After Twelve, La Liga Rounds 11 and 12


The current standings of the teams prior to the start of round 13, provides a clear perspective for the future development of La Liga 2013-2014. The trend is clear: there are only three teams that aspire to win title – Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

As Diego Simeone, coach of Atletico Madrid, said: “I am one of those who say that this league is boring, it is a reality.”

After rounds 11 and 12, which took place at an interval of six days, these three teams scored 18 of the 56 goals – over 30% of the goals of the two rounds. Therefore, we can say that every 3 goals in La Liga, 1 goal will be “culé”, “colchonero” or “merengue”!
Luck is forged along the way but there are no coincidences: the coaches of these teams have the highest salaries in La Liga. The amounts received by the three coaches represent exactly 50% of the wages of all coaches of La Liga.

Tata Martino knows that Barcelona are at the top of world football. So his challenge is not to reach a nonexistent higher peak but to stay at the top while all that happens is that time passes by. During the last press conference, after the victory against Milan in the Champions League, he said: “I want to talk about football. I don’t mind criticism as long as it’s about football.”

Atletico Madrid’s coach has a long-term objective: “There is an idea that is not traded, nothing is more important than the team.” Diego Simeone believes that “we must continue with the same humility.” Short-term objectives are unpredictable – as they rely on a football match. The consistency of the team are making them thrive towards a substantial growth.

Carlo Ancelotti is the best-paid coach of La Liga. While Real Madrid aspire to win the title, their course is uncertain. Today’s demanding home crowd has doubts and boos certain players. Soon, it will be clear that the fleeting spirit of the team is the responsibility of the person who manages these football players that don’t seem to complement each other.

There are two teams that, with hard work and a holistic view, display a solid football idea. Unfortunately, Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao can only aspire to participate in the next Champions League or Europa League.

Villarreal are establishing in the first division and are no longer a surprise. After making it to the first division, the path was led by coach Marcelino Garcia Toral: “It was not easy because if you do not try very hard you don`t manage to win in the first division.”

Ernesto Valverde has that inner strength that characterizes Athletic Bilbao and the mystique of the new stadium, San Mames – where the team remains undefeated. However, they still don’t show the maturity to live up to the challenge set by the best teams in La Liga. His comfort: understanding the current role of the team. The challenge: to continue working on the pillars of the team to slowly expand the horizon of the club in the long term.

What are the other fifteen teems of La Liga looking forward to?

There are fifteen teams that cannot achieve the dream of winning La Liga. The best for them is not to fall for this illusion but to accept their role in La Liga 2013-2014. The motivation of athletes must be focused on an achievable goal, creating a synergy of efforts consistent with the capabilities of each team.

Levante’s coach, Joaquin Caparros, is developing a system that is based on maintaining invariably five players in the starting line-up. They are the leaders of each line of the team, the team’s backbone. In this way, the team has a defined a system and its style. If they keep this style in time, other players may take part of the backbone of the team within the already defined system and style.

Celta Vigo are finding the strength that sought for so long – 6 goals out of a total of 14 were scored in the last three rounds. The challenge for Luis Enrique, the coach of the team, is to keep forcefully throughout the season.

The Seville team is tough to predict. Most of their hopes fall on the shoulders of Ivan Rakitic. While he is an international and exceptional player, the team coached by Unai Emery must find a consistent structure to help define their way in La Liga.

The new tactical approach of Granada – with all 11 players in the field committed to a defensive effort – is paying off. Lucas Alcaraz’s team accomplishes the goal of staying in the first division. That means the long term and integral growth of the club.

In short, no team should seek to achieve short-term success. The motivation of athletes should be directed towards achievable objectives, creating a synergy of efforts consistent with the capabilities of each team. If efforts are consistent in the long term, the benefit will go beyond just a good result: the total growth of a team. The consequence of taking this approach will surely add variety, grace and even humour to the development of La Liga 2014-2015.

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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