El Centrocampista


Malaga battled hard mid-week but to no avail, as a goalkeeping howler ended their Copa del Rey adventure at the hands of Real Madrid.

The players can take great heart from making what many foresaw as a foregone conclusion into a thrilling two-legged affair.

However the cup aside things have not been great recently in the league for the Andalucian side. With no wins in five La Liga games the club are in the middle of a slump and it certainly doesn’t get any easier for Malaga in the upcoming weeks.

First they host champions Barcelona, before high-flying Sevilla come to town. Recent results mean that they must at least get something from the Sevilla game.

Their problem all season has been finding the back of the net and despite always looking like a threat and creating more than enough chances, goals seem to elude them.

Malaga have scored more than once a respectable eight times this season however they have only won four of these games.

The average goals per game in La Liga (discounting Barcelona and Real Madrid) is around 2.1 goals a game. So it is statistically reasonable to assume that if a team can score two goals they will win a game, however Malaga seem to score more goals in games they tend to go on and lose or draw rather than win.

From that statistic you can draw your on conclusion, but it does seem that perhaps pressure gets to the Malaga players more than other teams. When in a losing position the pressure is off as such, they have found it easier to pull one back or pick up a consolation goal.

Some would point to Manuel Pellegrini’s conservative approach to management, however Malaga have been dominating games and creating chances.

Sighting the Atletico Madrid game and also the Levante game, despite dominating possession and having the greater opportunities Malaga were not able to capitalise in either.

In this sense I feel they need a cutting edge. Cazorla is a sensational player, and Isco has had some magical moments this season – they also give decent supply. Most observers acknowledge it is up front that the club needs to invest.

Ruud van Nistelrooy has not delivered and Jose Rondon has had a poor season.

Both have scored just t goals in 15 appearances – four in 30 combined, not a great return at all.

Last season Rondon averaged just under a goal every two games, is he suffering a slump in form or does the system just not suit him?

It’s perhaps time to get the cheque book out and sign someone of real quality up who can grab a game by the scruff of the neck. Their marquee signing in the summer was arguably Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who is still a great finisher, but at 35 his influence has greatly waned.

Spending in January is not always the way to go, prices are at a premium and it can be seen as a sign of desperation, however in Malaga’s case ,where money is less of an issue,  it could be just the boost they need to get their season back on track.

Surely it is time to spendagain and bring in a real top quality player.

They are in a slump, but their solid early form means they are still in a strong position. The next match against Barcelona will be tough, but the game is sandwiched between the Catalan side’s cup clásicos, that can only work in Pelligrini’s side’s favour.

Malaga need to bounce back as soon as possible and get their first win of the year, something which will also be of huge concern to both coach and fans.

Whether that first victory of 2012 will come this weekend against the reigning champions, only time will tell, but in football anything is possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Follow us and get La Liga news right in your feed!

Already a fan?