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A CASE OF HISTORY REPEATING? – Things look slightly familiar for Real Betis | El Centrocampista
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El Centrocampista

A CASE OF HISTORY REPEATING? – Things look slightly familiar for Real Betis

Real Betis have had some troubled times of late; going into administration, just defying a crooked president and his board, spending two years in the doldrums, the list goes on.

After regaining their top-flight status this season however, the fans are hoping for the good times to role once more.

Betis have only won the La Liga title on one occasion.

On 28th April 1935 they beat Racing Santander 5 nil to secure the Championship and had a fantastic squad of players along with a brilliant manager.

The nearest Betis have come to such glory was in 2005 when they finished in a champions league position.

Comparing two teams separated by 70 years isn’t something that can be easily done, of course, but there are similarities.

In 1935 Betis were managed by the eccentric Irishman Patrick O’Connell.

Irishman Patrick O'Connell led the team to 1935 La Liga glory

Having enjoyed an illustrious playing career most notably with Manchester United he became famous for managing a number of clubs in Spain.

He took over Betis in 1932 and after a year gained promotion to La Liga.

After a couple of seasons consolidation he led Betis to their first and only La Liga title.

That season they finish one point ahead of Real Madrid and, although O’Connell’s team scored 18 goals less than Madrid, their stern defence only conceded 19 goals in the whole season.

Serra Ferrer led Betis to fourth in the top division in 2005 and a hallowed place in the Champions League.

He was in his second spell for the club, in his first spell he, like O’Connell before him, led Betis out of the Segunda División in 1994.

In 2005 Farrer also won the Copa Del Rey with Betis after a 2 – 1 extra time winner against CA Osasuna.

The two managers had a remarkably similar philosophy of playing good football with a sound defence.

Betico were considered to have a very strong overall squad in 1935, but their outstanding player was Simón Lecue Andrade, an attacking midfielder with a keen eye for goal.

He netted 10 of Betis’ 43 goals that season from midfield and created many more.

Depite his brilliance, Lecue only made seven international appearances for his country, which many believe was far too few, much the same as Betis’ talisman during the 2005 campaign, Marcos dos Santos Assunção.

Assunção only made 11 appearances for Brazil, struggling to break into their ‘all-star’ team.

Assunção had a keen eye for goal similar to that of Lecue and he was particularly acute as scoring from dead ball situations.

However, just as in 1932, Assunção was a jewel in a very strong Betis team comprising the likes of Joaquim, Juanito and Denílson to name but a few.

After winning the league in 1935 Betis were relegated in 1940. They had finish a mere seventh (out of 12) in 1936 and the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War prevented any substantial league football to take place until the 1939 season, which saw Betis’ performances slip from bad to worse, amassing only 16 points.

After the success of 2005 the same fate awaited Betis and they were soon relegated after their brief spell in the Champions League in 2006; succumbing to relegation in 2007.

They crashed and burned much the same as their 1935 predecessors.

These historical trends do not just signal doom and gloom.

On the contrary, after relegation 1940 Betis came back strongly and enjoyed a relative period of prosperity and stability for the club, and all involved in Betico’s comeback to La Liga this season will be hoping for history to repeat itself once more.




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  1. Pingback: THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER – But can Betis make it four out of four? | elcentrocampista.com

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