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Know Thine Enemy: Atlético Madrid-Deportivo La Coruña Q&A with Joseph Sexton

A conversation with the Galician football writer before Depor pay their first visit to A Stadium Called Wanda.

Real Madrid v Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga
What will become of this former LaLiga winner?
Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Into the Calderón: It’s safe to say this season has been a disaster for not-so-super Depor. This team has mid-table talent, particularly in attack, but is most likely going down in May. Can you sum up what’s gone so very wrong here?

Joseph Sexton: It’s been beyond depressing for Deportivo La Coruña. Mood was high in pre-season, especially with Lucas and Adrián returning. Also the feeling that Pepe Mel was the right man for the job, but he wasn’t. The defence has been a shambles and the less said about the goalkeeper situation, the better. As you say — this is a squad that could and should be doing so much better. But barring the first half of Victor Sánchez’s term in charge, this club has been a car crash going back eight years now.

ItC: Assuming relegation is confirmed, what’s going to change at Depor aside from certain departures for Lucas Pérez and Florin Andone?

JS: A really good question. A hard one to answer. If they only lose those two, it will be good news. But depending on who doesn’t get promotion, the Segunda could be very competitive next season (as it has been this term). The hope is that they can bounce back, as they’ve done the last two times.

ItC: Do you think Clarence Seedorf has done well since his appointment, or is this team too far gone? Deportivo are 0-3-4 with just two goals scored since he took over.

JS: I would not pin any blame on Seedorf. I just think for his own sake, he might have been better served by not putting his reputation on the line with such a thankless job.

ItC: Speaking of zero wins, that’s exactly how many Deportivo have since 1999 against the mattress makers. Miracle/Seedorf putting on cleats aside, how can they snap that streak against an Antoine Griezmann-less Atlético Madrid?

JS: I wouldn’t bet your cash on that, much less my own.

ItC: I take it you’re confident, then!

Alright, prediction time.

JS: I think the fear is it could get ugly. Even allowing for Griezmann’s absence we’ve seen Atleti looking very dangerous of late and I can’t see them settling for a 1-0 if they get their noses in front here.