Pablo Osvaldo has only been with Espanyol for a couple of months and he has already become one of their most important players; a brace against Sevilla showed that Argentinean born Italian striker is capable of getting Espanyol the goals they need to get away from a relegation battle. The Barcelona based club have a decent gap between them and the relegation zone but the Liga BBVA is a league where anyone could beat anyone and a few surprise results could see Espanyol quickly thrown into the relegation mix – one they would not be unfamiliar with. But Osvaldo, the club’s new saviour, has pointed out a big problem for the club; his recent goalscoring has made him the joint top goalscorer for the club…with 4 goals.
Even the worst teams in the varying European leagues have a player who will score a decent number of goals yet Espanyol find themselves having a top goalscorer who has got 4 goals with over half the domestic season already played. Well, joint top goalscorer as midfielder Joan Verdu has also managed the massive total of 4 goals over the course of the season. Espanyol have only managed 21 goals in the league so far, with only 6 of them coming away from home in a pitiful away campaign, and they’ve had to rely on some narrow results at the Estadi Cornelia to keep them from sitting at the very foot of the league.
The club will now hope that Osvaldo’s decent start to life in Spain will continue and make him the saviour they need but the fact that they have lasted so long with so few goals is simply remarkable. Only bottom club Xerez have scored as few goals as Espanyol and Espanyol are the worst team at scoring away from home by some distance. Gone is the inspiring goal scoring from midfield of Ivan De La Peña, the Little Buddha now past his best whilst fellow old boy Raul Tamudo is out of favour and is not the scorer he once was.
Questions must now be asked about what will happen to Espanyol in the foreseeable future even if they do avoid relegation and keep fighting despite their lack of firepower. Osvaldo is only on loan at the club after all. Will they make wise transfers and bring in a few decent goalscorers? It’s all well and good to rely on a defensive game but not at the risk of getting so few goals. Mauricio Pochettino has the defensive stance you’d expect from a former Argentinean defender but he should be well aware that it’s goals that win games, not simply defending. And to get goals you need goalscorers, something Espanyol have lacked horribly.