Mendilibar: “Kubo is 'jeta' on the field, he takes the ball and sends, and Inui is not”

José Luis Mendilibar, Eibar coach, praised on Friday the soccer self-confidence of Takefusa Kubo, a Japanese player for Villarreal on loan from Real Madrid. “Kubo is 'jeta' on the field, he takes the ball and sends, while Inui is not,” he said, referring to what distinguishes him from Takashi Inui, the Japanese winger of the Guipuzcoan First Division team. “The difference is that Kubo has cheekiness, when he receives the ball he commands the field, which is what I ask of Inui “, explained the Eibar coach, who visits Villarreal on Saturday (4pm) at the La Cerámica stadium.

Eibar Shield / Flag

The Catalans have already verified in their own 'meats' the quality of Takefusa Kubo, an offensive footballer who played last season (2019-2020) in Mallorca on loan from Real Madrid, after having trained in the Barcelona youth academy. The winger, 1.73 meters tall (of a height and weight similar to Inui), made the second goal of the Mallorcan team at

Eibar in Ipurua, with whom he sentenced the Eibar-Mallorca (1-2) duel played on March 7 – the first victory for the Balearic Islands at home – in which Inui was not summoned by Mendilibar.

“When Kubo dominates the ball, everyone, his teammates, have to move around him. He doesn't look at the others to see who crosses the ball. That is what sets you apart. If he receives a Kubo ball, he will face you, try the 'one against one'. He starts from the outside towards the goal and will finish on goal. The difference is cheekiness. Kubo and Inui are similar in physique, technique, and 'spark'. But one is 'jeta', and the other, not so much “, valued the preparer of the eibarreses.

Although Mendilibar appreciates Takashi Inui (whom he calls 'Taka'), because he is the Eibar player who “he better does what I explain in training “, It is also true that sometimes his collective spirit annoys him, in the sense that he misses a greater football 'selfishness' in Inui, who is always more concerned with combining with his teammates than assuming more individual leadership in his attacks by the left band. He is an offensive footballer who, on occasions, could risk more, because when he enters with conviction and verticality, dodging defenders, he hurts opponents by being fast in short distances and carrying the ball 'sewn' to the feet.

“Inui, there are times when he does very good things and at other times he makes you desperate. It's 'Taka'. He is exceptional in certain things, but then in the easy … It seems that he has done the most complicated, while he fails in the easy; because he loses the ball because he has settled down, or he gives it to the rival. That's the 'fight' we have with him. I have always said that Inui is the one who best understands what I ask of the players on the football field (in reference to putting pressure on the opponents in his area to try to recover the ball), but he needs to 'open up', be cheeky, a 'jeta'. He does not have that and I do not know if he will get it. That is his big problem“, said Mendilibar when evaluating the play of Takashi Inui, the Japanese footballer with the most matches played in the Spanish league, both with Eibar, Betis and Alavés.

Three Japanese footballers at the La Cerámica stadium

The Zaldibar coach made these statements in an interview broadcast by the official media of the Eibarresa entity, in which the journalists asked the questions the day before. Some of them were made by the Japanese media, because the Villarreal-Eibar duel has raised great expectations in Japan, where they continue the adventures of the Japanese footballers, like Kubo, Inui and now also forward Yoshinori Muto, who arrived at Eibar this week on loan from English Newcastle. Thus, for the first time, three Japanese footballers could play together in a First Division match.

Both Inui and Muto are international with Japan, both coinciding in the 2018 World Cup in Russia with the Japanese team. The presence of Muto could 'brighten up' the football of Inui, who lives only in the Basque Country, away from his family. Mendilibar expects a lot from Muto, who Eibar has been following in his footsteps for a long time. “We wanted to bring Muto in last January, but his club did not let him go,” the Zaldibar coach acknowledged. Now, on the other hand, Newcastle, where he was going to have few options to play due to the competition in the attacking position of the English team, have accepted his loan for one season (2020-2021).

“Muto can give us depth to the attack, uncheck the back of the rival defense, and goal. He is an open person, and I think it will cost him little to enter the dynamics. He is more open than Inui. I think he will even learn Basque, while the other (through Inui) has not learned the language, and has even forgotten Japanese. His incorporation to the squad will be faster, because 'Taka' will help him. Whatever we have to do, Inui will explain. It will be good for us. He is not very big (referring to his height of 1.78 meters), but he has a lot of agility and speed. He likes to play with his back and, also, he looks for his back to the rival, “said Mendilibar. The coach has called up Muto, which is surprising because he has trained for two days alone and has only been able to train with the group on Friday.

The four Eibar signings have traveled to Villarreal

Mendilibar has brought the four signings to Castellón lands, the Polish winger Damian Kadzior (Dinamo Zagreb), midfielder José Recio (on loan from Leganés), left back Kevin Rodrigues (on loan from Real Sociedad), and Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto (on loan from Newcastle). Kadzior and Recio already debuted against Celta (they were substitutes and played in the second half), while Kevin Rodrigues and Muto, who have arrived this week, could debut in Castellón.

“In the first place Kadzior and Recio arrived. They have completed the second week. Kadzior's problem at the beginning may be the language, although he will learn quickly what we look for in him. He wants to do a lot of things and sometimes he loses the position. José Recio, however, is more leisurely. With the ball he is calmer and he will improve that phase of the game. He gives out to the keeper and that is important, “he stressed.

The loss due to injury of José Ángel 'Cote', which left Eibar with only one left-back, Portuguese Rafa Soares, has been the reason to request the loan of Kevin Rodrigues, born in France but an absolute international with Portugal. . “Kevin has come to reinforce the left back. Between Rafa Soares and him they have to compete to see who can play. I hope that improves both and we can have a good left back,” he said.

Mendilibar acknowledged that to score at Villarreal you have to do better than with Celta, with a draw (0-0) that could have been defeat. “We have to improve the game with the ball. We can't get off the ball so quickly. The one who does not have the ball must give pass options to the one who does. Our idea has always been to play for the bands, get to the area, and get centers. However, in the second half against Celta we did little, “he said.

The key to obtaining a positive result for by “not receiving goals soon, That is important,” he said. Villarreal, who has changed coaches – Gipuzkoan Unai Emery replaces Javi Calleja – could not go beyond the level (1-1) with the recently promoted Huesca at La Cerámica last week. “Before Villarreal played with more pause, now they try to get to the rival area faster. I think they are in that phase of change. Let's see if we can take advantage of it,” he said hopefully.