The most delirious album of the year in the history of Espanyol

It is historical in every way the season of Spanish. For being certifying the worst numbers in its 120 years of history, by the four different technicians who have occupied the bench and by the crusher of Chen Yansheng, which has sought constant changes in the structure. Even for the contrast between the illusion of the beginning and the absolute drama that is lived today. But also because something like what happens on July 3 will hardly be repeated: it is an exact year since the preseason started, and Espanyol continues to compete in the endless and martyrdom 2019-20 course.

Spanish Shield / Flag

LaLiga Santander

* Data updated as of July 3, 2020

With a David Gallego very involved and more than fifty followers (and that training was closed mostly before the pandemic) in the Dani Jarque Sports City, most screaming “Borja (Churches), stay “, that Wednesday afternoon the starting gun was given to a campaign that very soon, at three weeks, would already have the official debut, in the preview of the Europa League in front of Stjarnan Icelandic (4-0). By then, Espanyol had already run out of Mario Beautiful, transferred to Atlético de Madrid around the time of stay in Navata (Girona), and the Bayern Munich very attentive to a Marc Roca that came from shining on the European U21, of which he had proclaimed himself champion.

Espanyol beat rounds against affordable rivals, such as Luzern Swiss and the Zorya Luhansk Ukrainian, not without presenting some doubt or other, and losing Borja Iglesias on the way, sold to Betis of Joan Francesc Ferrer 'Rubi'. Although it is true that, in return, they arrived Fernando Calero for eight million and Matías Vargas by 10.5, which made him the most expensive signing in the club's history.

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Espanyol players and David Gallego's coaching staff celebrate in Zaporiyia, in August, the pass to the group stage of the Europa League.

Galician: five points in eight days

Soon I would clench my teeth a parakeet set unable to compete in a league who had seen him finish seventh the previous spring. Until October 5, and after signing a prestigious European victory against the CSKA Moscow (0-2), Gallego signed his sentence when falling against a direct rival, the Majorca (2-0), to be located three points from salvation and to add five points in eight days.

The house project had failed, the continental illusion was already becoming a concern, but an experienced, serene coach arrived, who had directed the previous course to a whole Seville: Pablo Machín. Nothing is further from reality. The Soriano clearly prioritized The league against the Europa League, precisely scalded by his experience in Sánchez Pizjuán, and paradoxically he passed round without problems (he saved the defeat against the Russians, the first in 26 continental matches) but in the domestic tournament he went sinking even more among quicksand.

The “pipiolos” of Machín

“We need real guys, not pipiolos” was his unfortunate phrase after falling at home, and before ten, in front of Osasuna (2-4), which precipitated the dismissal when two weeks later he also fell into Leganes (2-0), the umpteenth 'final' for parakeets. Like Gallego, Machín added five points, but spread over ten days. And its three central system never varied. As for classification, he went with Espanyol and bottom, five points from the shore: Guatemala to Guatepeor.

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Pablo Machín, touching his chest during Espanyol-Betis, his penultimate LaLiga match as a parrot coach.

And with Abelardo Fernández hope returned. For his debut with a 2-2 in the derby against him Barcelona, victory the following day in Vila-Real (1-2) and due to the arrival of signings, in the market with the most spending in the history of parrots: 40 million between Raúl de Tomás (who dethroned Vargas as the highest of all time), Leandro Cabrera, Adri Embarba and Oier Olazabal.

Abelard's original sin

The parakeets were dismounted in the Copa del Rey and, a month later, Abelardo broke his harmony with the staff and his love for scrap the Europa League with an alignment of circumstances in Wolverhampton (4-0), which also did not guarantee him in LaLiga more than a hurtful defeat the following weekend in Valladolid (2-1).

Lost bellows he Abelard effector, who closed the pre-pandemic championship with a very painful defeat against Osasuna (1-0), which left Espanyol six points of permanence. Three months later, in the resumption, the mirage of victory against the Alaves (2-0) and the tie with ten in Getafe (0-0), which placed salvation at three points.

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Abelardo Fernández, along with Raúl de Tomás, the most expensive signing of Espanyol of all time.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The team sank in front of I raised (1-3) and Betis (1-0), and the Asturian, who came to pronounce, like Machín, fell another phrase that you didn't like in the leadership. “Must let the skin and some players have not transmitted that to me“, indicated after falling with the granota, alluding to some of the substitutes who had played the final stretch. Not surprisingly, in this story a huge part of the responsibility corresponds to some footballers, without exception, who have failed to react under no stimulus.

Rufete, with full powers

To an Espanyol already located eight points of the permanence, when there were 21 at stake, he took just six days ago a Francisco Joaquín Pérez Rufete who is trying to ensure that the descent is as dignified as possible and that the squad for the coming season must plan from within Second. Because Alicante is another of the great protagonists in these last 366 days that began on July 3, 2019.

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Chen Yansheng, together with the adviser Mao Ye Wu, toasts with Óscar Perarnau and Roger Guasch three days before their removal from office.

How professional football director the Rufete season began, which continued in that same position, but with more gallons, when in December Chen Yansheng dislodged Oscar Perarnau from the sports general management to return to the technical secretariat. And as sports director of all categories (first team, men's and women's grassroots football) and coach dismisses the course.

And he does it also surrounded by people he trusts: Domingo Catoira is the new technical secretary, with Luis Vicente Mateo as coordinator of the quarry after the dismissal at the end of May of Fran Navarro, and with Hugo Blanco at the head of an Identity area created just two weeks ago.

Chen's crusher

In addition to Perarnau and Navarro, Chen has terminated this past year to the corporate CEO, Roger Guasch, specifically just before the Christmas, which led to the return of José María Durán, financial director under the presidency of Joan Collet, and the marketing and commercial director, Agustí Filomeno, ceased in the midst of a pandemic of COVID-19 and whose tasks are currently performed Antoni Alegre.

In mid-September the world champion had also returned to the club Joan Capdevila, no longer as a player but immersed in the institutional relations department. its first task public would be all a hot potato, a demonstration of how sinuous the season would end up: ratifying Gallego six days before his dismissal.

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Chen Yansheng, following a training with Francisco Joaquín Pérez Rufete and José María Durán, the new guard.

The technician of the Female A, Jordi Ferrón, has been this week the last victim of a year in which the first team in the girls category has also starred in the worst season in its history (only it has been saved because in the First Iberdrola there will be no decline due to the pandemic). In which practically nothing has gone well, except for the capital increase of 50 million euros approved in December, which reduced the club's debt from 90 to about 40 million, although the decline and the economic situation will not even allow it to be enjoyed.

50 matches of an endless season

To this 3rd of July the parakeet arrives having just disputed 50 official matches, with a balance of 16 wins, 12 draws and 22 losses. Of 64 goals for and 69 against. An acceptable count if not for the make-up and the Europa League playoffs, where they added nine wins, three draws and only two defeats, and even the Copa del Rey, with two wins and one loss. In The league, he panorama is bleak: only five wins in 32 days, nine draws And till 19 defeats. 27 goals scored, 53 conceded.

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Raúl de Tomás, Sergi Darder and Bernardo Espinosa look at the limbo, in an obvious gesture of resignation, after falling on March 8 to Osasuna.

Espanyol celebrates a year immersed in its most delirious, endless and surely also agonizing season with the only wish that him July 3, 2021 can already be found return to First. Although if something can be learned from this journey it is that with good wishes nothing is achieved. It takes a lot of work, clear ideas, leadership and talent. And a project that does not start from the same mistakes, which have been very expensive, but that starts practically from scratch. And that company seems difficult if the protagonists are the same.