La Liga Loca's Big Season Review: Getafe to Mallorca
Final Position 11th
LLL Rating B-
During a wee chat with LLL after the end of the season, Getafe boss Luis GarcÃÂa had a Ã¢ÂÂso-soÃ¢ÂÂ sort of vibe about him when discussing how his side's season had gone. The club met its expectations of staying in la Primera for a another year, and thatÃ¢ÂÂs still a pretty decent achievement considering Dani GÃÂ¼iza was absolutely hopeless up front, Pedro LeÃÂ³n was almost constantly injured, Pablo Sarabia was a disappointment, Javier Arizmendi had returned to the ranks and the club only had an average home crowd of 17. The bad side was that the optimism surrounding a somewhat sexier future for the club has been temporarily squished by the apparent collapse of the Getafe Team Dubai kerfuffle, with the investment originally promised this summer and beyond seemingly dead and buried.
Final Position 17th
LLL Rating A-
A stingy LLL is not giving out many Ã¢ÂÂAÃ¢ÂÂs this year but one of them is awarded to Granada for the simple fact that the club didnÃ¢ÂÂt get relegated when the blog was sure as sausages that the Andalusian side would be going straight back down to la Segunda after two straight promotions.
To be honest, the blog has no idea how Granada managed to do it considering the side lost over half their games and werenÃ¢ÂÂt particularly good - VillarrealÃ¢ÂÂs implosion certainly helped, with the Yellow Submarine finishing only a point behind them. What helped their cause was that fact that the few games they did win were against relegation rivals such as Zaragoza and Sporting.
Still, survive Granada did, and the blog is sure that it will continue to borrow players off Udinese and cobble together peculiar and confusing loan deals to cover the team for the season to come.
Final Position 6th
LLL Rating A++
Levante missing out on the Europa League after being camped out in the top six for a good three-quarters of the season - and even leading la Primera at one point - would have had LLL kneeling in a puddle and yelling Ã¢ÂÂnooooooooÃ¢ÂÂ to the heavens as it would have been a very damp squib of an end to a spectacular season. Fortunately they managed to stagger gloriously over the line.
Aside from replacing Felipe Caicedo with KonÃÂ© up front, it was the same bunch of stragglers, has-beens and never-weres as last seasonÃ¢ÂÂs dramatic survival campaign. But week-after-week, Levante stuck to a game plan of stout defending, running about a lot in midfield and putting away the few chances created up front.
To tickle the blogÃ¢ÂÂs heart even more, the club even announced it was going to celebrate its entry into the Europa League by halving the cost of season tickets for all three competitions, with the cheapest being Ã¢ÂÂ¬160 - about the price of three tickets to see a single game at Getafe.
Final Position 4th
LLL Rating B-
Considering the amount of money they have spent and the fact their nearest challenger for fourth place for much of the season was Levante, LLL should blooming well hope MÃÂ¡laga made it to at least the qualifying stages of the Champions League. In fact, had the team been a little stronger all round - letÃ¢ÂÂs not forget they lost 14 league games, one fewer than the eventually relegated Villarreal - then third place should have been quite achievable. Still, luck favoured MÃÂ¡laga, a team whose points total of 58 should really have seen them out of the top four and taking baby steps away from home in the Europa League next year.
Final Position 8th
LLL Rating B+
The side really is the Primera equivalent of the Ã¢ÂÂtree falls over in the woods, if you're not there, would you hear it?Ã¢ÂÂ concept. Mallorca exist somewhere and thatÃ¢ÂÂs about it. Few people notice their results, few people notice they are even in la Primera unless a manager gets fired or a crowd goes into four figures.
Mallorca would probably have ended up in mid-table had Michael Laudrup stayed and not fallen out with the majority shareholder. Instead, the Dane was replaced by JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³s, who did a defensive number on the team which ground out enough tight, unspectacular 1-0 wins towards the end of the season to even have a slight chance of qualifying for European football on the final day. Unfortunately the final day meant a match in Santiago Bernabeu, so it never came to pass.