Getafe CF - win at all costs

Published on 9 September 2023 at 20:00

Getafe CF already have possibly the worst reputation in La Liga as a football club. Under manager, Jose Bordalas, the Madrid-based side have been accused of playing 'anti-football' on numerous occasions, domestically and in Europe. However, with the recent loan signing of disgraced Manchester United winger, Mason Greenwood, it appears The Azulones have doubled down on their already tarnished image.



'Anti football' is a phrase we hear too often in football nowadays. The term refers to a team that uses an aggressive, highly defensive approach to a match but has instead, become a classic excuse that big teams use when their lower level opponents aren't playing tiki-taka, free flowing, flawless football.

That being said, if there are any teams that fit the old school definition of anti-football, it's Getafe.

Since the turn of the century, Spanish football had been dominated by the dazzling brilliance of the El Clasico sides. However, in the 2013-14 season under manager, Diego Someone, Atletico Madrid were able to break the mould and won the title by playing (to put it mildly) a more defensive approach.

Simeone's triumph changed the whole complexion of Spanish football, a country where every team previously played attractive football, 'the right way'.



Since Jose Bordalas was appointed Getafe manager in 2016, he has drawn obvious comparisons with Simeone. Both are Madrid-based managers, who set their teams up to defend resolutely and aren't afraid to use 'dark arts' tactics like time-wasting or tactical fouls.

Bordalas has been known to stifle opponents at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, rather than put on a show for the home crowd. At most clubs in Europe it would be an outrage not play on the front foot at home, but Bordalas' tactics seem fairly popular with Getafe fans, who have seen their side thrive domestically with him at the helm.

When Bordalas took over, Getafe were 21st in the Segunda Division and were in danger of being relegated to the third tier of Spanish football. Despite this, it didn't take long for him to put his stamp on the team, as a year later they were promoted to La Liga through a playoff victory over Tenerife.

His greatest achievement at the club domestically then came two seasons later, when his team managed to finish fifth place in La Liga, only narrowly missing out on a Champions League spot on the final day.

The following season Getafe had a good run in the Europa League, most notably defeating Ajax in the round of 32 in a tie that possibly gave them their 'anti football' status. Erik Ten Hag's Ajax side scored 96 goals that season in all competitions and managed to score four at the Bernabeu just a year earlier. However, at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez against Bordalas' Getafe, they weren't able to register a single shot on target all game.



Bordalas has recently came back to Getafe after a brief stint at Valencia and it's fair to say he picked up from where he left off. Getafe held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw at home in their opening game this season and they used every trick in the 'dark arts' handbook to do it.

Barcelona manager, Xavi got so frustrated with Getafe's tactics that he got himself sent off in the match, complaining after the game about everything from the length of the grass to tactical fouls from his opponents.

One player that got repeatedly fouled was Barca's goal-machine Robert Lewandowski. After the match, Getafe's right back Damian Suarez (who averages a whopping 12.1 bookings a season) admitted it was their intention from the get-go to "unsettle" the Polish striker.

If the start of the season is anything to go by, Bordalas won't be changing his aggressive footballing philosophy any time soon.



On the pitch, Getafe have been known to be ruthless and aggressive, however they have now left themselves extremely vulnerable off it.

When it was announced this summer that Mason Greenwood would be able to return to Manchester United after being accused of sexual assault, you would have thought that no self-respecting club would want to be associated with the 21 year old.

At one point, Greenwood looked like he may just walk straight back into the United side, however that didn't go down very well in the court of public opinion. Last month, the United hierarchy took a bit of heat off themselves for the time being, by announcing that Greenwood will be signing for Getafe on a season-long loan deal. A club statement said this will enable the player to "rebuild his career away from United."

It is clear that many Getafe fans are unfazed by Greenwood's past as 5,000 of them took to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez to give the winger a warm reception at his unveiling.

From the original backlash Manchester United got from taking Greenwood back, it's hard to see why any club would want to sign him, especially one with Getafe's high profile. However, Getafe are evidently a club that don't seek public approval, on or off the pitch...


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