Squad news


18 Feb 2012
José Luis Oltra is aware of the euphoria after the present winning streak of the team, but keeps saying that football has no past and neither future, just present, and for him the only present is Barcelona B.

Eusebio Sacristán Mena is a well-known former player of Barcelona, RC Celta and Real Valladolid that conquered several trophies during his career. He won one UEFA Champions League, one Copa Del Rey and four liga titles playing for the Catalans, all of this within the years 1988 and 1995.  He also played fifteen times with Spain’s national team and was also part of the team for the UEFA Euro 1988, although he didn’t took part of any match.

He retired in 2002 at Real Valladolid, at the time he was 38 and ended with an impressive mark of 543 La Liga appearances, the second-best mark at Primera División, only behind legendary goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta. Then he opened a football school in Valladolid and also obtained his coaching degree and, between the years 2003 and 2008, was part of Frank Rijkaard's staff at Barcelona.

His first experience as the head coach of a football team was at RC Celta de Vigo; he was hired as the replacement of Pepe Murcia for the season 2009/10 and, despite achieving the permanence at Segunda, he didn’t renew his contract due to some personal problems with the club’s officials. During the past summer Eusebio was named as the successor of Luis Enrique at Barcelona B as this last one decided to join Italian outfit AS Roma. This is his second official meeting against José Luis Oltra after the 2-3 of the first round.

Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Friday’s morning; he talked for twenty minutes with reporters and started talking of Guardado’s status, “We will wait for tomorrow; he was able to complete the training, which is a good sign, but will wait 24 hours in order to make a decision. He was dragging a problem from the past week and asked for the substitution on Sunday, though the change wasn’t made for this reason. We will wait to know his sensations and will decide until the last minute. I’m moderately optimistic about his participation on Saturday.” [He was picked in the end]

Then he talked of Aranzubia, “We will also wait to tomorrow; I don’t assume that he is ready yet, because he hasn’t completed any training session on this week; he still dragging a problem and is the same status of Andrés [Guardado]. We will see if he is able to complete tomorrow’s training and which are his sensations, if not I am not worried as we have the goal well covered.” [The keeper was also picked].

Asked about Xisco and Lassad, the Valencian trainer said that, “Xisco didn’t train yesterday with the group, today he completed the session, but did it in special conditions; he will make tests tomorrow. About Lassad, he completed the trainings on the past week, though he didn’t feel safe, and on this week he didn’t have any problem, so at the beginning he will be available. We will see what we choose for the game.”

Oltra isn’t worried for the recent physical problem of the attackers as he thinks that there are enough options at the squad, “We have plenty of choices, that we don’t have natural replacements it doesn’t mean that we don’t have options to fill the gaps. Salomão can play on that position, with other characteristics, with velocity, unbalance, verticality… Pablo [Álvarez] has also played there; with us he did it on the pre-season and has the conditions to do it. Even Guardado can play there. It means that we have alternatives; it isn’t a position that’s worrying me; in the end I think we can count with Xisco, another thing is that he will be fit for this match, but we also have Lassad and Riki. In the end I will have three of the four strikers available, and maybe I will only pick one of them, because I understand that there are other alternatives.”

Later he denied that this match is going to be similar to the one played before Villarreal B, “The B squads are special teams, and this is a unique team, firstly because it has different goals, both in individual as in a collective sense, then they have quality and follow the same style of playing at the first team. After us and Celta is the third team with more goals in favour, it’s also one of the best visitors, I think the seventh or eighth, a quick team that plays good football. We are warned as these matches motivate them; these players want to show themselves.”

“It was tough to defeat them in the first round; they had 71% of the ball possession, so we must be prepared. Many people believes that it will be easy as it’s a B team, or because we are coming in the middle of a good streak, or because we are playing at home; that’s all fine, but all of this won’t help us, it only helps what we do on the pitch, that’s why where we are now at the top. This match won’t be similar to the one with Villarreal, the only similarity is that both are B squads, but both play differently.” He commented.

Asked about the matches that the direct rivals will play among them in the coming weeks, Depor’s trainer was pretty clear with his way to view the future, “I only care of Deportivo; I’m careless of the others; as long as we can keep playing like this, as long as we keep winning we will surely open a gap with the others, right now I am not worried about the direct confrontations among the other rivals.”

“We won’t win this game just for having eight straight victories, neither for having 25,000 fans at the stands, it doesn’t count for the future; to see Riki scoring twice and playing well it doesn’t mean that he will do the same on Saturday, though it could help him to feel more confident. The past doesn’t count for the future, football doesn’t have past or future, only present and our present is Barca B, it’s a complicate game and we should be highly focused in order to win.” He added.

The coach is also happy as it’s predicted a high attendance for Saturday, though he said that the part will only be completed with a victory, “The party will be on only if we win, normally the party is complete if you achieve the goal, and the goal for this game are the three points; you already know the goal for the whole season. It’s something to be thankful if more people is coming, it helps to have more support and I want to thank the public for it, but if the players don’t yield, then the party won’t be complete.”

Finally, he is optimistic about prolonging the current winning streak of the team, “We already broke the record, why do we have to stop now? Let’s hope we can continue and leave the mark in a complex point, and I believe it will be hard to break, we want to remain in history, though to win eight games won’t give us anything, it will lose its value if we don’t achieve the final goal. Right now we only think of defeating Barca B; we need to do the right things in order to win the game.”

Barcelona’s coach talked to reporters on Friday’s morning, just before the trip to La Coruña; he is aware of the importance of the rival, “We are facing an attractive game, plenty motivating for us. We are feeling encouraged to do the right things and achieve a victory there.”

“We must practice our game no matter where we play; this is a pitch where we will be able to enhance our strengths. It’s seems that we’ll have the circumstances and all the possibilities to have a good game. The team doing the rights things will be one claiming the victory.” He added.

He is confident that Barca B will have a good game before Deportivo as both sides have a similar style, “Their way of playing could be a benefit for us in order to develop our game, but we must understand that we are facing a great squad. A team that manages all the facets in the game, with a good dynamic, full experienced and with a lot of quality. They are living a solid moment and it brings confidence to them, but it’s also a motivation for us in order to conquer a victory and prolong our current good form.”

Despite the absentees at his team, the former player of Valladolid is confident in the level of his youngsters, “We were forced to change some players due to the needs at the first team and for that reason we are making changes at the starting lineup, but still, we have a quality group with a great level.”

Finally, Eusebio was praising Valerón, a player that he loves to watch on the grass, “To see him playing is something to enjoy. He moves throughout the pitch with elegance and intelligence; it’s pretty to watch him. It’ an honour to face him.”



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