Competition news

LIGA ADELANTE 2013/14 (PART I)

02 Jul 2013
First analysis of the rivals that Deportivo are going to meet at Segunda División. In this first chapter the ten clubs that missed the promotion, but that ended at the top of the standings. Among them some of the favourites for the new season.

Deportivo return to Segunda and will find a similar picture to what was met two years ago. First to all, the financial situation continues to be tough, with only a handful number of clubs having a clean economy, while the rest are the edge of extinction. The consequence is that the transfer market is almost dead; just to mention the fact that only nine clubs have made signings so far.

Secondly, Depor already met 10 of the 22 teams that will compete in the new season, so the Galicians know several of the stadiums in which they have to compete. Fernando Vázquez’s team hasn’t been assembled yet, so it’s difficult to say if they are going to be favourites for the promotion. What’s clear is that things are going to be tougher compared to two years ago, at the time Depor, Celta and Valladolid owed the competition. In any case, it still too early to define the real aspirations of the other 21 teams as they’re still trying to define their projects.

Another thing worth to mention is that the crisis is also hitting the Primera clubs, and it’s moving them to sign Segunda players as it’s a more cheap market. The consequence is that the half of the teams at Liga Adelante already lost their top-scorer ahead of the new season. So, there’s a “runaway of Pichichis” in the league.



Marvelous season for Girona
Girona FC was the side that was closer to reach the promotion, but they lost in the final of the playoffs against Almeria UD. It’s hard to predict what to expect from this team, two years ago they suffered a lot to avoid relegation, now they ended 4th and took part of the playoffs only missing the direct promotion by six points.

For the new season they already lost coach Rubi, who was invited to join FC Barcelona as part of the staff of Tito Vilanova. Besides, they are losing top-scorer Javier Acuña (16 goals), who was signed by Udinese Calcio and will play at Watford FC in the Championship. And to make things worse they also lost their second best scorer: Benjamín Martínez ‘Benja’, who netted 11 goals before suffering a serious injury back in February. He ended his contract and has just signed for Córdoba CF.

But they are used to face these challenges; dragging a debt of almost €4.5 million this Catalan club was forced to cut the players’ wages in almost the 50% for the new season and still they were able to reach the farthest round in the playoffs.

The other two clubs that played the playoffs are also facing challenges in order to repeat what they did on last season, starting with UD Las Palmas, perhaps one of the most organized club in the league. Just one day after been eliminated from the promotion race the Canarians have already released the list of players that were going to be released plus the promoted youngsters from the B squad.

But just like the case of Girona FC, the Canarians are also losing their best two scorers. Víctor Machín ‘Vitolo’ netted 15 goals and was sold on the past week to Primera side Sevilla CF. Meanwhile Thievy scored 11 goals and will return to RCD Espanyol despite Las Palmas wanted a new loan spell. For the moment they are trying to keep Nigerian Macauley Chrisantus, who scored 11 goals and is also pretended by several Primera outfits. They won’t hire big players as they still paying the debts agreed in their previous administration process, and as they always did in recent times, they will rely on their B squad. Still, the Canarians are a candidate for the first positions.

The other club is AD Alcorcón, a team that continues to impress after only spending three seasons at Segunda. They ended fifth last season, their highest position ever. The problem is that the Madrilenians lost stamina in the last stretch of the season, suffering four defeats within the last six games. For this reason they parted ways with coach José Bordalás .They could also end losing their top scorer, Oriol Riera (18), who’s pretended by CA Osasuna. They already lost defender Abraham, signed by RCD Espanyol. Despite the problems they appear as one of the candidates for the promotion to Primera.



Ponferradina facing CD Lugo in the last matchday of the season
The first new face in the list is SD Ponferradina, a club from Castile & Leon that will mean a short trip for the fans of both clubs (219 Km from A Coruña). This club has just lived three seasons at Segunda, and in the previous two they suffered the relegation. So, for this occasion the goal was the permanence, but they went beyond this ending fifth at the standings and just missing the promotion zone by the goal-difference rule.

Ex-Depor Claudio Barragán is the responsible for this little miracle as he knew how to squeeze the resources from his team. The good thing is that he has extended his contract for one more season. But as it happens to other teams they are about to lose their top-scorers. Brazilian Yuri de Souza scored 21goals on the season and is about to join UD Almeria. Meanwhile, they already lost the second best scorer, Alfredo ‘Máyor’ (8), who left for free in order to join UD Las Palmas.

Then the only two B teams in the league appear in the picture: FC Barcelona B and Real Madrid Castilla. Both cantera projects had a decent performance ending among the top places, but it’s always hard to predict what will happen with a B squad, after all there are a lot of movements depending of the plans with the first team.

And the youngsters of the biggest two clubs in Spain are always keen to leave tempted by other clubs, sometimes foreign clubs offering big contracts. In this sense these two teams don’t escape from the “hunt of top-scorers”. And it’s that Jese Rodriguez of Castilla, who was the second best scorer at Segunda with 22 goals, could be promoted to the first team, but also could end at the Premier League. Similar is the case with Gerard Deulofeu. The Catalan netted 18 goals and is chased by different clubs like Liverpool FC and Valencia CF, because Barca want to loan him out.



Not the best of the years for Sporting Gijón
One of the clubs that could turn to be an actor in the new season is Sporting Gijón. The traumatic relegation from Primera was followed by a terrible start in the league, at some point they were in relegation, but the arrival of coach José Ramón Sandoval allowed a comeback that put the team at the 10th position. Besides, they are among the most active clubs in the transfer market.

The Asturians already secured the singings of keeper Alberto García and midfielder López Garai. Their main two problems are obstacles that should be taken into account. The first is the bad relationship between the fans and the club’s officials, which is extended to coach Sandoval and that has lowered the attendance to the stadium.

A second problem for the Asturians is the budget; on the season they had problems to cover the expected incomes, so now they need to sell players like left-back Canella. The team needs reinforcements, but won’t secure them before seeing who’s leaving. What they urgently need is a top-scorer. Symbolic Bilic has left the club and they only have promising youngsters like Miguel Ángel Guerrero for the position. In resume it could an aspirant to promotion, but a lot still to be done before.

The second new face for Depor is CD Lugo, the other Galician team that will compete in the tournament. The season 2012/13 was the first for them at Segunda, and they did a great job as they clinched the permanence without too many problems. The good thing is that they have a solid project lead by recently renewed coach Quique Setién.

Depor will find familiar faces like Pita and Iván Pérez, truly this team doesn’t need too many reinforcements, but they face the same problem of the other top teams: big difficulties to keep their top-scorers. And it’s that Lugo already lost winger Óscar Díaz, who netted fifteen goals and already left as he joined Primera side Almeria UD.



CD Numancia on the last match of the season 2012/13 facing Córdoba CF
CD Numancia can be referred as a mid-table team at Segunda, after all they ended there within the last three seasons (two straight 10th places). But this could be the year for them, they are losing promising winger Cedric (signed by Real Betis), but have signed coach Anquela, responsible for the miracle of Alcorcón, and the best news is that they renewed their top-scorer: Natalio (13 goals). They could be the surprise of the season.

This final club in this first analysis is RC Recreativo de Huelva. These are hard times for the Andalusians, dragging with a debt around the €8 million, so beyond building up a strong team coach Sergi Barjuán will be content having a decent squad to conquer the permanence. Besides, seven players are ending contract, while they already suffered the “curse of the top-scorer” as Manuel Jesús Vázquez ‘Chuli’ -15 goals on the season- was transferred to Real Betis.

ARCHIVE NEWS JUL/13

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