Competition news

DEPOR’S PLAYERS DURING THE 1ST ROUND

20 Jan 2009
Lotina has used the rotations throughout the first round in liga, but some players haven’t been affected by these changes since they are vital in the scheme of the coach. In an individual sense, Aranzubia, Lafita, Guardado, Verd??, Lopo, Filipe and Bodipo have shined as their statistics demonstrate.

In a season in which Deportivo has faced three competitions, Lotina decided to use the rotations as the base of his strategy in order to administrate the physical condition of his men. Therefore it has been very common to see him making changes in the lineups during the first round in la liga, actually the Basque trainer just repeated a starting eleven for the first time until the last confrontations of the tournament.

However, some players have been fixed pieces in the scheme of Lotina, men that barely start the games sited on the bench or at the stands. In la liga, only three players have participated in all the 19 matches of the first round: Filipe Luis, Dani Aranzubia and Juan Rodr?­guez. Aranzubia is the only one who has played completely the matches, while Filipe has been a starter in all the games and was replaced only in three opportunities (he only missed 11 minutes in the first round).

In the case of Juan Rodr?­guez, he was a starter in 16 of the 19 games disputed in the first round, and has been part of the starting eleven during the last 11 liga encounters. Other player with a high participation in la liga is Alberto Lopo who just missed one game due to suspension. Andr?©s Guardado, Joan Verd?? and Angel Lafita participated in 17 of the 19 games of the first round, while Riki, Sergio and Z?© Castro completed 15 appearances. Other important man was Manuel Pablo with 14 games, the Canarian missed the first five games due to an injury and since then he has always been a starter.

At the other side, Gustavo Mun??a and Antonio Barrag??n haven’t debuted yet in liga, this since the Uruguayan keeper is a �discard’ for the coach while the side defender was injured and just got a spot at the squad until the winter window was opened. Curious is the case of Juan Carlos Valer??n, playmaker that has only participated five times as substitute (87 minutes in the first round). However, and as Lotina insists, Valer??n has been reserved for Europe and Copa Del Rey as he already played 20 games on the season taking in mind all the competitions (1,162 minutes).

In terms of goals scored, only eleven players have scored at least once on the liga season: Lafita (5), Bodipo (3), Filipe (2), Lopo (2), Guardado (2), Verd?? (2), Sergio (2), Riki (1), Verd?? (1), Ze Castro (1) and Mista (1). About assists, Guardado leads the department with 4, while Verd?? has gave 3. The other assists in la liga were for Valer??n (2), Filipe (2), Pablo Alvarez (1), Sergio (1), Riki (1), Z?© Castro (1), Omar Bravo (1) and Juan Rodr?­guez (1).

GOALKEPEERS: ARANZUBIA THE BEST SIGN OF THE SEASON
There were a lot of doubts when Lotina decided to sign Daniel Aranzubia for Depor’s goal, he committed several errors during his career at Athletic Bilbao and the fans were worried for the move. But in just 19 matches, he has demonstrated to be an undisputed starter in the schemes of Lotina and the most important signing made for the season 2008/2009.

And his numbers demonstrate it. So far he has made 64 saves (3.37 per game), including one penalty stopped against his former club. His number of saves represents the third best mark at Primera Divisi??n, only surpassed by Casto (Betis) and Kameni (Espanyol), both with 71 saves on the first round. Another thing to emphasise is that Aranzubia has fulfilled 8 clean sheets in the 19 liga matches played so far, only Palop of Sevilla has conquered more (10). Victor Vald?©s from Barcelona has also conquered 8 clean sheets, but the Catalan keeper is the current Zamora of Primera because his team has leaked fewer goals than Depor. (Vald?©s has an average of 0.68 goals per game, while Aranzubia is third in the Zamora list with and average of 1.37). Therefore Fabricio has only appeared in Copa, though he will have to replace Aranzubia at the Bernab?©u stadium.

DEFENCE: A FIXED LINE FOR LOTINA
The defensive line is the only sector –apart from the goalkeeper- where the rotations have not affected the squad so much. Manuel Pablo at the right-back spot, Filipe Luis on the left and the duo Z?© Castro-Albert Lopo at the centre are the usual starters for Lotina. This was the combination used by Depor’s coach in nine of the nineteen games played so far, especially in the last part of the tournament as Lotina has repeated this defensive formation in the last seven liga encounters. A thing to emphasise is that in all the 19 matches of the first round, at least three of these four men were starters. The modifications were only caused due to injuries (Manuel Pablo) or suspensions (Z?© Castro and Lopo). In those cases Piscu, Laure and Diego Colotto covered their absences.

About the stats on this zone, Lopo has been the leader in defence as he has made 136 recoveries so far (7.56 per match), mark that represents the 13th best record among all the players at Primera Divisi??n. The Catalan is also the Depor’s player with more passes intercepted (46) in la liga. A thing to emphasise is that Deportivo is the team that commits less fouls in Primera Divisi??n, and Lopo is the leader of this department with 27 fouls on the season (1.5 per match).

MIDFIELD: VERDU, GUARDADO, LAFITA… AND JUANRO
This sector has been dominated by the presence of Andr?©s Guardado, Angel Lafita and Joan Verd??, although Lafita appeared as starter until matchday 05 and Verd?? until matchday 09. However who has played the most is Juan Rodr?­guez, defensive midfielder that has taken last season’s spot from De Guzm??n, the Andalusian is the only player between midfield and attack that has played in all the games of the first round. His normal partner has been Sergio, while other men like Antonio Tom??s, De Guzm??n, Pablo Alvarez, Cristian and the same Valer??n have had less opportunities. Verd?? is the most pleasant surprise in this zone, everybody was expecting for Valer??n, but who has leaded the offensive efforts since matchday 09 is the ex-Barcelona man.

In terms of stats, Lafita and Guardado are not only leading the lists of top-goalscorer and best assistor at Depor’s squad, but also other departments like shots on target. So far the Aragonian has completed 14 attempts while the Mexican 12. As a way of comparison, the leaders at Primera Divisi??n in this area are Eto’o (38), Villa (36), Henry (33) and Higua?­n (31).Guardado is also the best player at the Galician squad in terms of crosses to the area: 148 (8.7 per match), mark that represent the 6th highest record at Primera Divisi??n.

ATTACK: BODIPO’S RESSURECTION
There were high expectations with the arrivals of Omar Bravo and Mista, besides to the good performance of Riki during the Intertoto and the first UEFA matches, but in the end it was Rodolfo Bodipo who has claimed the spot of undisputed started in the formations of Lotina. Mista and Omar Bravo shared the starting spot within the first seven liga matches, this after Riki got injured in the opening game with Real Madrid, but this couple just conquered one goal in those encounters. During this period Bodipo just enjoyed one occasion as starter (0-0 at Osasuna), only to see Riki regaining his place after his recovery. It was until matchday 12 that Bodipo had his second chance in the starting eleven, unlucky for him he got injured in that match and returned until the final four matches of the first round, moment in which he exploded as he scored three goals, plus one in Copa and the decisive goal in UEFA against Nancy.

Bodipo is not only the forwards with more goals at the team, the Guinean is also the Depor’s striker with more shots on target (8), and the 18th player at Primera Divisi??n that has headed the ball inside the area in more occasions (51). Solid numbers taking in mind that he has only been a start in liga in six occasions. Mista has been a starter in seven opportunities and Riki in five games, but their numbers are poor. As example the fact that Riki is the player with more shots at the squad (23), the problem is that 17 of those shots were wide, actually the Madrilenian is the 14th player at Primera that misses the target more often. Another thing to emphasise about Riki is that he is the player with more fouls received at the Galician team (23). Meanwhile, the numbers of Omar Bravo are also poor but it should be remained that he has only made one appearance as starter in la liga.

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/09

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