Season in review: Osasuna bid farewell to Jagoba Arrasate after tricky final campaign

Position: 11th – 45 points

Grade: C

Record: 12-9-17
Goals Scored: 45
Goals Conceded: 56


Top Scorer: Ante Budimir – 18

Top Assister: Jesus Areso – 7


Story of the season

It was all building up to their August play-off for a place in the Conference League group stages against Club Brugge, and it went wrong. For a brief moment in Belgium, it looked as if they would turn it around after defeat at home, but the year after that felt uphill.

Osasuna were never in danger of relegation, but struggled to string together a good run of results, when the last European place was not territory exclusive to strong teams. Los Rojillo did the job, beat the sides that they were expected to beat for the most part, but struggled to be the intimidating presence they were in seasons past.

Their most consistent element was undoubtedly Ante Budimir, who scored 18 goals and without him, it might have been a lot more uncomfortable. Amid plenty of speculation, Jagoba Arrasate announced his exit with plenty of runway in March but it wasn’t much of a liberation, Xavi-style.


Grade Explanation

This was the fourth time out of five season in La Liga that Osasuna have finished 10th of 11th, so it’s par for the course in many ways. You can’t undervalue that consistency for sides like Osasuna, who are outside the chasing pack for European spots as a general rule.

It’s also true though that neither was this a solid side, nor pretty to watch, and it wasn’t particularly fearsome to face either. They did what they had to, but it won’t last long in the memory. Not qualifying the group stages in Europe can’t be regarded as a failure, but it was a disappointment, and they struggled to find rhythm the rest of the season.


Standout moment: 4-1 thumping of Atletico Madrid at the Metropolitano. It meant little at the end of the season, but you don’t sneer at four goals away to Atleti regardless of what else is happening.

Key player: Ante Budimir – the Croatian forward was the difference-maker. Lethal in the box, if they had to look to someone to produce, the vast majority of the time, it was him.

Surprise of the season: Jorge Herrando – given a run in the side in the second half of the season due to injuries, the 23-year-old is lightning quick, and there’s a good defender in there too.


Glass half full

It’s quite possible the Arrasate cycle was simply over, and that it was time for everyone to say thank you and goodbye. If that is the case, then the arrival of Vicente Moreno should freshen things up, and this side have demonstrated they’re capable of more. The loss of Ez Abde last summer hurt them, and they’re probably one or two good signings from being much more dangerous, while Moreno will construct his side from the defence forward.

Glass half empty

Arrasate did a fine job, and Moreno so far has not shown the same expertise. Neither have his sides in La Liga been the most thrilling, and if you’re aiming for midtable, you need to offer something for fans and players to buy into, otherwise a project can drift. Losing Chimy Avila and Abde over the last 12 months, Osasuna have become too predictable, and Moreno isn’t a manager to address that. That requires transfer business, and that requires some spending.

Tags Jagoba Arrasate Osasuna Vicente Moreno
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