In what was a true Hail Mary move, struggling Deportivo are now counting the cost of appointing Clarence Seedorf who has taken the club from bad to worse
Nobody in the northern Spanish city of La Coruña saw it coming. Actually, many believed the journalists were kidding when the name of Clarence Seedorf popped up in the conversation in early February. Deportivo had (finally) sacked Cristobal Párralo after an appalling run of two wins out of thirteen games. Depor’s once mighty cruiser was now a sinking fisherman’s boat, stranded in relegation waters.
The first choice of the Board lead by Tino Fernández was pulling Martín Lasarte out of the hat: experienced on LaLiga benches (he had a quite successful run with Real Sociedad), a true motivator for depressed squads and with a stint as a former Depor player to ease fans’ worries and gain their trust.
But the deal didn’t came through and, in a matter of hours, it developed into a completely different animal. The Uruguayan Diego ‘Tornado’ Alonso was briefly considered, but problems with his visa left him in the Mexican League. So, Deportivo settled for Clarence Seedorf.
— RC Deportivo (@RCDeportivo) February 27, 2018
Fans were absolutely shocked to find out that the fate of their beloved club was going to be in the hands of a manager that, yes, has been one of the greatest midfielders of the past few decades (Ajax, Real Madrid, AC Milan) but who was lacking in the experience department: 22 games with AC Milan four years ago, and 14 games as Chinese Shenzhen’s manager. And… that’s about it. Therefore, not the greatest resumé for a desperate situation.
But Seedorf it was, so he landed in La Coruña and began his work. One month later, his stats are… not that impressive: one point out of 12 after three losses and a single draw against Espanyol, who have plenty of problems of their own. Obviously, not good enough for achieving what he was hired for.
Last Wednesday’s fixture against Getafe summed up, in a nutshell, just how awful this season has been for the Deportivistas. In an ugly game, troubled by the persistent rain and a muddy pitch, the Azulón squad simply used their accuracy in front of goal to knock down the away side for good.
Ángel and an unlucky own goal by Eneko Bóveda (when you’re on an unlucky streak, everything that can go wrong *goes* wrong) sent Depor straight to the mat late in the first half. Jorge Molina’s late 3-0 only rounded-off the tragedy.
Where to go from here? With 12 games to go, Deportivo haven’t shown their fans any signs of resurrection. The club’s heart just refuses to beat. Seedorf has tried everything: he has changed the training sessions, added former team mate Sulley Muntari to its squad (the midfielder hadn’t player for over a year before making his debut last Wednesday) and mixed up the line-up while searching for a miracle.
To date, it hasn’t been enough: even with (theoretically) quality players in their attack such as Lucas Pérez, Florin Andone, Adrián López or Zakaria Bakkali, Deportivo haven’t scored a single goal under Seedorf.
Currently, the fight for relegation has evolved into a rat race where four single teams are struggling to avoid the last three spots of doom. After Alaves’ crucial late win against Levante (1-0), the Vitoria side has opened a huge 10-point gap with its pursuers. Levante (20), Las Palmas (20), Deportivo (18) and Málaga (13) are the four candidates. Only one will celebrate at the end of the season after remaining in Primera.