Season in review: Cadiz finally sink and nobody can say they didn’t see it coming

Position: 18th – 33 points

Grade: D

Record: 6-15-17
Goals Scored: 26
Goals Conceded: 55

Top Scorer: Chris Ramos – 5

Top Assister: Roger Marti – 3

 

Story of the season

Cadiz knew that this season, like the past three, would be no stroll in the park. Yet they went half a season without a win, and their top goalscorer netted just five all season, which was ultimately unsustainable.

In previous years, the Yellow Submarine have enjoyed revivals in the second half of the season, and for a brief moment, they did look capable a few games into Mauricio Pellegrino’s reign. Yet the reality is they were only in it due to a historically down year from the bottom three, with Granada and Almeria picking up just 21 points.

Cadiz were probably only three results off staying up, but they never really looked convincing as an outfit, relying on desperation and grit. While budget and salary limit are two different things, Cadiz were, for one of the first occasions, 14th in the La Liga table, and even if Almeria showed that means little, there’s an argument they had the least quality in the division.

 

Grade Explanation

It is not as if this came out of the blue. Cadiz knew what their problems were, and lost Pacha Espino and Theo Bongonda. Darwin Machis and Brian Ocampo, didn’t replace the latter sufficiently, and Conan Ledesma couldn’t replicate his miraculous showing last year.

Cadiz bizarrely seemed to amass more and more forwards in hope that one of them would work, rather than just finding one better one. Ramos cannot be faulted for effort and work-rate, but just five goals simply isn’t enough to keep you up.

Sergio Gonzalez was given sufficient time to turn things around, which should be praised, but in this case didn’t work out. It’s hard to look anywhere else than the management. Cadiz didn’t put in place the conditions for success, and looking at the teams that finished above them, there’s little argument that they were likely to go down, with perhaps only Las Palmas working with less up front.

 

Standout moment: A 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid. For the second successive season, Cadiz outcompeted Diego Simeone’s side, and it was a raucous occasion.

Key player: Fali – the veteran defender was deep in the trenches this season, and never stopped battling. A captain going down with his ship.

Surprise of the season: Robert Navarro – the Real Sociedad loanee deserved far more than his two goal contributions this season, and by the final third of the year, was a genuine problem for the opposition. Some really exciting touches.

 

Glass half full

The youngest player that Cadiz have that played regularly and they own is Victor Chust, aged 24. He will likely be off in the summer, and it’s a genuine upside that Cadiz can rebuild. This is a mandate to clear the decks, and a much needed one. There are players there, Rominigue Kouame, Fali, Ocampo, Gonzalo Escalante, which you can build around in Segunda, if you can fill out the squad with good players.

Glass half empty

It does need to be a major clearout. Cadiz will need to bring in money from one or two sales, and if they do end up selling their best players, they probably won’t be spending much to replace them. It’s a transfer market Cadiz need to be canny and smart in, as it will likely define the next couple of years for them. As we’ve seen this year with the strikers, there isn’t a great deal of promise they can do that.

Tags Cadiz Mauricio Pellegrino Sergio Gonzalez

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