Tom from 3 On 1 Counter looks at the recent resurgence in Andalucia, as Deportivo battle to hold onto their La Liga status.
It is evident to see that experience is shining through at Andalucia with some of the most senior professionals putting in incredible performances for Deportivo of late. With the club seemingly on the brink of relegation just last month, the squad seem to have been galvanised and are on a run of form that wouldn’t look out-of-place in a team fighting for the title.
The turnaround that the Galician club are currently involved in is quite remarkable. Their current run of four straight victories has seen them rise out of the relegation zone and they are now 2 points clear of Mallorca who occupy the last relegation spot.
Their great turnaround in form all hinged on the feisty Galician derby with Celta Vigo who themselves are also facing a fight to maintain La Liga status next term. After witnessing Deportivo’s 3-1 victory over their great rivals, a distinct feeling of rejuvenation appeared to be present in the team. Coupled with a feeling of urgency and passion, and being guided by some of their senior pros the win over Celta Vigo was the perfect match.
For a team who were struggling for wins and have spent the majority of the season rock bottom, Depor have no problem hitting the back of the net. As recently as last weekend they hit four past a Levante side who are normally very solid and hard to beat. They also bagged 3 goals against Zaragoza and Mallorca, Goal shy? I think not.
After the years of European football and title contentions in the top flight with notable names such as Diego Tristan, Roy Makaay and Walter Pandiani in their ranks, Deportivo have been textbook underachievers.
One player who was around when Deportivo were European quality has taken it upon himself to save the club from relegation, something which looked like a certainty last month. That man is the legendary Juan Carlos Valerón.
The 37-year-old is enjoying what may be his last call of duty, and is at the heart of Depor’s survival hopes. The experience and guidance he offers to all around him is clear to see. ‘El Flaco’, as he is referred to in Spain, played a massive part in their last victory when he put in a mesmerizing performance on the road for his side proving, that to some, age is no obstacle.
Some credit has to of course go to 12 goal man Riki. At the age of 32, he has been a veteran at the club racking up over 200 appearances for the Blanquiazules. The experienced frontman has even caught the eye of some Premier league clubs and as recently as yesterday, was linked with a move to England in the summer.
If La Coruna keep up the current trend, it will see them playing La Liga football next season; vital for such a big club with a rich tradition.
Sport Is Everything. Tom.
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