Athletic Club Need A Rejuvenation And Lezama Could Be The Solution
The Eduardo Berizzo project isn’t working at Athletic Club. After winning their first game of the season, in stoppage time, the team has now gone ten straight matches without a victory. The Lions currently sit one point above the relegation zone and have found it extremely difficult to score goals as of late. Creativity is almost non-existent and no matter how much possession they have the Basques haven’t been able to do anything with it.
After Monday’s loss to Espanyol, Berizzo said that “There isn’t a magical solution, we have to work harder”. The manager is right. If there were some immediate fix for the situation it would already been done. The biggest problem is that the team has been inconsistent and just aren’t playing up to the expected standards. The players have stood behind their manager and have worked hard to improve, but the results just aren’t coming and there is need of rejuvenation.
Fans have already started calling for a coaching change and that decision will be solely up to President Josu Urrutia. He will actually be giving a press conference on Wednesday at noon and some are hopeful that he will announce a change. However, it is very likely that he has called the press conference in order to reveal whether or not he will run for re-election next year. Coaching aside, there are some options at the club that may be able to breathe new life into the team and it all comes back to Lezama.
When things aren’t working you have to make a change. This season Athletic have struggled to score goals and it may now be time to start giving more chances to Gorka Guruzeta and Iñigo Córdoba. The pair may not be on the same level as some of their teammates, but they are young and hungry to play. Their involvement could go a long way in jumpstarting the team, but so could someone like Peru Nolaskoain.
The 19-year-old has been exciting when he’s played and the argument can be made that he deserves the opportunity to play in the midfield at some point. At the same time, Unai Simón was playing excellent football before Iago Herrerín returned from injury. Herrerín has certainly earned the right to start for Athletic, but Simón showed that he also deserves more minutes.
It’s clear that Berizzo trusts some players more than others, and usually with good reason. That being said, with the need for rejuvenation the manager may need turn his attention to other young stars who are seen as the future of the team. Bilbao Athletic standouts like Iñigo Vicente, Iñigo Muñoz, and Unai Vencedor have been playing fantastic football this season and may be able to bring even more desire and energy to the squad.
Of course, it wouldn’t be wise to completely change the lineup moving forward but it is abundantly clear that Athletic need something else, something dynamic. Giving more chances to young stars could add that missing dimension and give the team the intensity that has been lacking. Berizzo is running out of time. His system hasn’t worked and it’s time to make some changes before the it’s too late.