DISLIKED BY MANY,BUT TEACHING THE WORLD A LESSON OR TWO!
For over more than a decade in Spain, it is a customary sight to see after 20 games, the same 3 teams top the Spanish league.
1st and Second position are traditionally reserved for Real Madrid, Barcelona and sometimes in recent years, to Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.
For the first time in a long time, that “boring” hierarchy in the top 4 has been distorted thanks to a modest, relatively cash strapped, little club from the outskirts of the Madrid province, with a modest population of 180.000 people .. Getafé.
After 25 games, they are joint 3rd with 43points: won 12, drawn 6 and lost just 7 games! They have scored 36 goals and conceded 25. With a budget just over a quarter of the big boys, this is Phenomenal.
Getafe’s playing style is far from being loved by many and in fact, as my dear Ajax Amsterdam fans discovered in a bitter way once again, during the Europa League encounter, they are easily detestable. Most teams do not cherish playing against them.
As a neutral supporter of the beautiful game of football, it is understandable that, you will most probably not want to waste 90 minutes of your limited lifespan watching Getafé play, unless they are playing against your team.
But to a technician of the game or an analyst, Getafe is a fascinating team to watch and to understand why and how they play like they do; you need to first be aware of the composition of the team and what it is made of.
Getafe’s players are mostly recruited out of contract players, cheap, on loan with an option to buy, relatively lowly paid and mostly unknown players.
The same parameter goes for the coach, Jose Bordalas and club management. Limited resources, a small fan base dominated by same region fans of club and powerhouses Atlético and Real Madrid.
But on the field of play they produce nothing short of excellent results.
When you watch Getafe play, be ready to see theatrics from coach, players and the technical crew. Players waste time, dramatize tackles and contact from the opposition, non-stop complaining about all and nothing, in your face attitude to the opposition and tactically well-choreographed fouls etc.
But that is not why they win loads of matches!
Getafe has a well-structured tactical system that somehow gets me tempted to say it dwarf’s Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid’s strong points, which many abhor.
Getafe plays a relatively outgoing and now outdated formation of a 4-4-2 system (in reality 4-3-1-2).
They alternatively press high and mid field; Defenders take very little risks.
The 2 point Strikers work their behind’s off to give the team a compact shape from above, defend for the team, primarily preventing the opposing central defenders from starting play from the back in central areas, help the midfield to double and triple mark the opposition if need be and are the first players to offer deep and wide options to the Getafe team once ball is won back.
The team plays a very aggressive style and to the greatest surprise of most people, they are captained by a relatively internationally unknown player,Togolese Djené Dakonam, from west Africa!
The coach has built the team not around what he wants to see, but rather intelligently based on the quality and physiognomy of the players he has at his disposal.
Psychologically, they fool the opposition to believe that they are better than Getafe, but in reality, as Ajax Amsterdam amongst others have” discovered, they are most efficient than most opponents they face.
When they played the 1st leg versus Ajax in Getafe, Ajax had decent possession of the game but were not allowed to strike not even once at goal! They Beat Ajax by 2 goals to 0.
The return leg saw ajax pile up all kinds of pressure to win, dominating possession winning 2 -1 but eliminated on a 2-3 aggregate.
The return leg result might fool some to think Ajax were better in all aspects, but the reality is that Getafe scored first, struck the goal post 3 times and gave away very little scoring chances to last season’s Champions league semi-finalists, and currently league leaders in the Netherlands.
The moral of the story is, Getafe is teaching the world that sometimes, it is more profitable to play ugly to win based on your capabilities and unique situation.
Love them or loathe them, Getafe is here to stay and though I am not a fan of many of their playing antiques, I applaud and respect the fact that they use what they have to get a maximum output of what they want. Like life, only fools go about it primarily trying to please others to their own detriment.
Had they not been active on two demanding and energy sapping fronts (league and Europa League) I honest believe they would be much higher up on the Spanish league table and give Real Madrid and Barcelona a bigger fight for their money.
We have not heard the last of Getafe!