Season 3 is underway with a new look Eibar, so how are we getting on?
Squad Numbers Season 18-19
After some fantastic player sales over the last 3 summers we find ourselves in a very good financial position.
The board expect a top half finish and a 5th round showing in the Copa.
We have had a very good pre season introducing the new system and players in to the squad.
August / September 18
We kicked the season off with three 1-1 draws against Real Betis, Real Sociedad and Alaves with 3 of the new boys Centurion,Bentancur and Castaignos getting the goals. Next up a home game against champions Real Madrid resulting in a 1-3 defeat and another Castaignos goal. The media then release an article saying that the pressure is building on me to deliver or the board will look elsewhere to appoint someone. A team meeting later we go in to the next game against Tenerife with the players behind me after I tell them I believe in them. We beat Tenerife 2-0 with Castiagnos and Sabin securing the points. We end September with a 0-2 defeat against a classy Barcelona side in their back garden.
We open the month with 6 points from our first two games, the first a 2-0 win at Getafe with Mehmet netting a brace. Next we beat Alcorcon 3-2 with goals via Mehmet, Pellegrini and Fernandez. A 0-0 draw next at home to Granada before a thrilling 3-3 draw at Celta Vigo finishes the month with Carlos Fernandez getting an hat-trick.
Just three games this month kicking off with a superb 1-0 win against Sevilla thanks to a Bentancur goal after a faultless display in our midfield. The Basque Derby against Athletic Club produced an all action 3-3 draw with Gomez,Reyes and Athletic old boy Sabin netting for us. Another goal fest this time at the Mestalla ended the month with us beating Valencia 4-3 with both Gomez and Bentancur getting a brace.
The festive season arrives and we carry our form in to the new year after going undefeated in December in the league which extends our run to 11 games without defeat. First up a 0-0 draw against Espanyol before a Copa 1st leg win against Celta Vigo with Fernandez and Rodri netting in a 2-0 win. Two home wins follow the first 1-0 against Las Palmas thanks to a Moi Gomez penalty. Then a 2-1 win against Atletico Madrid courtesy of another Gomez penalty and a Carlos Fernandez strike. The 2nd leg of the Copa against Celta Vigo and a chance for some of our youth players to get a run out in a 1-2 defeat that puts us through to the 5th round 3-2 on aggregate, Jose Carlos Moran got our goal on his first team debut. The last game of the year took us to the Costa Del Sol were we grinded out a 0-0 draw at Malaga.
We start the new year with a 3-3 draw at Villareal with goals from Carlos Fernandez 2 and Moi Gomez. The Copa 5th round 1st leg produced a 3-2 win at the Vicente Calderon the home of Atletico thanks to another Fernandez brace and a rare Granero goal. We entertained high flying Deportivo next and played them off the park winning 3-0 with goals from Rescaldani, Garcia and Castaignos extending the unbeaten run to 13 games. Atletico then beat us 1-0 in the return leg of the Copa, a result that takes us in to the Quarter Final. Real Betis next and another win 2-1 with goals via Fernandez and Centurion. I decided to send a rotational side to the Camp Nou for the Quarter Final 1st leg to give players a rest as my priority is the league and Barca took full advantage beating us 1-4 with Granero getting his 2nd goal in the month. Our final league game of the month produced a 2-1 win over Alaves with Garcia and Mehmet securing the points and extending the unbeaten run to 15 games. The 2nd leg of the Quarter Final gave us a confident 1-0 win thanks to a Gomez goal however we are knocked out 2-4 on aggregate.
M’Baye Niang has joined SD Eibar for a club record £10m from AC Milan. I jumped at the chance to sign Niang he is versatile and fits my system well. This is the only business we have done during this window. I look forward to further developing Niang and hope he can become a big player at SD Eibar.
The Eibar Model So Far :
2018-2019 Liga BBVA ? Copa Del Rey Q-Final Super Cup Runners Up
2017-2018 Liga BBVA 13th Position Copa Del Rey Runners Up
2016-2017 Liga BBVA 11th Position Copa Del Rey 5th Round
I am really pleased with how the squad have performed so far this season, I have changed the shape of my Sampaoli tactic but left everything else the same, the results have been impressive with us leading the passing and possession stats in Spain this season. We have a very difficult month of fixtures coming up but with a new found belief we hope to extend our 15 match unbeaten run which has put us in a very good position in the league. I am also pleased to have signed a 4 year contract that keeps me at the club until 2022.
Our end of season post will be out in the next few days.
I would also like to take dedicate this post to all connected with Associação Chapecoense de Futebol my thoughts this week like many have been with the club.