Joan Francesc Ferrer Sicilia, Rubi, (1970, Barcelona), loves to talk about football, being one of the coaches who has passed through the local Mediterranean bench in recent years who has least thrown on topics. When he landed at Almería in April of this year, he did so with the aim of achieving promotion to the First Division in thirteen months. Nevertheless, He refuses the term in his more than half an hour of meeting with ‘AS’, in the interview itself and before and after it. In the first part, the coach raised in Vilasar de Mar acknowledged that he is very happy to be in Almería and Almería, before addressing more sporting questions about this season.
Despite being able to spend hours and hours talking about the round, even at home, with his son (he plays in the youth team of La Cañada), he also enjoys the little moments that his busy day to day allows him to disconnect from football, getting lost in Cabo de Gata or soaking up the history of World War II, the history of the Spanish Civil War … or the history of football. Because in the end he always ends up talking about football.
The calendar takes a break again and presumably there will now be less rotations. How difficult is it to manage a locker room?
To tell you the truth, I don’t know how we’re going to approach it about the rotations. We now go day by day, training to training. Now we have to make the line-up against Ibiza. When we get the one from Valladolid, we will do that. I am not concerned at all that at any given moment the coach varies a player in the starting team. It will always be done with some meaning. We have shown that it does not matter who plays. All but two or three players have participated in these five victories. There is no point in talking about a fixed eleven in modern football today. Perhaps before our grandparents knew an alignment by heart because no changes could be made. Then the changes came in, which I think was one, then two … But nowadays any footballer is physically and tactically prepared, on a technical level … It is normal that people may like one footballer more than another , is one hundred percent respectable. But I have no doubt that everyone can play as a starter on this team.
There are days like Leganés that go ahead without giving their best version. After four days they expire in the discount in Gijón. It gives the feeling that they are champion team victories.
I don’t know, hopefully, hopefully. Before you talked about turning points and notice that there are many in a season. As you say, the Leganés game is a very complicated game. The rival obviously did not come in a comfortable situation, but he was super concentrated throughout the game and it created difficulties for us, especially so that we were not comfortable; not so much on scoring occasions, but yes to make us uncomfortable. I place a lot of value on that victory. Or the last twenty minutes against Real. It proved to be a great team, super well worked. We came from losing in Éibar and drawing with Las Palmas. Those twenty minutes where we take the game forward give you another boost. There are so many situations in which you need that little point … If you do not go with everything and do not work on them, those very positive situations are not going to come to you.
Never before had any Almería scored 34 points in 15 days, only one less than the historical record for the category. It is also the best team in the history of the club in terms of goals in favor and the best in the Mediterranean. What they say These data?
They tell me that the responsibility to maintain the level is very great. I know that what we have done so far is very complicated, but we want to extend the good numbers and the victories as long as we can. Our mentality is that bad times take time to come. We know that it is very complicated, so we cannot relax for a minute.
Before your arrival, the UDA had been a leader only six times since its inception. This season has already been eight. Is it easy to manage leadership?
No, the other way around, we are very happy. The only thing we try is that if at any given moment the leadership is lost or the team goes through a bad streak, that we are very united in anticipation of that happening. Hopefully it doesn’t happen and we continue as we are.
In Al-Sheikh’s two previous projects, the team looked nervous at the decisive moment of the season. Is this Almería mentally strong?
We are a strong dressing room, united and prepared for the good and the bad, but what you have said is very important: it is a very big mistake to put an excess of responsibility and pressure, a desire that arrives on May 30 when you are in November , to any template at any level and category. It is a very big mistake because this ends up blocking the footballer. When you block the footballer, the results are not going to come. We are squeezing the footballers, but within normal channels, of being demanding, not crazy asking people for things that they cannot give you.
You already got a promotion, with Huesca in 2018. What is the recipe to achieve a goal of such depth?
It was a wonderful year. The memory with all the Huesca, with the whole club and all the fans is fantastic. With the recipe I will be reiterative. With that Huesca we were leading for many weeks and we had a streak in which we got four draws and four defeats. The team went eight games without winning. The calm that was transmitted at that time allowed the team to reactivate. When a team has shown that it has a level, it can lose it for a while; but if you are calm, you end up recovering it again. There is the key that the promotion does not escape.
How are you Sedge? Was that of injuries a risk that had to be assumed in view of his later years?
Carriço is in the process of recovery. He is a great professional, a person who takes great care of himself and who works hard to always be well. But it is true that now he is feeling a bit discouraged because he was in a good moment at the training level. He had played the Real game. It was a hard blow. It is true that the signings are analyzed to the maximum and if you look at it, he had practically played continuously in the Chinese league. He had not had injury situations. Sometimes these things happen and you have to move on.
Can Sadiq and Sousa play together and complement each other?
There is no doubt. In the Eibar field they already played for a while together. They can play together. But we have to be careful not to lose good things that we have, when the team takes the games anyway. There we have to be calm. When they both have to play together, it will be done, but it will be difficult to improve the results we are doing. With them two together or not.
I asked him at a press conference, but now I do it in a more relaxed atmosphere: do you understand that there are whistles to Sadiq even though they are not in the majority?
Let’s see, I think it has been very dim. What our hobby has, which, in addition, is giving us a lot, is that when a disagreement with the team or with Sadiq may appear at a given moment, people immediately try to show the most applause and cheer. That is very important, I hope we do not lose it. Therefore, I do not consider that situation, but that there has been a situation of a specific play that has gone wrong that could not end in some better way. But denying the evidence is impossible, with what he’s giving us and helping us. Another thing is at a specific moment, with Sadiq or with anyone who misses a goal pass or a goal, because there is a little discouragement. People are helping us a lot.
How much is Rubi responsible for making the template?
In little. I always say the same thing: I always give my opinion one hundred percent when asked, but I have been training in clubs for many years and coaches paint little. I already tell you that clearly. We paint little because sometimes they want to make you see that you are a participant in a decision, but in truth the decision has been made by others. And sometimes you don’t even get involved. Those in charge are the ones who have to make the templates and make them. They are wrong if they don’t pay attention to the coaches, especially with the footballers we have already had. If I have had one and I think it can be valid, I am not mistaken, I already know that. Now, a footballer I’ve seen on video … That’s not my job. That is done by others and I can give my opinion, but my opinion there is valid in a very low percentage because a much longer follow-up is needed and we do not have time, since we have to dedicate ourselves to training and preparing things. That’s what other people are for. It is not in Almería, but everywhere. Nowadays there is the figure of the sports directors and they are the ones who cut the cod in that sense, not the coaches, except the three world championships, consecrated and that nobody coughs them. The rest we paint little. Our obligation is to get the most out of it. It’s what I have to understand. If I do not get performance, I am guilty. But I’m not making the squad, neither here nor anywhere, neither for better nor for worse.
How do you manage in a changing room with so many nationalities and languages?
Trying to make them see from the first day that what unites them is the most important thing in life, that they are people. It does not matter the nationalities or ethnic groups. If we all understand that we are people, it is much easier. That is the key.
Speaking of wardrobe, how have you done so that it is not the powder keg that was last year?
First, by generating group cohesion, showing them that everyone is important. Then, if there is ever a lack or a problem, as it happens in all changing rooms in the world, solving it quickly, not letting problems become encrusted.
How many entries and exits will there be in January?
I do not know. As I just told you a moment ago, that responsibility does not belong to the coach. The people who have to speak have to speak about the signings. What I am clear about is that we will try to do the best possible to help the team and that Almería have a second round where any problem at a physical level or injury, we will have compensated in the squad. I have no doubt that the people in charge are doing everything they can to help the team.
Are you worried that someone might pay the release clause for Sadiq or another stronghold?
It doesn’t worry me because, on the one hand, I see that they want to finish the season with us; and secondly, because I know that the club, and has transmitted it to me like this, has the priority of finishing the season with the footballers that we have. They already made the effort in the summer to keep those players. They have realized that they have not been wrong. So I don’t think we have to vary the strategy. Another thing is that nothing can be done because one comes and goes ‘bang’ [hace el gesto de pagar]. That doesn’t have me worried. If it happens, it will happen.
Finally, describe three names to me: Turki Al-Sheikh.
A man who deserves great joy. He has put a lot of dedication and a lot of enthusiasm in this project. I hope I can give you what you deserve, which is a lot.
Mohamed El Assy.
A person who also loves the good of Almería a lot. He is on top in decision making. He seems like a pretty smart person to me.
We have worked very coordinated. We are trying to help each one contributing their grain of sand, each one in their own facet. We have had a very intense summer, with the issue of exits and entrances, but, within the fact that there are always decisions that are seen in different ways, something normal in football today, in most of us we have been united in making decisions. decisions.