Take a look at the La Liga table and the team sitting on top are none other than Real Sociedad. The club from the Basque country are showing their best form since they almost won the league title in 2002/03 after an epic battle with Real Madrid. But what chance does the club have now of repeating that challenge and maybe going one step further?
Club owner Jokin Aperribay will be celebrating 10 years as president and though they haven’t always been memorable at a team like Sociedad a lot of work must go on in the background to see the benefits down the line and that seems to be paying off this season.
Real Sociedad really are a throw back in time to when teams did not spend millions on the latest talent. Sure Sociedad have dipped into that arena once or twice but the clubs core values are simply to promote from within and their youth system is of utter importance.
A few years ago Aperribay said: “When they come to the first team it’s incredible news, these players come up through our system and know our colours, they understand our community and they are willing to push that and work hard and be part of the community and understand why we are here.” This is a reinforcement of promoting from within something that has all but died with most European clubs and especially the elite and it is a refreshing method.
The choice of coach at the club then shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Imanol Alguacil is Sociedad through and through. The 49 year old started his career at Sociedad playing for the B team and spent a total of 9 years with the club in the 1990s. His managerial career has followed suit and he has only been in charge of either the Real Soceidad B team or the senior and that has been ongoing since 2011.
Imanol as he is widely known by just his first name in Spain stands for everything that Sociedad represent. A local that played the majority of his career with the club and is now coach- Sociedad’s ethics simply wouldn’t have it any other way. And for this season especially Imanol’s inner workings of the club and the backing of the president are seeing all of that hard work rewarded.
There is real quality in the side and leading the fantasy rankings is Remiro the goalkeeper who already has 28 points and has kept 4 clean sheets and only conceded four goals since the beginning of the season.
Attack is good too in the form of Mikel Oyarzabal who has scored 5 goals and assisted in a further 2. Portu has been a rock in midfield and he also has a total of 28 points and has scored four goals and assisted in another two and these are players that are regularly making the best La Liga team of the weekends.
One of the most important players for Sociedad is arguably David Silva. Though he is coming to the end of his career the talented player- a legend for Manchester City and much missed in England has impressed for his new club. But what else would one expect from one of the best players of his generation in the last decade. The move felt like a surprise but Silva is obviously content and the experience that he can bring to the side just in the dressing room really can’t be measured.
Presently Real Sociedad sit in 1st place with 17 points and have won 4 games in a row. Even though Real Madrid are just a point behind and have a game in hand what is encouraging is that Sociedad are scoring goals. It really is the best way to measure a team. The club beat Celta Vigo last weekend 4-1 and before that put another four goals past Huesca. In all they have scored 14 goals in their past four games and have 18 so far this season which is easily the most in the league.
How far can Sociedad go this season? We should know more by Christmas but their main rivals at this time will be Real Madrid and the emerging Atletico Madrid.
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