Bengaluru, June 4: To Jagoba Arrasate goes the credit for reviving Osasuna's fortunes as by clinching the Segunda Division (La Liga 1|2|3) title, the Pamplona-based club have confirmed their place in the Spanish top tier for next season.
Osasuna last played in the top tier in 2016-17 but finished second-last with just 22 points after a difficult season in which they went through three different coaches.
But after a creditable eighth-place finish in their first season back in the second tier, the club brought in the experienced Arrasate and instantly reaped the rewards, securing an automatic promotion spot with weeks to spare.
In Arrasate, they have an experienced coach and someone who knows how to get the most out of his players.
Crucially, Arrasate has built a solid defence as the foundation of Osasuna's promotion push. The turnaround has been swift and effective; when they were relegated from the top flight two years ago they had the worst defensive record with an average of 2.5 goals conceded per game.
This year, however, they boast one of the best defensive records in the league with an average of just 0.8 goals conceded per game. Their defence has been especially strong at their 18,570-capacity El Sadar home stadium.
They have won 17 and drawn two of their 19 home fixtures so far in front of their intimidating and passionate home support, conceding just seven goals across those 19 matches. Their ability to win with a clean sheet at home has been key to their charge at the top.
They are not all about the defence, though. They are also the top scorers in the division, netting an average of 1.4 goals per game. For this they have several players to thank. This is far from a one-man job in attack.
Roberto Torres has 12 goals, Juan Villar has 11 and Ruben García has chipped in with seven, sharing the scoring burden.
Truly exciting times are ahead for Osasuna. They are redeveloping their stadium, which would see the capacity rise to around 25,000and La Liga will return to Pamplona in 2019-20.
(With MSL Media inputs)