More than three weeks have passed since his resignation and his goodbye letter. What does the body tell you now?
I am calm, doing family life. The body sometimes gives you signals. The year after I left football, the psoriasis that I always had disappeared, and this summer it returned due to the changes decided by the new coordination. He did not share them. When you're tense … I decided to continue, but it was a difficult year. There were tensions and discomfort. If one can afford it, and I have that fortune, you have to be honest with yourself to know how to step aside when you are not aligned with the ways of doing.
Talk about stresses and discomforts. Can you specify?
Last year was good in many ways: there was a perfect harmony with the coaching staff, the boys grew up and the team performed very well. They tell me that I will continue in Youth A with the same coaching staff. But when the new coordination arrives they put me in B, they separate me from Javi Chica and they won't let me decide my coaching staff, or at least there is a consensus. As a result of that there are various tensions and I am filed for a comment on Twitter.
“I would like a club where we all row to the same place, which does not mean that we all have the same ideas … but it does mean that we look only for the good of the club and not the staff”
How was that episode?
At that time they fired a lot of people. I want to believe that these dismissals are a strategic change in certain areas, and I only put the accent on Jordi Pérez (utility), and I let him know in my plea when they file me, because if we have to balance the accounts with the utility worker's salary , as was said, it would seem worrisome to me. Also, you have to hire another because the trips are the same. I don't like free witch hunts at Espanyol.
So you see it?
The club had internal disputes from the past. With what they already do to us from outside, it's a shame that sometimes we hurt each other. In my case, when I contribute something it is to build, but sometimes there are people who don't like your opinion more than normal. I always did it to improve things from my point of view. I want to help detect what I see wrong for the common good. I consider myself above all a professional in what I do, both when I played and when I trained. Training serves to train the player and there were ideas that were far, both with the previous coordination and with this one, from mine. I think it is my duty to make it known to improve even if it does not like it.
Did you feel like it was a black sheep?
You realize that the decision to resign is correct because no one in the coordination tried to convince me not to. Either it was uncomfortable or they didn't like it. And I want to be valued for what I do and not for what I was in his day. I do not pretend to live being uncomfortable for anyone.
To close this chapter, how did you argue that Javi Chica could not be your second?
There were no reasons. They decided and, at their discretion, two former players could not be allowed on the same coaching staff. Regarding staying in Youth B, they are young boys that you must train them and I don't care about the category. But when you are separated from a coaching staff that worked, it tastes worse; Besides, I was the last to know. In summer I discuss the decision quite a bit. I think about leaving the club, but due to the strange situation we are experiencing, I decide to move on.
And now he's the technician …
I wish you all the luck in the world. It is a phenomenon, it lives it all with passion and it is in a time to absorb and grow. Let them listen to him, let him work. He will argue everything he does. I wish you all the luck.
What is your point of view on the Espanyol quarry?
I like to analyze everything I do. The grassroots path was never, at first, my priority. I like to compete. But when they offered me Youth A, by surprise, the offer was irrefutable. The previous coordination prioritized a very leading game model with the ball, strengthened by the proposals of Rubi and Gallego. However, in my opinion, in this club, it is very difficult to have a fixed game model because we depend a lot on the immediate performance of the first team. The previous coordination gave great importance to the ball and this coordination, perhaps, prefers more order and going against it. I strongly disagree with this concept since there are many distances between the dominate style of grassroots football and that of the first team.
“You realize that the decision to resign is correct because nobody in the coordination tried to convince me not to do it. Either it was uncomfortable or they didn't like it. And I want to be valued for what I do and not for what I was in his day “
That quarries have a common model has been a mantra for many years.
Without being very 'bielista', the Argentine coach said something about formative football that I liked. Broadly speaking, it said that the boys should control a different tactical drawing each year, for example. Look at the first team last year: you go from Gallego, to Machín and then to Abelardo. Three different styles. If there is no broad tactical culture, the boy can be lost. I have tried to make the player more open-minded and should know how to adapt to different styles of play. In adaptation is wealth. When you want to sell a player, as happens in clubs that only have one model, many do not adapt as they only know one model.
But what is the health of the parakeet youth soccer?
Espanyol has always served and will serve very good players. It is a powerful club in Catalonia and Spain and has a network of attraction where the player knows, by necessity and idiosyncrasy, the short ladder there is from grassroots football to the first team. We have an obligation to prepare them, especially mentally, because that is where there is the greatest deficit today, and it is usually in defeat rather than victory when this happens. Sometimes we give an importance to the results that later does not serve for anything more than to feed our ego, although we all want to win, of course.
You are a former player and coach. Then there are other very well-trained coaches without a tour as players. It is the eternal debate, but how to unite these two styles?
The former player has a practical baggage of locker room knowledge that can only be learned as a player, but not every former player will know how to communicate it or put it into practice. The technician who is more theoretical can contribute a lot. You have to find that lace. Not every former player is a coach, nor will he not be able to train in the elite. There are cases of everything. Determine the personality and knowing how to surround yourself well. You have to be humble to soak up concepts, just as someone who is more theoretical should be so that the former player makes you see other things that do not appear in the books.
And how has the role of the coach changed since you've been involved in football?
It has changed a lot. Soccer, in my opinion, is decision making and solving problems. Before, coaches gave you fewer instructions than now, and you solved by intuition and repeated experiences. Now players are used to you giving him almost everything chewed up. Now they want you to solve their problems. That children or cadets work a lot tactically, in my opinion, can be counterproductive. The player, if he feels overprotected, always has a dependence on you, so that you give him the solutions and, then, he does not explore ways to have good decision-making by himself to understand the game.
Do you think that the player loses freedom and is afraid of making a mistake?
The player finds it difficult to surprise and get off the script. I remember saying to some player 'make me this diagonal', and the player make me ten diagonals in ten minutes. The player must have his personality. We cannot make automata. I do not like closing plays, each one will solve them in their own way, although we must guide them to achieve it. In formative football, everything is perhaps too regulated. In the First Division, the player barely listens to the coach while he plays and there you will notice your character and how he makes quick decisions that do not appear on the board. On the board, the technicians always win the games
What are your goals now?
The higher the challenge, the better, but what I'm looking for is a place where they let me work. I want to present my football idea. In formative football you have to adapt to that idea and I want to play in a certain way … I would like them to believe in that idea and in my coaching staff, and work at ease although I understand that in competitive football there is no patience, only results. It is logical, everything here is ephemeral.
And how are you as a technician?
There are coaches of all kinds, today there is a lot big data, but I am a defender of the coach's intuition. Intuition does not come out of nowhere, but from accumulated experience. That is the difference of doing it well or very well. I believe in the intangible, in my nose, and these do not always have to be backed by machines that give you figures. Soccer is usually a state of mind. There are a thousand uncontrollable variables, although there are people who believe that they can all be controlled. I respect it but I don't share it. The video has modified the game criteria and you have to seek to be unpredictable in your regularities. That happens to ensure that the player knows how to interpret what is happening at all times on the field
What do you think of the first team?
The Second is complicated, we already said it. It is very long and Espanyol has the problem that it is the rival to beat, and that generates anxiety. But bad spells were going to happen. I have no doubts that in the final stage it will be a solvent team like the one from the whole year and we should not go into mental crisis. Mindset is the main thing. The dressing room leaders must pull the cart at those times. It's quite a state of mind.
What Espanyol dreams of?
First of all, I would like a club where we all row to the same place, which does not mean that we all have the same ideas … but we do look only for the good of the club and not the staff. Regarding style, I would like Espanyol to be more aggressive. With and without the ball. He will surely not have players of the highest quality to take full control of the games, at least in Primera, which is where I hope we are, but he will be able to have a personality and attractive signs for people. We cannot let the fan down. He has to vibrate with the team and be proud whether he wins or loses. I look at Espanyol de Valverde, with its virtues and defects, and I always went for the games. That's what I like.