Athletic: Marcelino’s great dilemma

The tie registered last Saturday against Eibar in San Mamés could have consequences for the Cup final against Real in La Cartuja. Marcelino admitted shortly after finishing the meeting in front of the gunsmiths that he was going home sad, seeing what he had seen at grass level. The center of the field, more specifically the double pivot, was once again the line of the field where the Asturian coach previously intervened.

Nothing new about green. The Athletic coach had previously removed the two half centers on duty at halftime. In the first leg of the Cup semifinal against Levante, without going any further. That day, Vencedor and Dani García were sacrificed. Last Saturday, however, it was Unai López and Vesga who stayed in the booth.

The individualized review of the 18 meetings that Marcelino has led on the Bilbao bench serves to obtain several significant data. The first of them is that in only two of all these games the double pivot has remained on the field from start to finish. A couple of encounters in which, curiously, the lions acted as premises. One of them ended with a tie at one (Villarreal) and the other with a 2-1 victory (Granada).


Dani García and Unai López formed the tandem against the yellows and Vencedor and Dani García himself against the Nasrid. In the first of those two clashes, neither Vencedor nor Vesga entered the call. In the second, however, both Unai López and Vesga himself spent the entire match on the bench.

The second conclusion that can be obtained regarding the composition of Athletic’s double pivot since Marcelino’s arrival on the Bilbao bench is that the Victor-Dani García couple has been the most used from the beginning throughout these 18 meetings. Both have started in the starting eleven of the Asturian coach on seven occasions.

The next couple that the rojiblanco coach has resorted to the most since his landing in Lezama is the one made up of Unai López and Vesga, the two who switched to rest last Saturday against Eibar. This couple accumulates five commitments starting as a starter in the center of the wide zone. It should not be forgotten, in any case, that when Athletic signed Marcelino, Unai López was injured, a circumstance that prevented him from entering the competitive dynamics for several weeks.

Vencedor-Vesga, with three titles, are listed below a table of participations that also includes the tandem Unai López-Dani García on two occasions and Dani García-Vesga on one occasion. The only pair of all possible among these four lions that has not started as a starter is that made up of Unai López and Victor.

This last midfielder and Dani García are the ones with the most titles
at the individual level
accumulate with Marcelino in the double pivot. Both add a ten while Vesga remains at nine and Unai López at seven.

Only Unai López brand

Another data to value of these four means of the rojiblanco team lies in their lack of goal. Only Unai López, with three goals in the league, has beaten the rival’s goal in the 22 games he has played this season. Dani García (29 games), Vesga (28) and Vencedor (26) have not yet seen the door so far this season.