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16.09.2007 10:24

A new look team for Osasuna


Osasuna have undergone some major rebuilding during the summer as they had a busy time in the transfer market, although the philosophy that has brought the club success in recent seasons remains the same.

FC Barcelona head to the Reyno de Navarra for their second away game of the current season on Sunday knowing that the stadium, formerly known as El Sadar, has not been a happy hunting ground. Coach José Ángel Ziganda is starting his campaign in charge of Osasuna after guiding the team to the semi finals of the UEFA Cup and a 14th place finish in the league last term. Very few players are left from then, however, as the club has bought and sold various players in the summer months.

Ins and outs

The economic situation at Osasuna means that the club has to sell players before they can buy, in order to balance the books. Players such as Raúl García, Iñaki Muñoz, Roberto Soldado, Savo Milosevic, Valdo, Berardo Romeo and Pierre Webó have left since the end of last season. With the majority of Ziganda's first choice team leaving, the club has looked to bring in several replacements. Walter Pandiani, Hugo Viana, Xavier Margariaz, Nicolás Medina, Javier Portillo, Jaroslav Plasil, Javi García, Dady Fernandes and Carlos Vela have all joined

Only one game

osasunaa.jpgOsasuna have played just one league game so far this season. They drew 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao on the opening day of the campaign and had difficulties against los Leones in San Mamés. Their second match, against Sevilla, was postponed after the death of Antonio Puerta last month. The Andalucian club were due to play Sevilla three days after the Andalucian team appeared in the European Super Cup.

Ziganda also has to cope with two long-term absentees as Hugo Viana is out for a few weeks, while Javad Nekounam damaged knee ligaments after returning from the Asian Cup in the summer.

Keeping the spine

Despite the number of new faces in the squad, the coach and his assistant Jon Andoni Goikoetxea have remained faithful to the spine of the team from last term. Ricardo is still in goal, while Izquierdo, Cruchaga and the Flaño brothers are in defence and Juanfran, Patxi Puñal, Delporte and Héctor Font can play in midfield. Up front things are different as Pandiani, Portillo and Vela are fighting for the two striking roles.

Defensive strength

Osasuna employ a 4-4-2 system that has produced many encouraging results. Ziganda likes to to focus on havng a strong defence with a powerful attack at the other end. Those features are paramount to the team when they play at home and make them very difficult to beat.
Photos: www.osasuna.es
Photos: www.osasuna.es
Members only
Osasuna are one of four clubs not to be a public corporation, along with FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Club de Bilbao. Like the Blaugrana the club members are the owners of the club. The team plays at the Reyno de Navarra, which was formally known as El Sadar, and has a capacity of 20,000. The ground was opened in 1967 and was increased in size in 1994.

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