Getafe’s mir­a­cle man


The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Barcelona

Getafe coach Jose Bordalas has per­formed mir­a­cles with the mod­est Madrid club by tak­ing them to third in La Liga but a vic­tory away to cham­pi­ons Barcelona to­day against old foe Quique Se­tien would be his big­gest feat of all.

Bordalas took over Getafe in 2016 when they were se­cond bot­tom of Spain’s se­cond division but guided them to pro­mo­tion that same cam­paign be­fore turn­ing them into one of the top teams in the top flight, de­spite a mea­gre bud­get and small fan base.

Getafe nar­rowly missed out on qualifying for the Cham­pi­ons League for the first time last sea­son, but have come back even stronger.

They head to the Camp Nou on a run of four con­sec­u­tive league wins, sit­ting com­fort­ably in third place, three points above Atletico Madrid, seven be­hind se­cond-placed Barca and 10 adrift of lead­ers Real Madrid.

Last week they en­joyed a re­sound­ing 3-0 win over Va­len­cia, who had no shots on tar­get and did not even win a cor­ner.

Getafe’s suc­cess has been based on a tight unit of play­ers, short on star names but packed with ex­pe­ri­ence and de­sire.

Their three top scor­ers Jamie Mata, Jorge Molina and An­gel Ro­driguez have a com­bined age of 100, while 37-year-old Molina is older than the club it­self.

But not ev­ery­one is en­am­oured by Bordalas’ meth­ods, not least Se­tien.

A dis­ci­ple of Jo­han Cruyff’s pos­ses­sion-based style of play, the Barca coach is an ide­o­log­i­cal op­po­site to Bordalas, who has de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion of build­ing hard-nosed teams who are unafraid to dab­ble in the dark arts.

While in charge of se­cond division Lugo, Se­tien ac­cused Bordalas’ Al­cor­con of time wast­ing. Af­ter a draw be­tween Real Betis and Getafe, he said the fre­quent foul­ing of Bordalas’ side made his blood boil, call­ing their tac­tics “lam­en­ta­ble”.

The coaches did not shake hands in their next meet­ing.

Bordalas has since said he has no grudge against Se­tien, but stressed that his side do not get the respect they de­serve.

“Peo­ple who dis­miss us as de­fen­sive do not know what they are talk­ing about,” he told news­pa­per ABC.

“We are very at­tack­ing, we press the op­po­nents in their half, we are di­rect, we are al­ways look­ing to get into the other area. It’s great to see us caus­ing problems for clubs who are far big­ger and far richer than us.”

Else­where, Eden Haz­ard is set to make his first out­ing in al­most three months when lead­ers Real Madrid host Celta Vigo to­mor­row.

Va­len­cia played at home to Atletico last night in a bat­tle for fourth spot. –

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages


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