Squad news


05 Sep 2011
First defeat in the era of Oltra; an underserved loss that doesn’t hide the same old problem at Deportivo: the lack of punch up front. And it’s that Depor had 16 attempts to score and was unable to equalize a game that was under control.

Coach Oltra presented a 4-2-3-1 formation with the novelty of Ze Castro at the centre of the defense, and also with Pablo Álvarez performing at the right wing, this last movement left Saul Fernandez sited on the bench.

Aranzubia was at the goal, Manuel Pablo was playing on the right-back position, Ayoze did it on the left sector, while Aythami joined Ze Castro at the centre of the defense. Jesús Vázquez and Alex Bergantiños were the two pivotes; Pablo Álvarez attacked from the right flank, Salomão did it by the left, Valerón was the playmaker in the formation, and Riki was the central attacker.

At Hércules, coach Mandia was presenting the expected 4-1-4-1 formation, with ex-Depor playmaker Michel performing as the improvised central attacker. Behind him, Juanmi Callejón was supposed to be one of the main threats for Depor –though he barely appeared during the game-, while the references at midfield were Colombian Abel Aguilar and Portuguese Tiago Gomes.

To mention that once again the radio journalists couldn’t enter into the stadium as the war between the radio corporations and la liga continues. The radios broadcasted the match, though they did it from their studios watching the match on television.

Poor first part of a Deportivo that was stuck at midfield, the fans attending to the Riazor missed the freshness and mobility displayed in the previous meeting with Recreativo. Hércules put a lot of pressure at midfield and capitalized its only opportunity to take the lead in the scoresheet.

It was a cold start, with both teams trying to control the actions at the centre of the pitch, but without creating any danger. The first approximation for Depor was a cross of Salomão that was too long for Depor’s attackers (5’). The visitors were putting a lot of pressure in attack; they weren’t creating scoring opportunities, but at least were having the ball possession.

At minute 8, Depor regained the control over the ball and Pablo Álvarez assisted Riki on the right wing, and the Madrilenian released a cross that was deflected to corner-kick. In the next play Riki appeared again to release a shot from the edge of the area, but visiting keeper Ismael Falcón made the save.

Then, at the 11th minute, Salomão attempted from the edge of the area with a drilling shot that was searching for the far post, but Falcón made the save and later Samuel cleared the danger before Riki had the chance to touch the ball.

The first approximation for Hércules came at minute 14, it was a long-range attempt of Callejón that was saved by Dani Aranzubia, more difficult was the next save of Depor’s goalie as Michel entered into to the area to release a crossed shot that was saved by the ex-Athletic man.

Hercules’ strategy was clear, the visitors were holding on at midfield and were trying to surprise through long throws searching for Michel or Callejón. Meanwhile, Depor was having big problems to move the ball at ease, reason why they weren’t creating too many scoring opportunities. Then Riki fell down injured and had to be replaced by Xisco, who was debuting on the season. It was later known that the Madrilenian sustained a muscular

At minute 24, Salomão appeared again to run twenty meters to release a drilling shot that missed the target. The Portuguese was pretty active for the Galicians, moving on the left flank and also switching positions with Pablo ‘Alvarez during some specific plays. But still, Deportivo didn’t give the impression of been close to score a goal.

The rest of the first part was more like a battle at midfield, a war in which the ball was stuck between the lack of fluency at Depor and the slow pace at Hercules; the Valencians were feeling pretty comfortable obstructing all the roads and waiting patiently for a chance through a counterattack, while Depor had to rely in direct plays that led to nothing.

And when it seemed that the first half was going to end scoreless, Hércules scored its goal. Callejón found the ball at the left wing and released a perfect cross that went into the far post, Colombian Abel Aguilar jumped between Ze Castro and Aythami to cross Aranzubia with a header that meant the first goal allowed by Deportivo on the Segunda season. Depor tried to react later, but never gave the impression of been creating any danger.

Deportivo improved a lot for the final forty-five minutes; it had the ball possession, it completely dominated the actions and harassed an indulgent rival that was content with its narrow advantage, but once again the Galicians lacked aim and more freshness at the moment of reaching the age of the area.

Oltra ordered an offensive modification since the kick-off; Lassad Nouioui entered for Manuel Pablo, with the change Depor was playing with a line of three defenders; Ze Castro moved his position to the right and was even joining the attacks by that side, while Aythami was now the lonely central defender.. Lassad was playing behind Xisco, and Valerón was switching his position depending of the circumstances. After the game it was informed that Manuel Pablo also suffered a muscular injury.

It isn’t clear if the 3-5-2 figure of Oltra was the decisive factor that turned the game into a monologue of Depor, perhaps it was the passive attitude of Hércules in the second part, what’s true is that the visitors never threatened Aranzubia, while the locals were harassing the opposite area, endlessly releasing crosses that were always cleared by the defenders.

Depor’s first approximation in the half came at minute 53; it was a drilling pass of Valerón searching for Xisco, but Falcón arrived first and intercepted the ball. After it Deportivo increased its pressure over Hércules. The Galicians were surrounding the rival’s area and the feeling at the Riazor was that the equalizer was close to arrive.

It could have arrived at minute 57 after a high cross of Salomão that went into the far post; Xisco headed it on target and Falcón made the save, then Lassad got the rebound and sent a short-range shot that was again saved by the former keeper of Celta.

At minute 63, Diego Rivas handled the ball inside the area after a cross of Salomão, but referee Mariscal Sánchez didn’t whistle anything, neither the locals reclaimed the penalty. At this point the dominion of the Galicians was overwhelming as they had the ball possession (65%), but it wasn’t enough as all the attempts to put the ball inside the area were ending in the visiting wall.

Despite the dominion, Depor was lacking ideas to break the deadlock of Mandia, which was a double wall of ten men protecting the goal of Falcón. The true is that Oltra’s player were looking desperate and always ended the plays with long passes and slow combinations, far from the quick pace that the Valencian coach has been trying to impose.

Depor tried and completed 16 attempts to score, but only a few of them were creating a real sense of danger. At minute 75 a header of Lassad went directly into the path of Falcón after a high cross of Ze Castro. Six minutes later the action was repeated, this time Saul threw a free-kick and the ball went into the penalty spot, Lassad headed the ball there and again the visiting keeper stopped it.

And the most clear opportunity for Deportivo came at minute 86; it was a long play that included two crosses into the area, Ze Castro released a shot from the edge of the area that hit defender Samuel, then the attempt turned into an unstoppable volley that, miraculously, hit the far post and went out. Later, Depor pushed hardly for the equalizer, but the goal never came.

Undeserved result for a Deportivo that was the clear dominator in the final half after an equal first part; Oltra’s team completed sixteen goals attempts and even hit the post once, while Hércules was just trying to waste some time. But the loss demonstrates once again that this “new” Depor still dragging the same old problem of the lack of aim, an obstacle that, if it isn’t resolved soon, it could end costing the so-wished promotion to Primera División.

The next Segunda match will take place on next Sunday as Depor completes its first visit on the season: Barcelona B at the Mini Stadi (20h00 CET). But before the Galicians have to debut in Copa Del Rey hosting Girona CF at the Riazor (Wednesday 20h00 CET). Riki and Manuel Pablo will miss the clash as both sustained muscular problems. They will pass new scans on Tuesday.

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo (Lassad 46’), Aythami, Ze Castro, Ayoze – Jesús Vázquez, Álex Bergantiños – Pablo Álvarez (Saúl 72’), Valerón, Salomão – Riki (Xisco 23’).
Hércules (4-1-4-1) Falcón - Juanra, Samuel, Mora, Peña - Diego Rivas - Felipe Sanchón (Escassi 76’), Abel Aguilar, Tiago Gomes, Callejón (Carlos Calvo 58’) – Míchel (Arbilla 58’).
Goal: 0-1: (42’) Abel Aguilar
Referee: Antonio Israel Mariscal Sánchez. He showed yellow cared to Salomão (14’), Abel Aguilar (35’), Samuel (36’), Peña (71’), Aythami (90’) and Ardilla (90’).
Venue: Riazor (21,000)




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