Competition news


27 Oct 2011
Deportivo targets the first places as it visits a rival trying to leave the bottom of the standings; Oltra will keep giving continuity to the same lineup with the only novelty of the replacement for Ayoze.

For the first time since the Spanish Segunda División is composed by twenty-two clubs (season 1997/98) one team begun the season with the terrible mark of six defeats within the first six matches –it’s also the worst mark in the short history of FC Cartagena-, for that reason the Murcian club was the bottom team at the standings. The shocker was bigger as the team, nicknamed Efese, was considered a candidate for promotion, however there are two reasons to be optimistic.

The first is that only 5 of the previous 14 clubs (36% of the total) that were the last place after the first six matches suffered the relegation at the end of the season. The second is that the team is reacting within the last three matchdays as Los Albinegros picked two draws and one win in the period, reason why they are no longer at the bottom of the standings, so it’s possible to say that FC Cartagena is a growing team at this point of the competition.

The same could be said of Deportivo, at least it’s the impression left by the Galicians as Oltra’s team completed a serious match at the Nuevo Arcángel stadium against Córdoba, a 2-0 win that also meant the first clean sheet of the season playing away from home. Now Depor targets a second straight victory playing away from the Riazor, something that doesn’t happen since two years ago, the last time was in November of 2009 as Lotina’ Depor won at Getafe (0-2, matchday 10) and then at Racing Santander (0-1, matchday 12).

Despite this is the first official meeting between these two clubs, the true is that Deportivo already faced the predecessor of FC Cartagena at the Municipal de Cartagonova playing in a league competition, that club was named Cartagena FC; the result was a 0-1 win for the Galicians (Segunda season 1987/88). Before that, Depor played at the old El Almarjal stadium picking four draws and only one defeat against the same rival, always playing for Segunda.

Deportivo is playing six liga games in the month of October and is now clear that the formula of coach José Luis Oltra is to face all the meetings with a dose of continuity, because the Valencian man has barely made changes in the formations, at least in the Segunda competition. He just gave opportunity to the “substitutes” during the Copa Del Rey tournament.

But in liga he has only made a few changes; the month started with the clash against Guadalajara, match in which he only made a couple of forced substitutions compared to the meeting with Alcorcón as both Laure and Colotto were suspended, then, against Alcoyano, he just made a new forced substitution as Guardado was playing with his national team.

The only modification made by Oltra that wasn’t forced for any circumstance was the entry of Riki at the centre of the attack, change that was made for the past meeting with Córdoba. The coach clearly emphasized his policy of continuity on Tuesday, as he said that,I believe that Valerón is able to play three matches per week”. Valerón is the older player at the team (36) and a keystone at midfield, however he hasn’t been rested and, actually, the past game with Córdoba was the first time in which he didn’t complete the full ninety minutes.

In this sense, Oltra is only making one modification to face FC Cartagena, and again it’s a forced change as Ayoze Diaz is suspended; the spot at the left side of the defense is between Paraguayan Claudio Morel and ex-Fabril youngster Diego Seoane; Oltra said that these are the only two possibilities, though he also admitted the chance to play with Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ on the left and Seoane on the right.

The rest should be the same squad that defeated Córdoba, with Daniel Aranzubia at the goal; Laure probably playing on the right-back position, Diego Colotto and Aythami Artiles at the centre of the defense, Álex Bergantiños joining Jesús Vázquez at the centre of the field, Andrés Guardado attacking from the right wing, Diogo Salomão doing in from the left, Valerón performing as the playmaker in the formation, and with Iván Sánchez Rico ‘Riki’ playing at the centre of the attack.

Once again Ze Castro was left out of the list due to tactical reasons; it seems that Oltra believes that it isn’t a suitable meeting for him, the main novelty in the list is the presence of Rodolfo Bodipo, who was sidelined from the past clash with Córdoba. But playmaker Juan Carlos wasn’t picked despite Deportivo B is not playing in midweek. Bruno Gama, Pablo Álvarez and Borja Fernandez are evolving from their injuries and already rejoining the training sessions; they should be available to play on next week, while the other two players at the injury room are Xisco and Manuel Pablo.

Valerón talked before the game and said that, “We are hoping to complete a good game and let’s see if we can show the same pace of the last match; any game has different circumstances and we must try to adapt to any situation; we must try to be a competitive team and let’s see if we can be a more regular team. They are strong and surely will try to change the things after a poor start. Their squad was made in order to clinch the promotion, the league is long and should have time to fight for the goal.”

Finally, Aythami said that ”We should go out with our philosophy: pressing up front, having the ball possession and having the control over the game. Last Saturday, against Córdoba, we saw the best example of what this Deportivo want to be. We have heard that the state of the grass isn’t the best, but it can’t be an excuse; if it’s fine, then its fine for both teams; and if it’s awful, then it´s awful for both squads.”

List of picked players (18): Aranzubia, Lux (goalkeepers); Laure, Colotto, Aythami, Morel, Rochela, Seoane (defenders); Álex Bergantiños, Jesús Vázquez, Guardado, Valerón, Salomão, Juan Domínguez, Saúl (midfielders); Riki, Lassad and Bodipo.

The start of the Liga Adelante 2011/12 has been a real nightmare for FC Cartagena; the Murcians were considered a strong candidate for promotion after completing 16 signings in the summer –the highest number at Segunda- but just one and a half month after the kick-off in the competition all the dreams were already broken as they were dragging six straight defeats, which is the worst start in the club’s history since its foundation in 1995.

The big setback cost the job not only to former coach Paco López, but also to the men that made big part of the signings, the ex-sporting director Ángel Quirantes, then president Fernando Gómez hired another coach with the surname López, Francisco Javier López, and he has brought some peace to the club, because despite losing the first two matches, lately he has clinched two draws and one victory within the last three league matches.

But the big question in the fans’ minds is: is the worst over? Because Cartagena clinched four of its five points against direct rivals for the permanence: Nástic (0-0) and Girona (2-0). And now they start a tough period beginning with the game against Deportivo, followed by the local derby with Real Murcia, plus the challenging meetings against RC Celta, Elche CF, UD Almeria and Real Valladolid. Those are the next six games for Cartagena, matches that could confirm its recovery or instead put the club back in the downward spiral.

And without doubt the key to keep improving is located at defense, because Cartagena has been able to keep a clean sheet in its last three matches, big part of the recent success is coming with the return of keeper Manolo Reina and veteran central defender Abraham Paz; two players that were injured and that joined the team one month ago.

Taking in mind that the victory over Girona was the first on the season, it isn’t strange to see coach Javi López repeating the same squad in order to face Deportivo; with ex-Levante Manuel Reina defending the goal; Catalan Cristian Urbistondo ´Txixi’ covering the right-back position; Basque Gorka Kijera performing on the left side, while the central positions at defense will be for Abraham Paz and ex-Zaragoza man Jesús María ´Chus’ Herrero.

Mariano Sánchez and Catalan Dimas Delgado will be the two pivotes; former Racing Santander midfielder Juan José Collantes will continue performing as the central attacker in the formation, Ander Lafuente will be the playmaker; ex-Celta man Toni Del Moral will attack from the right wing, while ex-Valladolid Álvaro Anton will be on the left. The top-scorer at the team is ex-Racing Iván Bolado with two goals in favour; he will be on the bench.

The captain of the team, Mariano Sánchez, talked before the game and said that the club should be focused in Deportivo and not in the upcoming derby with Real Murcia, ”The clash with Real Murcia still far away, now it’s time to think of Deportivo. We just gave our first step as we now know that we can win, but still must work hard in order to leave the bottom places.”

List of picked players: (18) Reina, Juanma (goalkeepers); Txiki, Chus Herrero, Josemi, Manolo Gaspar, Kijera, Abraham Paz (defenders); Cléber, Mariano Sánchez, Dimas, Lafuente, Toni Moral, Collantes, Álvaro Antón, Marc Fernández (midfielders); Salva Chamorrro and Iván Bolado (strikers).

FC Cartagena: (4-2-3-1) Reina – Txiki, Herrero, Abraham Paz, Kijera – Mariano, Dimas – Toni Moral, Lafuente,- Álvaro Anton - Collantes
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Laure, Colotto, Aythami, Morel or Seoane – Jesús Vázquez, Álex Bergantiños – Guardado, Valerón, Salomão – Riki.
Referee: Alfonso Pino Zamorano (49, fifth year at Segunda)
Kick-off: 20h00 CET (Municipal de Cartagonova)
Head-to-head vs. FC Cartagena: First official meeting between these two clubs



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