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El Centrocampista

Game over? Zaragoza on the brink of relegation

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FELIPE GUZMÁN

The evening of Thursday 12th April will almost certainly go down in history as the night when Real Zaragoza’s La Liga life support system was finally switched off, after a battle to stay alive which had lasted nearly two months. Hernan Perez’s late winner for Villarreal against Malaga was followed by an utterly anaemic performance by Manolo Jimenez’s men in the Sanchez Pijuan, a no show on a par with the ignominious away defeats in Malaga and San Sebastian earlier in 2012.

Watching on from the stands on his return to a club where he spent many years as a player, reserve team and then first team coach, Jimenez must have been cursing the fact that his touchline ban had come into force at such an inopportune moment of the campaign. However in truth it is doubtful as to whether his presence nearer to the action would have made the slightest bit of difference.

The Zaragoza defence again showed their vulnerability in the air, with Fazio and Negredo adding two more headed goals to a total which now stands at sixteen conceded via that route, the worst in the league. On loan defender David Mateos will be hoping his Real Madrid bosses were not watching was in truth an abject performance by the centre half, who was at fault for all three of Sevilla’s goals. Add that to injuries suffered by Obradovic, who did not make it past the warm up, as well as to Apoño and Pinter in the first half, and it is hard to imagine what could have gone worse for a side which started the evening with real hopes of pulling off a miraculous escape from relegation.

There is one last chance to roll the dice this weekend, when fellow strugglers Granada visit La Romareda for a clash which the ‘maños’ simply have to win if they are to have any chance of staying up. However with Villarreal facing doomed Racing de Santander this weekend on the back of just one defeat in five, Zaragoza look better placed to overtake Sunday’s opponents, who would still be five points clear of trouble even if they do lose on Aragonese soil.

Victory will need to be achieved without any of the three players who failed to finish Thursday’s defeat, with Apoño’s absence likely to be most keenly felt. However the players will at least be able to count on another larger than normal crowd for the encounter, with the cheap tickets on offer to friends of season ticket holders again proving popular earlier in the week.

Meanwhile things have gone very quiet recently with regard to despised owner Agapito Iglesias’ allegedly serious offer to sell the club and leave town. Rumours linking a group of English investors with a purchase have proved to be no more than idle speculation, and there remain serious doubts as to whether the club can continue beyond the end of the season. Indeed some supporters believe that if and when relegation is confirmed to the Second Division, liquidation of the current club and the birth of a new one just one level lower in Segunda B is the only viable long term option.

As for Iglesias, he remains a notable absentee from all home games, and the Twitter account he opened a month ago to be able to ‘express my opinion freely and directly’ has a grand total of eight Tweets from him so far. The action group ‘Let’s Save Real Zaragoza’ have so far delayed the handing over of a huge list of signatures demanding action from the local government, but the battle continues behind the scenes, and will no doubt intensify once the probability of relegation becomes a certainty.




2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Halychyna.org » Blog Archive » Spotlight Season: Super Depor lead the way – 1999-2000

  2. Delici

    2 June, 2012 at 10:36

    Hombre haberlos, haoils cada vez la gente espera me1s de nosotros de todas formas, estoy seguro que, como siempre en estas situaciones, tocare9is de maravilla y disfrutaremos en el escenario haciendo mfasica

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