The Paradigm, La Liga Round 14

The paradigm of La Liga 2013-2014: only three teams are capable of winning. We defined this paradigm more than 3 rounds ago and on round 14 the trend remains strong. Is there something behind this paradigm in the shape of a triangle? The mentioned geometric shape is the basis of ‘Total Football’. Within the field, infinite triangles gave great results to Jack Reynolds, Rinus Michels, Yohan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola. Without going further into this fundamental question, La Liga 2013-2014 is no longer disputed between two teams and this seems to be a bit more fun.

Within this paradigm, there is a very interesting fact: there are at least 47 injured players. This means that there are more than two players injured per team. Therefore, the trend is reinforced by the financial advantage that only three teams that now lead the standings have. It’s a little unfair to compare the financial capacity of Atletico Madrid with Barcelona and Real Madrid. Diego Simeone – one of the coaches that FIFA did not consider for ‘Coach of the Year’ – achieved an unparallel feat that is measurable in financial terms. The cards are now on top of the table! Let’s go to the summary of round 14.

(Click the scores to view the highlights!)

Valladolid 0 – Osasuna 1: the visiting team does not measure their own strengths and weaknesses. However, they managed to win against an opponent with similar characteristics. A key victory to avoid relegation. We insist that Osasuna should try to keep a spirit that reflects the level of play regardless of the team they play with. On the other hand, Valladolid had to score only two goals to win but the most important players were nowhere to be found and the team lost – no excuses.

Barcelona 4 – Granada 0: the absences of Valdes, Alba, Alves, Xavi, Messi and Tello (all of them injured) passed unnoticed. The home team faces its challenges: how to pass over the legacy of a style of football to the next generation of players fresh – we are not discovering anything new. Now, the leader and captain is Iniesta. Interesting fact: Neymar no longer starts as a substitute but ends as a substitute, as he tries to finish the season without injuries!

Real Sociedad 4 – Celta de Vigo 3: Carlos Vela scored four goals for the home team. He showed his forcefulness but, more importantly, he proved to be physically a step above the other 21 players on the field – as he scored 3 goals in the last 30 minutes of the game. Despite the defeat, Celta de Vigo’s coach, Luis Enrique said: “This game has to give us confidence.”

Almeria 0 – Real Madrid 5: yes, it was a great game by the away team! The white team played with the following tactical structure 4-2-3-1. Finally, Xabi Alonso and Aiser Illarramendi balanced the initial line-up with 4 strikers, 4 defenders and a goalkeeper.

Atletico Madrid 7 – Getafe 0: the visiting team had a maximum performance span of 20 minutes and was nonetheless beaten by the team home team. The magical ‘firulete’ or ‘chilena’ from Diego Costa was subjected to the collective effort. Atletico Madrid are delivering their maximum performance in every game and, therefore, impart ‘football respect’: the recognition of the value of each team.

Levante 0 – Villarreal 3: a question for Villarreal in coach: are you implementing the ‘Total Football’ with a team that just made it to the first division? The yellow team played near to the sidelines, opened the game and won against a team that has a solid backbone. At Levante, “… there was effort and solidarity, but also adversity” said coach Joaquin Caparros. Despite facing most of the game with ten men, they remained strong in the challenge for the game. Under these circumstances, this is also the way to face football!

Rayo Vallecano 1 – Espanyol 4: the visiting team came close to the Champions League standings. Then, nearly faced the relegation positions. Now, Espanyol are positioned right in the middle without major concerns. Javier Aguirre, the coach of the most fluctuating team in La Liga, said after the game: “There are always things to do better even if you win.”

Elche 2 – Valencia 1: the visiting team does recover and Miroslav Djukic’s job is now being closely observed. Having said this, Cristian Herrera, one of the Elche players, managed to timely strike the ball on his first official game and he achieved this with the aplomb of a veteran. Congratulations!

Seville 4 – Real Betis 0: the pot calling the kettle black! Sevilla patented the formula that is provided positive results during the last two rounds: Rakitic as attacking midfileder. This formula transforms the home players into a team. In short, Sevilla beat the last team in La Liga – that are also the derby team. Nothing more to add.

Malaga 1 – Athletic Bilbao 2: another success granted to Ernesto Valverde’s intuition. The coach reads the game, adjusts to the circumstances and is, above all, disruptive: he breaks through what is established, he changes the rules of the game, causing a radical change so nothing will be the same again. The tactical change in the second half, Susaeta for Gomez, gave him the result he was looking for: a victory. On the other side, Bernd Schuster must change the formula to win tough games if he wants to continue as the coach of Malaga.

That’s all folks! Below is the incredible list of injured players per team. Before round 15 begins, the intense activity of modern professional football players continues with more Champions League matches. Soon, the Copa del Rey will start. If a manager or coach of a team in La Liga reads this report and needs an extra player, please let me know: I can play in the position that is needed, passing the ball with simple and precise touches and manage to always put the team ahead of me.

Athletic Bilbao: Sola and Balenziaga.
Atletico Madrid: Suarez.
Barcelona: Alba, dos Santos, Messi, Afellay, Valdés, Xavi, Tello and Alves.
Real Betis: Perquis, Rodriguez and Igiebor.
Celta de Vigo: Llorca, Oubiña and Aurtenetxe.
Elche: Gimenez, de Moral and Lomban.
Getafe: Lisandro.
Levante: Pallardo and Rodas.
Malaga: Casado, El Hamdaoui and Santa Cruz.
Osasuna: Sisi and Nino.
Rayo Vallecano: Fernandez, Jose Carlos, Rodriguez and Perea.
Real Madrid: Khedira and Coentrao.
Real Sociedad: Granero, Ifran, Estrada and Elustondo.
Sevilla: Cicinho, Cheryshev and Marin.
Valencia: Guardado.
Valladolid: Victor, Heinz and Oscar.
Villarreal: Gold, Farinos, dos Santos and Costa.

About Nico Argentato

Spanish and English teacher, Sports Psychology student and music enthusiast. An innate passion for movement and rhythm prompted my early development in the sports world; participating in most sports that involve a ball. Now, I am also looking for the words that can best describe that vital energy: the music in football and world sports.
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