The ‘fake sheikhs’, fan protests and President Angel Torres attacking his Coach Luis Garcia in public may not be the best way to prepare for the season but according to those at Getafe it’s all systems go.
It has been a little mad this summer in the Madrid suburb. This was supposed to be the year that the money from the Emirates Group would come through but it still hasn’t materialised. In June a group of fraudsters posing as potential Arabian investors in football clubs were arrested and it was said that Getafe was part of the scam, even as Torres has denied that he was a victim of the con.
Whilst this was going on, fans staged a protest over prices and investment. Elsewhere Luis Garcia who had turned down offers from clubs in Spain and Europe was compared to a ‘housewife who always wants a new coat’ by his President, after saying he would like to bring in a few more players.
On the pitch the club have lost a key player in Cata Diaz. The defender was the rock that Getafe was built on and losing the Argentine Captain is a major loss but signing midfielder Xavi Torres will soften the blow. The signing of Lafita and a fit again Pedro Leon could make the football at Getafe enjoyable to watch again after a few snore fests last season.
The stands will continue empty as fans are put off by high prices and are dismayed by the lack of investment by the board. Last season when they had secured top flight status the players showed no interest in the slim chances they had in qualifying for Europe. This season Torres has called for the team to pull up their socks and try to win the Copa Del Rey.
The difference maker – Xavi Torres
Xavi Torres was linked to a few clubs but has signed on with former Coach Garcia to boss and command the Getafe midfield. Last season the centre of midfield in the Coliseum Alfonso Perez lacked drive and direction and the former Barca man will bring that to Los Azulones.
Best signing – Miguel Angel Moya
It would be easy to point to Torres again but the best signing could be Miguel Angel Moya who turned his loan deal into a permanent deal. The Mallorca ‘keeper has resurrected his career at Getafe after seeing a promising early start blighted by injury and the bench.
His time? Pedro Leon
Last season Pedro Leon struggled to banish the ghosts of his time at Real Madrid. Throw into the mix his injury woes and it was a very depressing season for the player from Murcia. Garcia believes in him immensely and believes he could be the key to a successful season.
Coach – Luis Garcia
Luis Garcia starts a second season at Getafe. His influences are former Atletico and Spain Coach Luis Aragones and friend Rafa Benitez. Injuries last season prevented him from developing the team in his preferred attacking style and with a limited squad he may be forced to play defensively again.
The big question…
With all the off-field events, if another club tries to snatch Luis Garcia, will he say no this time?
Probable line-up: MOYA; Valera, ALEXIS, Lopo, Miguel Torres; Barrada, XAVI TORRES, Pedro Leon, Gavilan, LAFITA; Miku
IN: Moya (gk, Valencia), Abraham (d, FC Basel), Alexis (d, Sevilla), Xavi Torres (m, Levante), Lafita (m, Real Zaragoza), Pedro Leon (m, Real Madrid)
OUT: Ustari (gk, Boca Juniors), Cata Diaz (d, Atletico de Madrid), Pedro Rios (m, Levante, Casquero (m, Almeria).