Interviews

Q&A WITH RICHARD BARRAL

06 Oct 2016
Sporting director Richard Barral conceded an interview to La Voz de Galicia, he talked of Sidneiís renewal, the arrival of Babel, plus the expectations on «olak and Andone.

Q: After seven matchdays, do you still think the squad is better than last season?
A: We have a good squad, enough to spend a relatively quiet year. We were complicated by the departure of Lucas with the league already started and with the injuries of Joselu and Sidnei, but since we're all together, the team can only go further. Despite the problems we have competed in every game. We were excessively penalized in the match against Athletic. I donít blame the referee, because sometimes they give us, but we were fine, we got a disallowed goal, we lost Sidnei and Joselu... that game penalized us and made us hesitate a little and lost confidence. Now after the victory over Sporting the team can only go up. In football anything can happen, and great squads like Atletico, Valencia or Zaragoza have fallen into Segunda, but right now I donít see the permanence as a goal but as an obligation.

Q: There are only four clubs with a lower salary cap compared to Depor, for how many teams in the league would you change the current squad?
A: Removing the big ones, plus Villarreal, Sevilla, Athletic... we are at the same level as many teams, neither more nor less than others. For me the goal is to win every game and the permanence is an obligation, not the goal of the season, but neither was last year.

Q: With the measures taken do you believe it was fixed the conflict that engulfed the team during the last stretch of the past season?
Yes, now the changing room is connected to the coaching staff. Everybody at the coaching staff represents people that already lived the experience, with binding capacity, they are credible before the player, it is an honest group. At this time the locker room is a millpond and all the people are together, whoever plays and the one that doesnít.

Q: With the passage of time is it reaffirmed the decision of Victorís dismissal?
A: I was clear with what had happened and the type of coach we needed. At the moment of searching branding coaches you put a number of parameters, some are sporting and other group management. With Gaizka we found what we were looking for, also good for Gaizka and his coaching staff, which is very important too.

Q: Would have been easier to hire a former Deportivista or more known coach...
A Of course, it would be more socially applauded, but as a professional I have to analyze everything. I have data and information, because I am in this world and I know it. With all the data I came to this conclusion and the short list of coaches that I introduced to the board and from there we valorised and we concluded that the most interesting choice was Gaizka. But it wasnít easy, because there are aspects that people donít understand and immediately pulls that he was fired on the ninth matchday of Segunda Division, regardless of how it happened or without analyzing all the previous path with Eibar.

Q: And you, do you feel more examined in your decisions after VŪctorís dismissal?
A: No, the only thing that changed was the media exposure, I give more press conferences and interviews. But the responsibility is the same. And the way I see football is the same: neither euphoric when things are going well nor fall into depression when they go wrong. When you sign twelve players some will perform better and some worse, but you have to analyze the reasons.

Q: Do you have a remaining to strengthen the squad in January?
A: Yes, there is always a mattress, as good Galicians we are savers, and if thereís an opportunity or a need we can do it.

Q: And isnít frustrating as a professional that those signings of a season have to leave if they succeed?
A: But it's a nice challenge, because the club, in these three years, has improved. The first year it was a matter of forming the squad, it was a very difficult situation for the salary cap and the difficulties to acquire players; the conditions improved last year and this year we took another step. The challenge from the sporting management is to grow in a sporting sense and generate goodwill with sales, the club is already at that point and has grown in every aspect.

Q: How is affected Deportivo, with so fragmented capital and its financial constraints, by the actual arrival of foreign investors to Spanish football?
A: Those teams win in economic potential, but lose in essence, idiosyncrasy and identity. It is permissible, but I like the situation of Deportivo. To us this situation doesnít affect us. Maybe you offer less money, but have more stability.

Are there problems with the renewal of Sidnei?
A: It was a matter of time, when we matched the offer of Valencia with Benfica, we were missing to fix his contract. We made an immediate approach, but at the same time the case with Joselu occurred, also the issue of Babel and the true is that we had to focus on that and leave the issue of Sidnei, but momentarily. Now we are working and the differences are very small, at any moment we are going to close the contract with the player. But we had to park it by the events that occurred.

Q: Are Deportivo securing the player for a long time?
A: Let's hope so. The new contract will be of four or five years from now own. It will last until 2020 or 2021. It wonít be a problem.

Q: Will it have a release clause like the one of Lucas?
A: The clauses are those that the players allow us. If it was it for us, we would put 200 million to each player, but this is a negotiation and is a two-side thing.

Q: Let's talk about Babel, the last to arrive, directly from unemployment and who recently starred in an epic victory, was his signing a respond to an emergency situation or did you already have him in your portfolio?
A: We were not going to sign anybody else, only to replace Joselu and someone worthwhile, we didnít want to sign just for the pleasure of signing. And we didnít hesitate at the moment of having the possibility of Babel. He is a young player, a top player who can give us a lot and still has many years in football. If someone had arisen that wasnít filling, then we wouldnít have signed that player. It was just because we lost Joselu.

Q: In a moment, did you fear that the bet could go wrong?
A: It could occur, because when you turn to unemployed players thereís always the risk, it is higher. You cannot judge a player the same if he is out of the transfer market. The reduction of the market is brutal. Messi is not unemployed, nor Neymar. With Babel there was an atypical situation. That day we signed him he had four offers, some from important teams, including one of first class in France. People didnít know that Babel was unemployed. Everyone believed he had one more year of contract, but rescinded on the last day.

Q: How did you land with Babel, was it your idea?
A: We had information that he was unemployed. We immediately, after the injury of Joselu, started looking at players without a contract. We spoke to some, to see what was their situation, but when we found out that Babel was available, we didnít hesitate and put all the meat on the grill. We had no doubt with him and ruled out other options.

Q: Is it a pipe dream to think that he could complete the season at Deportivo?
A: We already tried to sign him until June 30. In other cases, yes we talked until December 31, but in his case no. With Babel and we tried to sign him until June 30, what happens is that it wasnít possible. We didnít have an agreement until June 30 and we had to do it until December 31.

Q: «olak.
I'm not surprised at all with what heís doing, because I knew him very well. It was made official many months later when we got interested in him. I still think that he is just starting and has much to give. It comes from Turkish football, he doesnít speak Spanish and is not fluent in English, so thereís a communication problem thatís affecting him, but heís a player of great quality and at the moment he finds a place, to see him speaking Spanish, then his performance will be higher.

Q: Andone.
A: I have no doubts with Andone. He scored goals all his life and will continue to do so. The lack of scoring is because we havenít had enough arrivals, we lacked more opportunities, defensively we have been fine and offensively we have done very good things, but have not generated enough opportunities. Why? Because we have lost major players like Joselu, Bruno Gama for a month and a half, Marlos had to play without been fit, Carles Gil also had another problem... Apart from Sidnei, all the problems have been in the same area. At the moment they all could be available, plus Babel, when they could be fit, then we will score goals. How many of these men have been a hundred percent ready? Thatís penalizing us, not the lack of scoring.

Q: Navarro and Lux end contract at the end of the season.
A: Navarro has one more year if he plays a certain number of games that cannot be said publicly.

Q: And Lux?
A: We are not looking at that. In the second part of the year we will address that kind of thing.

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