Last week, I reckoned that I witnessed one of the worst Castilla results in my time watching them. They fell 3-1 to a below par team, thanks to a penalty and a horrendous own goal that was tough to take, especially given Castilla were not that bad on the day. This week; I think I have seen one of the worst performances by a Castilla side that I have ever watched.
Especially in the first half. With the play offs out of reach, Castilla are now playing for pride, and hoped for a good performance as they travelled to UD Logroñés. It was a promising fixture, as 11th placed Logroñés played in a very fancy 16,000 seater stadium, and were a decent side. With Nikos Vergos and Fede Vavlerde returning to the side, and Logroñés missing their second top scorer Sergio Reguilón who was ineligible to play against his parent club, Castilla were surely confident of a result. They started with one of their strongest available line ups. Vergos was benched behind Campuzano, whilst Díaz was pushed out wide again. The surprise inclusion was Tena, who came back into the side after some time out of the team, allowing Febas to go further forward.
There is no two ways about it, this first half performance was the worst I had ever seen Castilla, or any other side in recent memory play. It was concerning, and Castilla genuinely lacked any tactical or strategic plans. They had nothing. It was like watching a group of the worst players in your school come out for a kick about at lunch time, and get demolished. The team’s shape was nowhere to be seen, on the ball they couldn't string any passes together, and their positioning was suicidal. Unsurprisingly, a mere three minutes into the game, Castilla found themselves behind. The simplest run forward from the Logroñés forward fooled the defence, before he rounded Abad and finished nicely. 1-0! Not long later, it was two. A corner came in, and an attacker slotted it home first time. Before I could put my head in my hands, Logroñés delivered the killer blow. Their winger ran through the whole defence before setting the striker to score an easy finish. 3-0, 23 minutes gone... The rest of the half was about Castilla holding on for dear life. They created nothing, and were lucky to go in at half time only 3-0 down.
The second half was an immediate improvement, with Achraf missing Castilla's best chance of the game moments in. The team talk at half time was obviously beneficial, as Castilla started using the ball a lot more, and Valverde instigated the play from deep. Vergos, Seoane and Tejero were brought in for Díaz, Tena and Enzo, which were decent enough changes. Nikos Vergos spawned a very good chance towards the end of the game, but just as it looked like Castilla had done enough to draw the half, Logroñés scored the 4th. Another simple run through provided an equally simple finish. The game finished 4-0 to Logroñés, a thoroughly deserved win for them.
That’s four losses in five games for Castilla, who had the playoffs in their hands beforehand. The remaining four fixtures should tell us a lot about these players, and which of them has a future at the club. I could not believe my eyes in the first half when Castilla came out without tactics and without a plan, even more so when it wasn't noticed and changed immediately by the management on the side of the pitch. Castilla will not reach the playoffs, bar some undeserved miracle, and Solari will surely lose his job as a consequence. With Guti out of a job after his very successful season with the u19s, it shouldn't take a genius to put the pieces together. The sooner that change happens, the better! Man of the match today was Fede Valverde, who controlled all of Castilla's play on his return to the side. It could easily have been nobody, however. The next fixture is at home to UD San Sebastian de los Reyes — an easily winnable game. There has been so little to be positive about in recent weeks, and Castilla will be desperate to turn that around. Whether that will actually be the case, you will have to tune in to find out!