Many will agree that Club Atlético Osasuna has had the best season in club history. Led by Jagoba Arrasate, the Navarran team managed to qualify for the Copa del Rey final that took place on the sixth of May, resulting in their second-ever appearance in the championship match of the Spanish cup. As a result, they have also earned a ticket to their first-ever Supercopa de España, that will take place next January in Arabia and in which they will face FC Barcelona for their semifinals matchup.
If that was not enough, the club has also certified their fifth appearance ever in european competitions. The ‘Rojillos’ managed a seventh-position finish in LaLiga that allows them to take part in next season’s UEFA Conference League among clubs like Juventus or Aston Villa.
Beating Real Madrid to win the cup title would have been the cherry on top for their historical run, but Ancelotti’s squad came out on top with a 2-1 win. In spite of that, Osasuna was able to compete with ‘Los Blancos’ for most of the game. With all of that said, we ask ourselves: ¿what have been the keys to all of these achievements?
First of all and without a shadow of a doubt, the captain of the ship: Jagoba Arrasate. The front office put their faith on him when Osasuna was going through their worst moments, they entrusted his project and the manager has responded greatly. The Berriatúa native has managed to implant his model and adapt a fitting roster to its needs.
A direct style determined by its rigidness and reliability on defense along with creative midfielders and heavily impactful offensive pieces are the main traits and keys to Arrasate’s Osasuna. Nevertheless, let’s analyze the main actors responsible for the squad’s success.
In goal, Osasuna had two fantastic and reliable keepers in Sergio Herrera and Aitor Fernández. On top of that, their alternation (with 24 and 21 matches played respectively) has kept them both on their A-game throught the season, resulting in their great performance.
When it comes to the deffensive line, their captain, David García, stands out as their leader. His aerial determination and high rate of duels won, along with excellent technique when bringing the ball up the field have allowed him to be widely labeled as one of the best centre-backs in LaLiga and also earned him a call-up to Luis de la Fuente’s Spanish national team.
As the main engines of the team, there are two players who have carried a lot of the workload that has resulted in Osasunas success. Lucas Torró has been the center of stability, providing strength and fluidity in ball movement. Aimar Oroz has provided the class, key-passes, creativity and magic the team needed. Moncayola cannot be forgotten either. He has been the perfect complement for both, bringing polyvalence to the table, as he also acted as a right-back in many ocassions.
On offense, the contribution of Abde stands above the rest. The Moroccan has been Osasuna’s route of attack for most of the year. The team focused their efforts through his side of the pitch while the young winger always answered with frequent showings of flair, over two dribbles per match, immesurable speed and goals. Clearly the most impactful player on the roster.
Up front, most of the production has come from players specialized in converting their chances such as Budimir or Chimmy Ávila. With eight goals each and capable of adapting to several styles of play, they are fantastic complements to each other whose strongest weapon is their aerial game.
To summarize, if you put together a quality bench, ride or die thoroughness to their style of play, players capable of adapting to almost any scenario, a direct offense and solid deffense, you get an extremely complete and compact group like the one Osasuna has had under Arrasate this season.
53 goals scored and 51 conceeded, twenty games won, ten draws and sixteen losses, a Copa del Rey final appearance and the seventh position in LaLiga (with 53 points that certify a spot for the Conference League) is the headline of Osasuna’s 2022/2023 outstanding season. Probably, the best Osasuna ever.
Translated by Nuño Alonso.
Main image: @Osasuna.