The right-back brings the tail to Athletic
The demarcation of the right side continues to line up in Bilbao. A few years, even decades ago, no footballer wanted to wear the number 2 on their back because it was considered a bewitched number. Now, beyond the number itself, the right defensive position lends itself to all kinds of debates and controversies in the rojiblanco environment.
Petxa, Athletic’s latest ‘signing’ who landed at Lezama from Real, saw fit to wear 2 in his debut season as a lion. De Marcos, Lekue and Capa, their competitors in this demarcation, long ago opted for a different number when they had the right due to seniority in the rojiblanco club to choose the one they liked the most among those who were free.
Under Marcelino, the issue of superstition with Athletic’s No. 2 hardly mattered. The black pudding wore it in his first year under the baton first of Garitano and then of the Asturian coach himself and, after his transfer to Valladolid, the number in question passed into the possession of the aforementioned Petxa. Amorebieta’s left-handed winger, by the way, inherited that same number from Ganea who, in turn, received it from Kenan Kodro.
This season, in sum, the problems with the 2 have more to do with tactical questions or the choice of coach than anything else. While Lekue and De Marcos alternated as right-sided starters, Petxa had his few options and Capa spent the whole season, except for the final minutes against Osasuna, on the bench or even in the stands.
The problem extends
Around the back and forth around the right-back position at Athletic, the problem has also spread to the rojiblanco subsidiary. Jesús Areso, the right-back called up to play for the rojiblanco first team, spent the whole of last season without competition refusing to accept the renewal offer made to him at Lezama. The Navarrese, for whom the Ibaigane entity had paid his termination clause years before, signed after being released by Osasuna, although a serious knee injury forced him to spend practically the entire League on white.
When Areso left, Álvaro Nuñez’s name gained momentum when it came to being the future right-back for the rojiblanco first team. Nothing could be further from the truth, given what has been seen, as Athletic will choose not to run the contract renewal option today again a pup. Now, after the agur of Areso and Nuñez, the name of Hugo Rincón appears from Lezama.