Competition news

THE NEXT LIGA RIVAL: GIMNASTIC TARRAGONA

09 Nov 2006
Gimn??stic de Tarragona should be an unfamiliar name for Depor's fans. But the truth is that the Catalan club is elder than Deportivo itself. Now N??stic is returning to Primera after 56 years, and they are doing it under the command of a Galician coach, Luis C?Šsar Sampedro. Things have been difficult so far, and N??stic accumulates five consecutive defeats in la liga, a fact they want to change as soon as possible.

The last time that N??stic played in Primera was for the season 1949/1950. Since then the club lived a long period in Tercera and Segunda B. And the big changes arrived for the 2003/2004 campaign. The Catalan squad won the promotion to Segunda, and it only took them two years to reach the first division.

Maybe the biggest secret was the arrival of Luis C?Šsar Sampedro for the 2004/2005 campaign. A Galician coach that was responsible for the promotion of Racing de Ferrol to Segunda on the previous season. His tactical order, discipline and specially his offensive mentality, made possible the miracle of doing the transition between Segunda B and Primera in just three years.

Luis C?Šsar is a former goalkeeper of Racing de Ferrol, but curiously, he has been described as a coach that plans the games with an offensive strategy.  He likes to play with his defenders constantly helping in the offensive tasks, and it's normal to see two strikers in his formations. The Galician coach also likes to see his squad enjoying of the possession of the ball, and a common thing he has with Caparr??s, both of them like to train the stationary plays.

For the comeback to Primera, N??stic maintained the base that achieved the promotion: Abel Buades, Carlos Merino, Cu?Šllar, Miguel Angel Llera, Pinilla and the pichichi of the squad, Ismael Irurzun -11 goals on the season 2005/2006. But the Catalan squad lost the contribution of the veteran ex-Rayo Vallecano forward Bolo and Diego Torre, a striker that was the second best scorer of the team with 7 goals.

In order to maintain the balance, N??stic signed experienced men like goalkeeper Bizzarri; ex-Mallorca defender Campano; ex-Zaragoza midfielder Generelo, ex-Getafe Matell??n; ex-Albacete defender Mingo, ex-Sevilla striker Makukula and ex-Real Madrid Javier Portillo. At the end, Gimn??stic signed  12 new players and the club only spent â‚Ŧ700,000 on it. This amount was invested in the signing of Gilberto Ribeiro 'Gil', a young Brazilian striker that came from Cruzeiro.

And the beginning of the season was really promising for the Catalans, they achieved a 1-0 win against Espanyol at the Montjuic, but after that everything has been a nightmare. N??stic has only achieved one point in the last eight games, including five consecutive defeats. The main problem is that the defensive line isn't working out, N??stic is the squad that has allowed the bigger number of goals after eight matches (20).

Gimnastic also shares a shameful record with Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad: this three teams haven't won yet a home match. Curiously, it has been said that Luis C?Šsar is a coach that likes to train the stationary plays, but his team is the one that has suffered the penalty in deadball situations, so far N??stic has allowed six goals in set-pieces actions, including two last-minutes goals after a corner-kick. Like the one allowed on the past Sunday against Recreativo de Huelva, a goal that caused a painful defeat against other team that's coming from Segunda (1-2).

One of the main players in the squad, Ismael Irurzun wanted to explain the situation: "We have allowed twenty goals in eight matches, that's a lot. But we have scored nine, and that's an acceptable mark. But if we want to maintain our place in Primera, we must be able to achieve clean sheets. Now the team must search for the correct solutions, and that means to be more effective. We should be taking advantage of the stationary plays, an not the opposite. The whole squad is worried, this negative dynamic creates anxiety and we have been playing hurried, too much acceleration I say."

Maybe the excuse to this situation is the long list of injuries in the squad. At least seven men have been suffering different problems during the beginning of the season: Generelo (ankle), Mingo (head blow), Gil (knee), Merino (pubalgy), David Cu?Šllar (illness), Manolo Mart?­nez (knee) and Oscar L??pez (knee). This last one is a long-term injury and is a very similar case to the one of Valer??n. At this point, the club is trying to find a replacement for Oscar L??pez in the market.

But there are good news too for the Catalans. Generelo, Manolo Mart?­nez and David Cu?Šllar have restarted to train and they could be ready to face Depor. Besides, N??stic is living in the relegation zone, but the salvation is just three points away. A couple of victories should put them in a safe place. No big deal for a coach used to miracles like Luis C?Šsar.
 
CLUB FACTS
Year of foundation: 1886
President: Josep Mar?­a Andreus.
Stadium: Nou Estadi.
Capacity: 15,000.
Current place in the table: 19th (4 points).
Incorporations for the season: Gil (Cruzeiro), C??ceres (Nantes), Makukula (Sevilla), Portillo (Real Madrid), Generelo (Zaragoza), Matell??n (Getafe), Campano (Mallorca), Ruz (Valencia), Bizarri (Valladolid), Juan (Sporting Gij??n), Mingo (Albacete) and ?“scar lopez (Betis).
Exits for the season: David Medina (Racing de Ferrol), Diego Torre (Rayo Vallecano), ?“scar ?lvarez, Jaio, Morales, Nano, Codina, Alfonso, Lupidio, Bolo (Numancia), Ekpoki (Vecindario), Alex P?Šrez, Miguel P?Šrez and Diego Reyes.
The full squad: Albano Bizzarri, ?lvaro Iglesias, Rub?Šn P?Šrez (goalkeepers); C??ceres, David Garc?­a, Manuel Ruz, Marco, Matell??n, Miguel A. Llera, Mingo, Campano, ?’scar L??pez (defenders); Abel Buades, ?ngel Morales, David Cu?Šllar, Generelo, Juan D?­az, Manolo Mart?­nez, Merino, Serrano (midfielders); Gil Ribeiro, Ismael Irurzun, Makukula, Pinilla and Portillo (strikers).


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