Interviews

MANUEL PABLO: ďTHIS IS MY LAST YEARĒ

14 Feb 2015
Manuel Pablo announced his retirement during an interview with newspaper El PaŪs. He talked of the possibility of joining the coaching staff of the club and also about the future of Deportivo.

Long interview conceded by Deporís captain Manuel Pablo to journalist Juan Cudeiro from newspaper El PaŪs. The Canarian veteran announced his retirement been now the third player with more official Primera games at Deportivo. Heís also open to continue as an assistant, but said that before he must talk to the club. The following his the translation of the interview in which Deporís marksman announces his retirement:

Q: Should we move away from the drama passing from the good times to the present?
A: Yes. There comes a time when you donít reach the goals you had before. At Deportivo we left the Champions and started to move down, but the most difficult part was the first relegation, because we were surprised. Itís difficult to see how great it was, something for which you are not prepared, a little of that happens now at Athletic or Real [Sociedad]. Since then we live with both feet on the ground.

Q: Was it worth the debt that was created in order to win?
A: Itís a difficult question and one question also for the fans. When we were upstairs you were not aware that there could be a crash as there it was; it seems that all is fine, no one says anything, no one reported anything, you get your money and it seems that there are no problems and neither a great debt behind. I think it was worth to live it, but if they tell you "before than"...

Q: Perhaps thatís the question: If before winning they would have told you that fifteen years later the club would be to the brink of disappearance, would you have signed it?
A: Sure. You will have to see... We went through a very difficult situation a year ago and thatís why I give much credit to the last promotion. For me it was much more important than winning the league or the Centenariazo. That was nicer, but the promotion was vital for the club and started the tournament with sixteen players and a tremendous uncertainty.

Q: You faced the media as captain due to the lack of payments. Did you feel misunderstood?
A: Neither all the fans turned against us, only a small group. In such cases, some believe that the clubs disappear because of the players and it isnít like that.

Q: Are you frustrated for not been playing at 39 when you were a normal starter at 22?
A:. It's different. Been young you are more upset and think a lot about it. Now I try to train, to be competitive and earn the confidence of the coach, but also try to be calm and help because you know, after all things lived, to be united at the changing room is very important.

Q: Were you offered to be the assistant of Victor Fernandez?
A: It was something planned internally and I preferred to continue playing. I mentioned it to some partners and saw that it was important to continue close to them and a connection point with the coaching staff, but without passing into the other side.

Q: Riazor was always a friendly stadium with the team, but in recent months it has sprouted some protests. Do you perceive a greater demand?
A: There is, but the last two relegations burn a lot and there are also situations that occurred off the field. The tension is paid at the stadium, but we have a good group. The younger ones face more difficulties to adapt because a lot of new people have arrived, but as people they are phenomenal.

Q: Has the mentality of the young footballer changed?
A: Before it was harder to reach the first team. There were fewer opportunities because there was more money. When the European market opened then you had to shine a lot to go in, because the spots at the first team were covered without problems. Now very talented guys are coming, but less formed. They worked well in the base, but havenít competed yet.

Q: What contributes more to football, talent or training?
A: I believe a lot in the training. You see real phenomenal players that donít last too much, because tactically and competitively they struggle to express the talent they have. If you have it and if you quickly get the ideas then itís when you shine. A clear example is Isco, who has adapted to a demand and is growing as a player because the talent was already there. At Deportivo you need performance and maturity from the beginning because you have to get the permanence, but you're forced to look for not very veteran players, lads that arenít formed yet. What you do itís a gamble.

Q: Is progression the key for seeing the team improving?
A: Sure. For many the Primera Division is new. And they havenít had that continuity process at lower levels as others. We ask them to complete the same road that we did before but having more time.

Q: You debuted in the first team of Las Palmas in 1994 with Boronat as the coach
A: I was the left winger. I'll tell you a story: shortly after been on the team I suffered a blow in the thigh on a Friday. The next day Boronat asked me if I was prepared to play and I said that it was hurting a lot. I didnít make the trip for the game, but his assistant, who coached the B squad, told me I was going with him. I played the Las Palmas-Atlťtico and also scored a goal, and on the following Monday Boronat sent me to train with the reserves for twenty days. It was a punishment that was phenomenal to me, because I learned that if I had to leave a field then it had to be on a stretcher. I have played with discomfort, with strains...

Q: Are you hurt for not making a career in the club from your land?
A: I have been fine at Deportivo. I had stuck the thorn of not having the promotion of Las Palmas to Primera, but I lived beautiful moments as a Cup semifinal against Barcelona. I was there from the age of nine. I would like to play as Valerůn does now, but it doesnít obsess me. I've only known Las Palmas and Deportivo.

Q: Is this your last year?
A. Yes, certainly yes. I am not participating and little by little you are moving away.

Q: What are you feelings before the end?
A: For now I donít think too much about it. I will train and help during these months and I have a three-year contract with Deportivo. I would stick close to the players, they know me and think I can contribute. Maybe the idea of been a second trainer can return or the club thinks otherwise. We have to talk.

Q: Would it be difficult to be the boss over those who are now your partners?
A: For me no, it would be annoying for them! (He laughs). They know how I am and, that I put a lot of pressureÖ I'm very picky.

Q: Who is the professional that has made the bigger impact in you? Apart from Valerůn of course.
A: Mauro Silva. He was perfect, a complete player. Champion, mate, humble and very competitive. When he ordered something it was already done.

Q: What characteristics should a coach have?
A: Itís annoying to be the coach. I think the important thing is to have a very involved group and try to be fair. Offering rewards to those who maybe you cannot be fair, have a clear idea and work on it... And it's still difficult because you train, you put it into practice and sometimes it doesnít work. Therefore it is vital to be able to change what it isnít working.

Q: Something is happening this year at Deportivo, right?
A: Yes. When you work with both the ball and tactical aspects with so many young people then you suffer, because you see that they are greener. With the squad we had for the Champions you didnít need that. You only gave them some guidelines. What could you say to Djalminha?

Q: How do you remember your arrival to that group of stars at Deportivo?
A: I arrived with a lot of confidence, because I was coming of playing everything with Las Palmas, but started as the substitute for Armando. I was a stranger, came alone to Galicia, from an island. On weekends, with the team traveling, I was at home.

Q: And grew until it reached the injury. What are you feelings remembering it?
A: To be happy after overcoming something so serious and to be able to play after so many years. It is a feeling of improvement. I went to play a game with the national team, I played the Champions. I found myself okay, but without the regularity that I had before. I missed to be one hundred percent reliable and donít know why. It wasnít anything that had to do with the physical aspect, but I was more clueless on the pitch.

Q: You could have been transferred to Madrid and didnít force an exit. Why?
A: Because it is my way of being. I went to talk to Lendoiro and said it was a good option for both parties, but I explained that we had just won the league, we were going to play the Champions League and that Madrid was a direct rival. And didnít say anything else... well, that he should think about it. My way of life is not to get in rebellion or force anything. I am not like that. I think the president thought I would reach the World Cup and could revalue me a little more.

Q: Lendoiro said at the time that you were more profitable than Zidane.
A: I guess it was because I wasnít so expensive (He laughs).

Q: And now what is the future of Deportivo?
A: To escape from relegation in any possible way. Another relegation would be fatal, because the club is financially tied for the coming years. We would remain two or three years in the pools for the relegation and in that time they must work in making a stable team that could be progressing. Steps are being taken to professionalize the structure of the club and there is a good idea, but with the relegation a lot of things can go down too.

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