Season in review: Alaves beat the drop and their expectations with fast-paced firepower

Position: 10th – 46 points

Grade: A

Record: 12-10-16
Goals Scored: 36
Goals Conceded: 46

Top Scorer: Samu Omorodion – 8

Top Assister: Luis Rioja, Alex Sola, Carlos Vicente, Jon Guridi – 4

 

Story of the season

Alaves started off reasonably slowly this season, but come Christmas time, El Glorioso were motoring and their supposed rivals at the bottom of the table never really caught up. There was a wobble in spring, but never one that looked like causing them problems, and they closed out well to ensure things didn’t end on a downward note.

A win over Atletico Madrid and a late equaliser against Girona, as well as a double over Sevilla stood out as great moments, but it was at Mendizorroza they really showed their teeth. Fast-paced football, physical defending and total commitment across the pitch – not least from Luis Garcia Plaza, who couldn’t have been more annoyed when they conceded late to Real Madrid.

Goals were always an issue, but they found enough of them, and were difficult to play against most weeks, no matter who came to town.

 

Grade Explanation

Alaves started off with the lowest salary limit in La Liga (€31m), which is €17m, €18m and €31m less than the three sides that were relegated. Achieved their goal with games to spare, Garcia Plaza could not have hoped for a better season, and having renewed his deal for two years, for the first time in a while, you can say there’s a team being built.

The performance Alaves got out of the likes of Abdel Aqbar, Antonio Sivera, Jon Guridi, Luis Rioja, Antonio Blanco, the list goes on, was highly impressive. Credit goes to players and manager for that.

 

Standout moment: A 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid, Diego Simeone’s side barely got a kick and were outcompeted by Alaves.

Key player: Jon Guridi – embodied everything Garcia Plaza wanted, work-rate, attitude, quality and just generally being hard to deal with.

Surprise of the season: Samu Omorodion was brilliant and exciting. His pace caused enough concern for the oppposition defence to give Alaves a new dimension.

 

Glass half full

Alaves have a structure in place, an identity and a way of playing that causes problems for the opposition. If they can build on that, then El Glorioso will be rocking once again next season.

Glass half empty

Alaves relied heavy on their loanees, Samu Omorodion and Rafa Marin. There’s also a likely departure for Luis Rioja on the horizon, meaning they will have to replace goal threat next season. They didn’t get enough as it was this season, and it is famously the hardest thing to find in the market, and more so on a budget.

Tags Alaves Luis Garcia Plaza

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