The Copa del Rey, period to claim at the Nàstic
It is always said that the Copa del Rey, as a secondary competition, is the land of opportunity. The showcase available to less used footballers to rebel against the decision of the coaching staff and demand more attention, more minutes.
The match of the first tie between Nàstic and Racing Rioja this Saturday (6:00 p.m.) will take on that meaning for several players from the Grana first team. Unlike other seasons, the Copa del Rey is not played during the week. The break with the last game in Lezama, as well as the next one in Tarragona against Castellón, is the usual. Six or seven days. However, that will not take away one iota of the intention that less leading players will play in this stage of the competition. In this situation there are around eight players on the squad: Andy Escudero, Montes, Pochettino, Gorostidi, Bonilla, Nil, Simón and Lupu. Each for different circumstances. Some have been losing weight in the team, while others, the newcomers, have not been able to show the reasons why they were signed in the last summer market.
One of the most obvious cases is that of Javi Bonilla. The player from Soriano, one of the captains, has fallen to 17th position in the list of players with the most minutes. Last year, without being considered starters, he was twelfth in playing time (1,651 minutes). This season he has barely played 259 minutes, being a starter in one of the ten games he has played. He has only been left without participating in the last meeting in Lezama. Although, the minutes of him in the last days have been decreasing. The Copa del Rey can allow him to show that his left foot is still just as shiny. Curiously, Bonilla has only played one cup match with the Nàstic shirt.
Another of those who will seek to recover their place among the headlines is Robert Simón. Like Bonilla, he was left without playing in the match against Athletic Club B. He has gone from being the undisputed starter (he was last season and has been at the start of this one) to staying on the bench for 90 minutes. In his case, it was the second time. He didn't come out against Murcia either.
Nil's position is complicated. In the shadow of Joan Oriol. As long as the captain offers the performance that he is giving, he will hardly have a place in the eleven. For this reason, he needs the Copa del Rey -and the final minutes that he may have in the league, even if it is a winger- to show that he is prepared for when it is his turn. In addition, for a young player like him, everything that is playing contributes to his evolution for the future.
Recovered from the jaw operation that kept him out for almost two months, Lupu needs time to get in shape and recover the goalscoring tone that he expressed at Numancia last season. He has the confidence of coach Raül Agné, but in his case, the competition with the team's top scorer Guillermo Fernández and with Pablo Fernández, who is completing good performances, run against him. Taking advantage of the minutes with goals can bring you closer to ownership. Above all, because as is known, with the coach of Mequinenza, a striker who scores, a striker who plays in the next game.
For Andy Escudero, Pochettino, Èric Montes and Gorostidi, the Cup should allow them to show better performance than they have shown to date. The two midfielders have had options to win the position. They have started four games. Montes has ended up completing 90 minutes in all of them, while the Basque has only exceeded 50 minutes in one.
Pochettino is on the other side. He is the footballer in the squad who has had the fewest minutes (69) and needs the Cup to grow.
Lastly, Andy Escudero. After a leading start he disappeared for six games (he only played 18 minutes) to return to eleven in Lezama. A party that assumed gallons and that in the Cup can end up convincing Agné.