankful. We are hopeful and when we are out on the pitch we are always trying to do our best effort. We neither like to see Deportivo living this situation, so we need to push the team out of these positions. Surely things will change as soon as we start to win some games.”

The presence of young players could also have a negative effect, after all they are not too much experienced, something that midfielder Ruben Pérez was explaining, “We can commit errors. It is normal. In my case I need to correct some things, just like everybody else. I am young and still have time to learn some things. I just have played eight games at Primera División; for me things still a little new.”

For this reason Lotina is planning to complement the lineup with ‘veterans’, the oldest one will be goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia Aguado (31), while the youth at both sides of the defence will be counteract with the presence of two international men full of experience: Portuguese Ze Castro (27) and Argentine Diego Daniel Colotto (29)

During the week Diego Colotto was the player that made the stronger declarations towards the current situation of the team, "A team where only six men are running during the games is useless, it will never win a match. Our team demonstrated that we have a commitment with the club and the change that you witnessed in the past game was caused because we saw ourselves in the mirror, now we are more aggressive and have a different attitude."

Finally, in attack, Lotina is doing the opposite than in defence, because the experience is located at the sides and not at the centre. And it’s that the wingers for the match will be Andalusian Juan Antonio Rodríguez (28) and French Yves Hadley Desmarets (31). More experience is located at the bench, with Juan Carlos Valerón (35) and Iván Sánchez Rico Soto ‘Riki’ (30) waiting for a chance after missing the last three games due to injury reasons.

Despite these two additions, Lotina still facing several casualties due to the injuries, for this match he has five men at the injury room: Michel, Guardado, Juca, Antonio Tomás and Urreta. Other two casualties are central defender Albert Lopo and left-back Claudio Morel. The Catalan is suspended after picking the fifth yellow card of the season in the past game with Osasuna, while the Paraguayan is in his home country dealing with a visa problem.

On Saturday Laure was saying that Depor must start to win the games, "I don't know if we have to play pretty or not; I just know that we are forced to win and start competing. The key is to be an aggressive team and clinch a clean sheet. We are optimistic, but must be focused on each game, to be conscious of the place where we are, so we can leave those places as soon as possible. We need to add, because it is necessary.”

List of picked players (19): Aranzubia, Manu (goalkeepers); Laure, Aythami, Rochela, Colotto, Zé Castro, Rindarřy, Seoane, Manuel Pablo (defenders); Rubén Pérez, Juan Domínguez, Juan Rodríguez, Valerón, Desmarets, Pablo Álvarez, Saúl (midfielders); Adrián, Lassad and Riki (strikers). 

REAL SOCIEDAD: REBUILDING A CLUB
Three years was the time that Real Sociedad needed to return to Primera División, before it was an historic club that clinched two ligas in the early 1980’s, it also lived a good year during the season 2002/03, even ending second at the standings, but later lived crisis due to the poor leadership of his officials, it was even close to disappear as the club was declared in bankruptcy. Now, three years later, everything is different thanks to five factors: president Jokin Aperribay, coach Martin Lasarte, a work based on the youth teams, an economic balance and the support of the fans.

The rebuilding process started with the arrival of businessman Aperribay to the cockpit of Real Sociedad (December 20, 2008), since then he launched a containment campaign always targeting the economic austerity, as result of this policy one year later the club was no longer in bankruptcy; it also succeeded in hiring a coach like Lasarte, who was unknown for the public, but at the same time charismatic enough and with the needed leadership to command the team to Primera División.

And the keystone of the project was located in Zubieta, the training camp of the youth teams. And it’s that of the current 25 players at the first team only five didn’t start their careers at the youth teams of the club: Latvian defender Vadim Demidov, Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo (the team’s captain), Uruguayan striker Diego Ifrán, ex-Espanyol marksman Raúl Tamudo and Dutch winger Jeffrey Sarpong.

The rest at least played once with Real Sociedad B, including ex-Villarreal striker Joseba Llorente, who returned in the summer after his former club paid the record fee of €2.5 million. Currently their two most famous “products “ from the house are playmaker Xabi Prieto, linked with Depor in past seasons, and 19-year old left winger Antoine Griezmann, a talented French player that is already calling the attention of big clubs like clubs Manchester United and Arsenal (his release clause is of €30 million). To close the equation the support of the fans has been a key factor for the promotion to Primera; before Anoeta was described as a cool stadium that usually was a desert during the games. Now it’s normal to see at least 25,000 screaming fans cheering on the home team during the official matches.

And Real Sociedad started strongly on the season adding four of the first six points in dispute, but later it fell down as it only added three of the next fifteen points. Coach Lasarte used a 4-4-2 figure on the past defeat with Levante, and now is planning to return to his usual 4-2-3-1 scheme, the main reason is the casualty of Tamudo, who is sidelined due to an ulna fracture. It’s an important absence as he has scored three of their seven goals in liga. Now the responsibility of the goals is on the shoulders of Joseba Llorente.

Then main novelty in the formation is the return of playmaker David Zurutuza, the French is considered as the brain of the squad. Claudio Bravo will be the goalkeeper, Carlos Martínez will cover the right-back position, Alberto de la Bella will perform on the left, while the central defenders will be Ion Ansotegi and Mikel González.

The two pivotes will be Mikel Aranburu and Diego Rivas, the left wing will be for Xabi Prieto, Antoine Griezmann will attack from the left flank, Zurutuza will be the playmaker and Joseba Llorente will be the central attacker.

Before the game, Xabi Prieto was talking of the importance of a victory, no matter is a narrow 1-0 win, ”The key is to not allow a goal and clinch the three points; we can’t ask for more. On the past season we were used to win every Sunday and logically now we feel screwed for our situation, that neither is bad. Now we need to get used to the idea that, at Primera, everything is more complicated.” 

Finally, side defender Carlos Martinez was warning about the level of Depor, This is Primera División and you can’t relax. Depor has spent a lot of season at Primera, always making solid seasons. Now they haven’t started as they wanted, but we must respect them and surely it is going to be a complicate game.”

List of picked players (18):Bravo, Zubikarai (goalkeepers); Carlos Martínez, Mikel González, Labaka, Ansotegi, De la Bella (defenders); Elustondo, Markel, Griezmann, Xabi Prieto, Aranburu, Sarpong, Zurutuza, Rivas (midfielders); Llorente, Viguera and Agirretxe (strikers).

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Real Sociedad: (4-2-3-1) Bravo - Carlos Martínez, Ansotegi, Mikel González, De la Bella - Rivas, Aranburu - Griezmann, Zurutuza, Xabi Prieto - Joseba Llorente.
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia - Laure, Colotto, Zé Castro, Seoane - Rubén Pérez, Rochela – Juan Rodríguez, Lassad, Desmarets - Adrián
Referee: José Luis Paradas Romero
Kick-off: 21h00 CET (Anoeta)
Head-to-head Vs Real Sociedad:  31 wins for Depor, 15 draws, 22 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)
Record in San Sebastián: 11 wins for Depor, 6 draws, 17 wins for Real Sociedad (Primera & Segunda)

ARCHIVE NEWS OCT/10

ZAPPING

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