Season in review: Almeria remind us all that money isn’t everything as project explodes in face

Season in review: Almeria remind us all that money isn’t everything as project explodes in face
Season in review: Almeria remind us all that money isn’t everything as project explodes in face

Position: 19th – 21 points

Grade: F

Record: 3-12-23
Goals Scored: 43
Goals Conceded: 75

Top Scorer: Sergio Arribas – 9

Top Assister: Sergio Arribas, Lucas Robertone, Largie Ramazani – 5


Story of the season

It started off badly, continued to be bad, was bad for longer, and the football gods granted them three wins at the end. Almeria rarely got thrashed by teams, and they had more than enough quality to stay up, but could not get out of their own way.

After seven games, Vicente Moreno was dismissed, and although he was winless, that set the alarm bells off. They would then go multiple weeks before Gaizka Garitano came in and couldn’t manage a win in 21 games. Pepe Mel averaged more than a point a game, but it was far too late at that point.

A bit of a mess from start to finish, one of the most baffling seasons from matchday one, where everything went wrong, and was exacerbated by poor decision-making. You would say Rubi was smart to get out at the right time last summer, but he’s coming back this summer.


Grade Explanation

Almeria spent a remarkable €52m last summer, more than any other side apart from Real Madrid, and that should have propelled them into the top half. Their signings, including Edgar Gonzalez, Dion Lopy, Cesar Montes, Sergio Arribas and Luis Maximiano, were good. There was no reason for them to implode as they did, both during games or off the pitch.

The trembly hand at the tiller from above was a sign that there wasn’t much joined up thinking from the beginning, and consequently, they threatened one of the worst seasons in history until Pepe Mel came in.


Standout moment: A 3-2 loss at the Santiago Bernabeu or 2-2 draw with Atletico. You might wonder about one of their wins, but they showed how good they could be in those games, and gave fans hope of an historic night.

Key player: Sergio Arribas – One of the few to have saved himself from a nightmare season. Arribas showed quality in his debut season in La Liga.

Surprise of the season: There were good ones? Dion Lopy came in with a reputation, but not one in Spain, and the fact Almeria appear to be demanding two or three times what they signed him for shows that he did do some impressive things in the middle of the pitch.


Glass half full

Almeria have financial backing, and a lot of assets that will have retained their value. They can clearly identify talent, even if they struggle to put it together at times. Rubi is arguably the best appointment they could have hoped for too, and they’re likely to be in the mix next season in Segunda.

Glass half empty

Not to get too existential, but what is the point? Almeria’s hierarchy need to learn from their mistakes, or their hopes of getting anywhere and staying there (La Liga), or aspiring to something bigger one day, are non-existent. It’s no disaster, just a shame and frustrating for the fans, because it’s been this kind of management from the top for a long time.