Jan 6, 2010
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Chairman Manuel Vega-Arango:
Good day and welcome to todays press conference.
We have called you today to announce our appointment of a new manager here at Sporting de Gijón.
Let me introduce Vincent Sepúlveda.

Vincent Sepúlveda:
Buenos dias. As he said, my name is Vincent Sepúlveda. I will start with a brief presentation before we will allow any questions to be asked.
I was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay.
There my interest in football came naturally and I played in Club Atlético Peñarol, the largest club in the country, before a back injury kept stopped my career before it even began.
Instead I worked my self up in the club's coaching rank, starting off at the under 7 year old boys and finishing as manager for the team.
I have also helped international clubs with scouting in Uruguay and that is how I came in contact with Sporting Gijón.
Now, any questions?

So, coming from a much smaller league than the La Liga, do you think you are experienced enough to keep the club up?

Vincent Sepúlveda:
True, it is true that I have not been in charge of a club of this stature and level before. But you know, the competition is not all that easy in South America either.
I have faith in my own abilities and I expect the players to have it too.
After having seen the players on a couple of training sessions on this pre-season, and watching videos of how they performed last season, I can really see the potential in the squad, we will manage.

So you are confident, then what are your goals for this season. What spot in the table do you aim to finish in?

Vincent Sepúlveda:
The media predicts we will finish around the 15th place and I believe that is resonable.
That is where the team finished last season so we are of course looking to improve a bit this year.

Chairman Manuel Vega-Arango:
Now, that is enough for today. You will all get a chance for more questions in due time.
Vincent will need all the time he can get to get to know the squad before the season premiere.
Thank you for your support, now let us hope for a glorious era here in Gijón.


El Molinón
The oldest professional football field in Spain. It's been in use since 1908.
It has a capacity of 29,538 persons.


So this is my new story. I looked around a bit on the other stories and I thought that we were lacking in spanish (non-brittish really) club stories. I didn't want to take the obvious big teams so I settled down in a small city called Gijón. I decided on this club due to finding the squad really interesting with almost all of them being spanish and a few young players I think can grow in to some real interesting class players in a few years. Hopefully I can entertain atleast one reader with it. Wish me luck!
I just thought I would follow you around the site! Hopefully this one ends up better than the last! GL
Nice start, I will follow this as I like more unknown teams stories

Time for practice. We are now starting our pre-season and It is my job to make sure the guys are fit for when the real deal starts. Part of that preperation is the training. Here in Gijón I have been really impressed with all the facilities here at "The Escuela de Fútbol de Mareo". There are plenty of pitches of different materials and while we are training you can still see the young ones practicing just down the road, they are our future.

Here stars like David Villa and Luis Enrique have once been practicing to become two of the best players in their time, let us hope that some of the young ones today are destined for similair things.

First all of the players will go thru some tests to see if they are as fit as needed to proceed with the tough training program ahead of us. I have laid up the design of it and it can be a bit more physically demanding then what they are used to. I wont be taking any whining though, that will be fined. Everyone here should do as I say, I will of course listen if they have anything of value to criticise and such, but no whining. The program differs a bit depending on what role I see the player fit in.


Escuela de Fútbol de Mareo

After a few training sessions I have made up a list for you all to look at. These are the players who are, at the moment, pretty much clear for the first eleven.


Juan Pablo - Goalkeeper
A good keeper who will be able to play for a couple of more years at top level. Is 31 years old. He is our number one between the posts at the moment, but the 2nd goalkeeper, Iván Cuéllar wants to play as well and is also good. If Juan Pablo does not keep a good form, we have suitable replacement.


Alberto Botía - Defender Centre
A good and young central defender who came to the club last year, from FC Barcelona's youth academy and played regularely. He was on loan here last season but now he has signed a contract with us which is good.


Roberto Canella - Defender Left
A club product who has recently caught the attention of British and Portugese clubs. He is not for sale though as he is an important part of my plans. He is only 22 years young with an amazing work rate and I just know that he will give everything for the club of his heart. All teams need players like that, and in Roberto, we got one.


Diego Castro - Attacking Midfielder Left/Right
A speedy winger with an eye for goal. Managed to score 10 last season and if he keeps that up, he will be an important man for the team. He can play both to the left and right and will change sides depending on what striker I play. His right foot is the only one he can use decently so if we play with a strong target man up front, I can use him to the right for crosses, and if not, he plays on the left hand side so he can make runs for goal himself.

Transfer Thoughts
Now for the parts that we need to improve. First off I have to say that our financial state does not really offer us much resources to move around with. Meaning I will mainly be looking for cheep players and I might even have to sell a few off. I would like to find a good fast forward so I can play him in on counter attacks, mainly to threaten the bigger teams from pushing up all too strong. Secondly I really need to find one or two new central defenders to play next to Botía, the ones I have at my disposal are a tad too slow to be good enough for this level. They will do as back-up/rotation players though. Last but not least we also need to strenghten our midfield. I am looking to bring in a strong forcefull defensive minded midfielder to battle it out in the middle of the pitch, and then a young offensive one to use have on growth at the club.

---------- Post added at 12:43 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 10:47 PM ----------


The pre-season is over and all has gone well so far. Almost all the players are fit-for-fight now and not a single injury so far.
The transfer window has closed and I managed to break the transfer fee record of the club, little did I know it until afterwards. I think we have done pretty good with the limited resources we have at our disposal actually. Three new players have joined us while four have left, I have also promoted two youth players to the A-team.
Let us have a look at them, shall we.

Transfers In - Total €5.250.000


Christián Benítez - Striker
I wanted a pacey striker and that is what I managed to get. I real bargain at €1.700.000 as well. Comes most recently from Santos Laguna but was loaned out to Birmingham last season where he only managed to score three goals. Back in his homeland Ecuador he has a scoring record of 58 in 130 games. That is really good, hopefully he can play as well here with us. He is a member of the Ecuadorian national team.


Edu Ramos - Defensive Midfielder
A defensive midfielder and a future star. In my meaning at least. This is the guy who broke the club's transfer record with a fee of €2.500.000. I payed a bit more than I would have liked but that is life, and time was getting short. I could not find a more experienced midfielder in our price range that matched my criteria. This will be good though, a man for the future but still good enough to play for our first team this season.


Fabrício - Defender Centre
A last second transfer from Brazilian Palmeiras. He came in for €975.000 which is a bargain! From what I have seen of him he is really worth more than that, which he will prove here in Spain, I will make sure of it. Once again I actually tried to get a more experienced defender at first but I could not find anyone as good as Fabrício so that is who I settled with at the end.


Juan Muñíz - Attacking Midfielder Left
A good player technically already, needs improvement on the physical side. Was offered a contract by Real Madrid so he demanded high wages to stay, we met half way thru the negotiations and he decided to stay.


Sergio - Midfielder Centre
Another really good youngling. A real teamplayer with a sensetive right foot. Was also offered a professional contract after attracting clubs such as Fiorentina, Benfica and Atlético Madrid.

Transfers Out - Total €9.500.000

Gregory - Defender Centre Porto for €2.600.000

Amine - Striker to Real Madrid for €1.900.000

Luis Morán - Attacking Midfielder to Torino for €2.400.000

David Barral - Striker to Wolfsburg for €2.600.000

None of the players were sold because they were not good enough for the team, but because we were offered too much money for them to refuse. As I said, we need to boost our economy and we did that this window going €4.250.000 plus.

Pre-Season Results


We did good winning all but one game, only conceding a single goal in six games as well. Rotated the squad as much as possible to get all of the players fit enough for the season. Nothing special to report.


Vincent Sepúlveda
And so the season is to begin. We have a tough first couple of games ahead of us. The next four matches are against Atlético Madrid (Away), Mallorca (Home), Athletic Bilbao (Home) and Barcelona (Away).
The both away games are definetly the toughest on paper, we will fight for every point even if it will be hard. The two games at home we want to win, we have sold out all of the 19 818 season tickets that were available so we will have good support.

First off to Madrid then. We will try to play with a low defensive line and counter attack as soon as we win the ball from them. Plain and simple. We will start up with a 4-2-3-1 line up with aggressive wings and the centre of the field sitting a bit more back.
They have some real fire power up front and tend to be pretty aggressive, that should leave some openings for us to exploit. Benítez will start this game and Bilic will be on the bench unless I see that the tactic does not work, in that case I will see what I can do to change that.

In any case I am really excited. My first competative game as manager here in Spain and at Sporting Gijón.
Kick off

And so the season begins, a game against Atlético Madrid. Tough opposition but we will try to break them down. Off we go!

Atlético Madrid 3 - 1 Sporting Gijón

Diego Forlan (52, 88), Sergio Agüero (83) - Jorge García (47)

MoM: Sergio Agüero (9.0)
Attendance: 47 758

We got our ***** kicked left and right this game. We stood no chance. Our goal came from a free kick which Jorge García headed in, other than that we had not a fraction of as many chances as they created. As I feared Agüero and Forlan just ran thru our defence like it was nothing. Things went way too slow back there. So, a terrible beginning.

Sporting Gijón 0 - 0 RCD Mallorca

MoM: Pau Cendrós (7.5)
Attendance: 25 885 (Sold Out)

An even result for an even game. They had the odds on their side and were favourites to win so I guess I should be content. But still, in an even game, I feel like we had some chances to get the ball in their net. But well one point is better than zero. None of my players got good reviews in this game though

---------- Post added at 08:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:53 AM ----------


Sporting Gijón 0 - 1 Athletic Bilbao

Fernando Llorente (77)

MoM: Fernando Llorente (8.7)
Attendance: 25 680

Third game without a win now. It is against good opponents though, but still. We have to improve our goalscoring, quickly.
We had a draw pretty long into the game but at last their pressure was too much and they managed to score.
We as much possession as them but somehow were unable to create shooting opportunities.

FC Barcelona 3 - 0 Sporting Gijón

David Villa (1, Penalty 21, 47)

MoM: David Villa (9.5)
Attendance: 80 783

So it was not good to have David Villa against us, he was absolutely lethal with his shooting, penetrating our defence with quick runs and passes between him and Messi.
This was Villa's third hat-trick in four League Games.
At least he is having a good start, unlike us.
Okey I admit, against Barcelona you can not really expect a win, but this was a bit too much for me. We had nothing this game, nothing. Not a chance.


David Villa - Did not get through every time he tried

Sporting Gijón 2 - 2 Valencia CF

Sebastián Eguren (75), Mate Bilic (Penalty 80) - Pablo Hernández (48), Itay Shehter (90)

MoM: Sebastián Eguren (7.6)
Attendance: 23 569

Soo close, we were soo close to beating Valencia and getting our first victory of the year. But they managed to score in the last minute of the game.
A real kick in the teeth. By a player I have never even heard of before we prepared for this game. It is still a good result, but annoying when we were that close.
Once again trouble creating chances.

Zaragoza 4 - 2 Sporting Gijón

Florent Sinama-Pongolle (2, 65), Ángel Lafita (44, 50) - Nacho Novo (40), Mate Bilic (80)

MoM: Florent Sinama-Pongolle (9.2)
Attendance: 34 560

Overrun by a team that really should not be that much better than us.
Again we had a fair amount of the possession but did not create half as many chances as the opposition.
That is terrible, I have to take the blame for that.
I will have to figure out some way to get more out of all our possession, fast. We concede way too much, and this game they even missed a penalty. Geez.


I sit here with Sporting Gijón Manager Vincent Sepúlveda and team captain Rafel Sastre. Welcome!

Vincent & Rafel
Thank you.

So the season is has started up and as a team mainly focusing on staying in La Liga, how do you feel about the games you have played this far?

Well the results have been almost only bad, not a single win yet, but you have to keep in mind that we have been up against the likes of Barcelona and Valencia this early in the season.
Those are not teams that are easily beaten, yet we managed to get a draw against Valencia, that has been the most satisfying result soo far this if you ask me.
But overall, I am not very happy with the way things have gone soo far, no.

Why are you not capable of winning, Rafel?

It is as Vincent says, we have been up against some really good competition.
But also, we have had some difficulties with supplying the strikers with good enough passes and crosses.
They can't do it all themselves, we have to start building from the back and forward.
We still need to blend more as a team and figuring out each others movements.

Well isn't that your fault as a manager, to not manage to get the players to play good together?
Also you have spent money on a striker who haven't even scored yet.
Did you get lazy with the scouting?

It is my fault, yes. Perhaps I was too naive thinking it would go smoother than this, but in due time the team will blend, I just have to speed that process up as much as I can.
And about Christián Benítez, it is not a case of bad scouting.
He just has some problems with getting accustomed to the football here in spain, it is levels higher than what he is used to back in Ecuador and Mexico.
But I have seen him play there, he is really talented, the goals will come.
We just have to give him more time. I have faith in his abilities.

Very well. Your next game is against Sevilla, nobody thinks you stand much of a chance, are you at all motivated for this game?

Of course we are. That question is rather insulting, we are very much motivated and will give it our all to grab our first win against Sevilla.
Being the underdogs just gets us more fired up.


Sporting Gijón 0 - 1 Sevilla CF

Frédéric Kanouté (24)

MoM: Frédéric Kanouté (7.8)
Attendance: 21 571

Improvement. This time around we created the chances.
Now all that is left is to take advantage of the chances we get.
We played well, we did. On even terms against a team that is supposedly much better than us, and they only managed to score on a corner.
Is our first win close now? I really hope so or else I might not be here for long.

Getafe CF 1 - 1 Sporting Gijón

Juan Ángel Albín (37) - Diego Castro (40)

MoM: Diego Castro (7.6)
Attendance: 13 253

A hard fought game with many yellow cards.
José Ángel, our left defender for the game, had to get substituted after getting an injury, we will have to take a good look at that after the game.
Again we played good but did not score enough.
Benítez has not gotten in here form yet.
Not scored a single league goal since he arrived but three for Ecuador in five games.
I will have to take a look at how they are playing, perhaps.


Sporting Gijón 2 - 2 Osasuna

Fabrício (30), Asier Riesgo (O.G 37) - Javier Camuñas (54), Fabrício (O.G 79)

MoM: Fabrício (7.8)
Attendance: 25 885 (Sold Out)

We went up two against nothing before half time.
After that they scored twice. We collapsed.
We have to man up next game in Pamplona, so we can qualify for the next round.
I really want to take the club far in the cup.
Fabrício did it good even though he unfortunately scored for both teams.


Sporting Gijón 0 - 1 Villareal CF

Marco Ruben (7)

MoM: Carlos Marchena (7.7)
Attendance: 20 328

Now that is nine games in the league and not a single win.
By some miracle we are not last in the league anyway, seeing as we have one more draw than Hércules. Not much to be happy about though.
We have had a really tough fixture list up until now, atleast it feels like it.
I really hope that we win soon so the guys get some of their confidence back, it is not good to be down in a slump such as this, not this long.
We have to get a win before it is too late.

Nice! The updates are mad-good!!

results...not so good! lol

Nice! The updates are mad-good!!

results...not so good! lol


Haha thanks I will!

The results will come, I'll just have to make sure of it! :mad:

---------- Post added at 07:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:31 PM ----------


So recently we have had a run of terrible form, not winning a single game in our 10 tries soo far.
Next hurdle is Almería, a team who we have confidence in being able to beat.
I am kind of forcing it by now, we have no goal scorers so Benitéz will keep playing on top even with the bad form.
He will score soon enough.

Almería 0 - 3 Sporting Gijón

Diego Castro (Penalty 2, 7), Ayoze (9)

MoM: Diego Castro (9.1)
Attendance: 14 936

There, our first win! Finally.
Weird game though, this time around we were actually far behind on the possession but we managed to keep it tight at the back.
We scored three goals in the first ten minutes of the game and after that Almería never really seemed to catch their breaths and we could go home with all three points. An extra mention for Christián Benítez who, although he did not score, played very well and got two assists this game.
Now we need to find a way to keep going like this.​

Transfer Update

After some drawn out transfer and contract negotiations, Sporting Gijón have sealed the deal with two new players who will join the squad January 1, 2011.




Osasuna 2 - 2 Sporting Gijón

Ignacio Monreal (43), Fabrício (O.G 90+1) - Christián Benítez (23), Carmelo (86)

Penalty Shoot-out
3 - 5

MoM: Alberto Botía (8.3)
Attendance: 18 541

Haha, poor Fabrício, that is two own goals already. Well it was not as funny when it happened. We were through but then he scored an own goal in overtime, argh! But after the game I can laugh about it because we managed to win the penalty shoot-out that followed. Benítez finally scored his first goal in a competition for us, let us hope that it gives him a confidence boost.

We will face Atlético Madrid in the next stage of the cup.




Sporting Gijón 1 - 4 Real Madrid

Christián Benítez (76) - Cristiano Ronaldo (15, 36, Penalty 61), Gonzalo Higuaín (20)

MoM: Cristiano Ronaldo (9.6)
Attendance: 25 885 (Sold Out)

Oh, once again we got ourselves beaten completely. There is not much to say, Real Madrid dominated in from every aspect. Benítes scored his first league goal here, that was the single good thing to come out of this game. Roberto Canella got sent off in the 59th minute after getting a second yellow. Alberto Botía got injured and will be out for about 5 weeks. That is tough, our best defender. Ronaldo's second goal was rather terrific as well, if it were not scored against us I would have enjoyed that one very much, curling itself around Juan Pablo.
very nice story, neat, consice, brilliant updates, 10/10
very nice story, neat, consice, brilliant updates, 10/10

Thanks a lot. I'm doing my best and hope I can evolve with my writing even more so I can get 12/10 soon :D *Greedy*

---------- Post added at 05:48 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 02:04 PM ----------


Last time I wrote, we just came from a terrible defeat in front of our supporters, against Real Madrid. Of course, I know they are a great team, a huge and rich team but still, to conceding 4 goals... That's just not good enough. I want us to, if not win, at least cut down on the chances the opposition gets against us. We have to get our defensive positioning completely memorized in the players minds. So that we can really put preassure on the player with the ball, as fast as we lose it.



So once again we are up against Osasuna, we managed to get past them in the cup tie we played last so they are probably hungry for revenge.​

Osasuna 1 - 0 Sporting Gijón
Fernando Soriano (65) - Red Card Nacho Novo (28)

MoM: Juan Pablo (8.4)
Attendance: 13 727

Blast it! Well... outplayed again. The players looked tired after being demolished by Real Madrid the week before, and we never really looked threatening to Osasuna. They passed the ball around us and took their time before scoring a single goal in the middle of the last half. After that they got played to defend their lead and we never got any good shots off.

Sporting Gijón 3 - 1 Real Sociedad

Christián Benítez (5,32), Fabrício (69) - Xabi Prieto (56)

MoM: Christián Benítez (9.0)
Attendance: 20 640

Ah, finally, Christián! Two goals from him today, and another one from Fabrício (for the right team this time *wink*) The game was, other than the goals, pretty tight. We were more decisive in our finishing, letting us win. But Sociedad was not without chances of their own, but once again Juan Pablo played speldidly.


And that's the end of November. We finally got some good results, and actually won a few games. Sure, there was the Real Madrid game wich threw us off our course a bit but then, in the last game, we won once again. Next month will have us pitted against Atlético Madrid once again, in a cup tie. Hopefully we will fare better this time around, eh


---------- Post added at 09:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:48 AM ----------



Vincent Sepúlveda
I have faith, the results are starting to go our way, that doesn't mean we can relax.
We are still too close to the bottom to slack off.
We are in need of more points, plenty of them. We are considered a relegation candidate, and considering our resources we should be down there.
But I have faith, and so should you, that this game is not about what team is the best on paper, but about who can perform best on the pitch.
And I have all of you in my care, it is my responsibility to keep you all in the best possible shape, physically and mentally.
I have faith.
This is the last month of the year, let us make in memorable as the month where we showed that we are more than just fighting for our survival in the league.
I demand respect and there is nowhere else to earn it, than on the field.
You are the ones going out there, playing. But you are not alone. I am standing right next to you, and so are all fans and supporters of this club, all of Gijón.
We all have faith, faith in you, faith in success.


Espanyol 0 - 0 Sporting Gijón

Red Card José Ángel (40)

MoM: Juan Forlín (7.5)
Attendance: 33 059

A good result considering Ángel's early shower. I made the decision to play more defensively the second half and we coped with the pressure. Juan Pablo once again played well, he is proving to be a good asset in between the posts, although coming too age so I might have to start looking for a back-up who can actually take his place once he can't perform up to standard any more. Botía is still out so Iván Hernández played in his possition and did it okey, he's been playing a few games and is proving a good backup, a good player to have as he also adds a bit more experience in the back.​

Sporting Gijón 2 - 0 Levante

Ayoze (31), Christián Benítez (68)

MoM: Christián Benítez (8.3)
Attendance: 20 971

Great, another goal by Benítez, he is starting to show his true potential. In this game we really showed ourselves from a bit better side than last, we were creative, we ran much and fast, found tight openings and played much gusto. The second goal was a joy too watch as well, with Benítez running in between two defenders and then placing the ball underneath the goalkeeper as he came out.



Christián Benítez - Starting too show his potential according to Sepúlveda

Zalo Huerta, Journalist
So Christián, you won today and you scored another goal, how do you feel you're getting accustomed to the Spanish league and life in Gijón?

Christián Benítez
Yes, another goal, it feels good to score again after being absent from the score sheet for quite some time when I first got here.
It is a big step from Ecuadorian football, coming here to play in La Liga.
I played at a similar level in England but the play style of many of the clubs were a bit different from here,
also I am not fluent in English so it made it all more difficult for me.
But I am glad to get a new chance at top football here by our manager.

Zalo Huerta
Great, we are happy too have you here in Gijón, and happy that you are scoring now.
The team has had a pretty bad start of the season, we are not expected to be at the top or nothing but still, you can't be happy with how the team have played and with the results?

Christián Benítez
No, of course not.
It is never fun to lose games.
But you know, we have a new manager with new ideas, and some new players from different clubs.
It takes some time to take all the new information in, and get used too how your team mates are thinking.
Knowing when to run and when to now, when someone wants a pass or if you should go for goal yourself.
We are starting to learn it now, as you can see from our more recent results.

Zalo Huerta
Yes, the form curve is pointing up now, do you think you all can maintain this form?
Do you think you can maintain your goalscoring form?

Christián Benítez
Yes, you have to have faith in yourself to play good.
We all have confidence in our game idea and in our manager and in ourselves, we know we can play even better than this, and we want to prove it out on the field in front of our fans.
They can all be assured that we will always do our best, we will go for a win in every game or fight trying to get as many points as we can, no matter who we are up against.

Zalo Huerta
Thank you for the interview, I will be following the team closely, rooting for you all.

Christián Benítez

Zalo Huerta, El Comercio


Deportivo 0 - 0 Sporting Gijón

MoM: Rafael Sastre (8.5)
Attendance: 16 463

A good defensive effort if anything, we didn't get much properly done up front. But luckily, they didn't either. They actually only managed a single shot on target. Easily saved too boot. Considering that, we deserved to win as we had many more chances to do so than they had. Well well, it was an away game and we're now on a four games unbeaten run in the league. Good.



Sporting Gijón 0 - 2 Atlético Madrid

Diego Forlán (36, 49)

MoM: Diego Forlán (8.8)
Attendance: 25 885 (Sold Out)

Forlán was the difference today in a closely fought game with plenty of chances for both sides. Our front players did poorly with their shooting today but let us not feel too down about this. We are two goals behind, that is not impossible even though it will be hard, very hard. We played pretty solid otherwise, in defense and midfield, but Forlán has a terrific which he showed us today.


Diego Forlán - Fantastic striker
Brilliant story, the best I've read in a while, whats happend to Nacho Novo :O lol !?
Please Close this due too me losing the save... Hate this game sometimes.