Eduardo Coudet, now coach of Atlético Mineiro, managed to generate stability on the Celta de Vigo bench after the Celtic team had gone through six coaches in three years following the great triennium of another Eduardo, ‘Toto’ Berizzo. The Argentinian, moreover, did so by implementing an offensive style of play, with a very high pressing rhythm, vertical and aggressive. A style that translated into a great defensive performance, managing to concede less than one goal per 90 minutes for the first time in ten years. A figure that is now a thing of the past.
Comparing the defensive and offensive radars after the arrival of Portuguese Carlos Carvalhal, the impact is evident. On the left, in black, we have selected the stage of Carvalhal (14 games so far), comparing it with the previous stage of this season, led by ‘Chacho’ Coudet.
And the fact is that Celta de Vigo is experiencing its best moment in terms of numbers in the last ten seasons. It is only 14 games that Portuguese coach Carlos Carvalhal has sat on the bench at Balaídos, but on his side he is achieving the best defensive numbers in a team that has been characterized by the fragility to concede goals and concede too many shots. In this table, we can measure Carvalhal against previous Celta coaches in three general metrics: penalty-free goals conceded per 90′, expected goals conceded per 90′ and shots conceded per 90′. In all three, Carvalhal is outstandingly outperforming any previous record, dropping below ten shots against, dropping below one expected goal against and conceding only 0.71 non-penalty goals.
Using previous data, Celta’s sporting management might note that this is no coincidence, as Carvalhal stood out in Portugal as a coach who guaranteed great defensive consistency, well above the competition’s average. In these two radars we see that both in Braga and now, little by little, in Vigo, he is surpassing the defensive average of each league competition. His teams concede little without neglecting the offensive character.
Offensively, Carvalhal is also achieving a scoring rate that will surely be difficult for him to increase or consolidate but which, at the moment, also surpasses all the previous coaches mentioned. Carvalhal averages 1.64 points per game, a figure that no other coach has achieved in Vigo in the last ten seasons. These figures would not be possible without his star player, who is no longer, at least alone, Iago Aspas.
A Madroa, the sports complex where Celta’s emerging talents are trained, has produced perhaps the most important talent in the club’s history unless injuries respect him and he grows at the rate he is doing. Gabriel Veiga, just 20 years old, has become La Liga’s breakout star and after seven months of competition continues to be the midfielder with the best goalscoring contribution (goals + assists per 90′) of the five major European leagues.
In his map of driving and ball progressions there are a multitude of actions that end in goals, assists or key passes, making his starts and drives his most vertical and damaging movement for the opponent.
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