Squad news


20 Aug 2012
Fourth meeting between these two coaches; Depor’s trainer targets the permanence, but wants to continue with his philosophy of going game after game. Mendilibar, meanwhile, wants to see his team improving away from home.

José Luis Mendilibar is a Basque coach  with a long career in the game, but that  only debuted at Primera División until the year 2005, and it was a short experience because he was fired from Athletic Bilbao before the end of the first round (he just coached for ten games).

He arrived to Real Valladolid in the summer of 2006 and achieved the promotion to Primera División breaking all the records at Segunda. Mendilibar stayed there until he was fired at the middle of the liga campaign 2009/10.  He stayed out of business for one full year, until returning on February 14, 2011 replacing Camacho at CA Osasuna.

And he proved to be a success, because Osasuna found some stability ending 9th that season and 7th on the campaign 2011/12, just missing the European zone by one point. José Luis Oltra, meanwhile, returns to Primera after clinching his third promotion. Liga BBVA remains as a pending issue for him as in his previous three opportunities his teams –Levante, Tenerife and Almeria- ended relegated. The Valencian coach wants to change this situation with Deportivo.

 This is the fourth opportunity in which these two coaches are facing each other in la liga; both men have clinched a victory and the other game ended in a draw. Their last meeting was the 3-3 draw between Valladolid and Tenerife during the Primera season 2009/10.

Depor’s trainer offered his first liga press conference on Saturday’s morning; he talked with reporters for twenty minutes; he begun previewing the liga season, “Finally the season is getting underway; we begun the pre-season on July 19; we have left behind the period in which we were searching for feelings, now we are looking for results. The goal is clear: the permanence, leaving three rivals behind us. And the goal can only be achieved every weekend, adding the three points each week.”

“This week the only think in our minds is to add the three points against Osasuna, and we can do it thanks to our fans, this year we already have 25,000, which is incredible. People are hopeful and pushing us as they did last year. And we´ve a solid team for it, we are targeting a pretty goal.  Our goal, I insist, is to leave three rivals behind us.” He added.

Then the Valencian tactician analyzed Osasuna, “It’s an important rival, last year they ended seventh and has its strength in the collective, in the group; they do have solid players, though they have lost some key men, but they hired another ones. They´ve a coach with a strong character and that’s doing greatly Thanks to him they practice a physical football. He has spent three years at the club.”

Asked about his opinion on the signings made so far, Oltra said that they need time to adapt, “I do believe we have signed quality people, they’re ready to learn; evidently we want to win, but I’m conscious that we have eight new players and the league is new for us. Rome wasn’t conquered in one day. So, the team needs time to adapt and assimilate the concept. We need an adaptation period.  Perhaps the philosophy is the same, but we need to adapt to the rivals and to the league. It’s necessary to insist, always knowing the reality of the competition.”

“The new signings aren’t coming in order to replace anyone, but have the hierarchy to help the team, though we already had that hierarchy with players like Valerón, Aranzubia, Jesús Vázquez… German Lux... to mention a few. We already had some players with experience, and others have arrived; they aren’t replacing anyone; they’re just arriving in order to bring what they have. We’ve a competitive squad and let’s hope we can demonstrate it on the pitch.” He added.

In any case the Catarroja-born trainer understands that his team is ready to compete, “I see that the team is fine, fine in the physical sense, fine regarding having the proper idea, fine for been familiarized with the philosophy, and now let’s see if we can impose our ideas, because no matter we want to have the ball possession, the true is that we´re facing an intense rival, so perhaps we won’t be able to make our combinative game, so we could end winning using other resources One thing is to see this team training, and another to see the player competing. What I believe is that this team has potential.”

As it’ normal he didn’t want to give any hint related to the first lineup on the new season, “You can guess with the lineup, but I won’t tell you anything, because later we can end losing some players tomorrow. At this point the only men that are ruled out are Salomão and Laure, though Ze Castro is also out despite been training with the group. I won’t count with him as he hasn’t received the medical okay. The rest can take part of the game and we´ll see on Monday.”

Then the coach was asked about the possible arrival of Carlos Muñoz, one of the strikers linked with Depor; and the response was, “Is Carlos Muñoz the players that we want? I don’t know, but any good player is welcome at the squad, absolutely; his numbers are there, but it doesn’t mean anything. I believe the club is working hard and the evidence is the team that we already have. Maybe we could hire a new player, maybe not, but the most probable thing is that we will sign somebody, and we can’t rule out an exit. You don’t know what could happen as the market close its doors until day 31, until that day the squad is open to me. That we will end without the last signing? Well, then we are fine as I do believe that we have enough team to compete.”

“If we sign a striker, though later we could end signing a player with a different profile, the preference is to hire a different player to what we already have; evidently I want to see him scoring a lot of goals. We are trying to sign a different player, but the market is the one that puts the conditions. The original idea is to hire something different. I want something good, cheap, pretty and handsome, and if it is a striker, then I want a goal scorer.” He added.

Finally, Oltra leaves an open door to an exit from the team, though he said that it must be a situation analyzed by him and the club, “It’s a situation that must be valorized by me and the club, it’s a situation that can occur as any player could come asking for the door out. If we need to make a decision then we’ll do it and somebody would have to leave.”

Osasuna’s coach addressed the media on Sunday’s morning; he believes that his team must have a solid start on the liga season, “We must be at one hundred percent. It isn’t useful to say that we are going to be at the top by Christmas. We must have a strong start and play at the top since the first game. There are no excuses; the excuses are for the losers. The serious stuff begins now. Only the three points count and we´ll try to begin adding points.”

About Deportivo, he said that, “Deportivo is a good team, they just spent one year at Segunda. But I hope that my team is going to put the pace and that they will be forced to play under our terms. Perhaps they don’t have a high pace, but it’s a rival that tries to protect the ball. They have players that can surprise you at any moment.”

“They can also surprise you from the second line or at the wings. They have punch in attack. Deportivo have the same base from the past year and also keep the same style. They achieved the promotion by a large margin. They just spent one season at Segunda, it was just a little error that was fixed very quickly, and that isn’t easy to achieve.” He added.

The Basque man is also aware that, last season, his team didn’t match the expectations playing on the road, “I want to see the players performing as I want: to see them playing at the other side of the pitch and always giving everything. Sometimes we aren’t like this and just go out to see things coming, and in that way we ended suffering negative results, and that’s what I don’t want to see.”

In a previous interview at La Voz de Galicia, Mendilibar made an interesting analysis of the current situation at Spanish football, “If a guy owes me money that I don’t have to pay this year, and we’ll agree to it, it becomes convenient for the individual and the debt grows. Then come the lean years, for both the tax office and the club and it ends up like this. This is why we are where we are. This neglect of the finances has weakened the League’s clubs and players are now leaving to others that are healthier. We have lived beyond our means and now we cannot meet our needs.”



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