With the memories of Deportivo’s league success and European exploits still fresh in the minds of the fans it is little wonder that everyone somehow expects the Galicians to do well every year. For this reason the club are often tipped as Champions league contenders based upon their recent history.
However, the days of super Depor and Irureta are now rooted in the past and Champions league qualification will be a very tall order for the club under Joaquin Caparros. The coach is handicapped by the loss of many of his most experienced players such as keeper Jose Molina, Victor in midfield and defenders Enrique Romero and Cesar. The loss of Pedro Munitis will be felt most acutely by the coach and he is said to still be simmering over the loss of his favourite and most trusted player.
The situation has not been helped by a lack of available transfer funds to replace the players who have departed and Caparros has resorted to buying a crop of young players from lesser clubs for whom Deportivo represents a step up. The coach will be hoping that their ambition will create a winning mentality that will cancel out much of the negativity created by too many players who either don’t want to be there or really shouldn’t be there (Diego Tristan).
If Caparros can get the best out of the youngsters and mould them into a cohesive unit then there will be high hopes that Riki and Uruguay winger Fabian Estoyanoff can live up to expectations and better last seasons 8th place finish.
Deportivo will also need to dramatically improve upon last season’s home form. The club managed to win only six home games all season and scored a paltry 19 goals in front of a home crowd that John Toshack once famously described as “preferring to eat fish than watch football”.
Munitis, Momo y Rubén (Racing), Víctor (Panathinaikos), Héctor (Mallorca), Iván Carril y Xisco (Vecindario), César (Levante), Romero (Betis), Molina, Jesús Muñoz, Gallardo (Sevilla)
Alcántara (Villarreal), Aouate y Antonio Tomás (Racing), Verdú (Barcelona B), Arbeloa (Real Madrid Castilla), Rodri (Barcelona B), Barragán (Liverpool), Estoyanoff (Cádiz), Cristian Hidalgo (Barça B), Riki (Getafe), Pablo Álvarez (Sporting), Juan Rodríguez (Málaga), Lopo (Espanyol), Bodipo (Alavés)