Squad news

OLTRA VS SIMEONE

09 Dec 2012
Depor’s coach was under pressure, but keeps saying that his team is playing attractive football. This time he said that the fans are enjoying more compared to past years. Simeone, meanwhile, confirmed that Filipe & Diego Costa will play.

Diego Pablo Simeone is one of the most successful coaches in present football, but also made a name in his career as a player. The Argentine man played at seven different clubs, including Atlético Madrid, club where he won la liga and the Copa Del Rey during the season 1995/96. He also conquered all the titles in Italy playing for SS Lazio and added the UEFA Cup with Internazionale, only missing to conquer the Champions League.

He was also a record man playing for Argentina; he made 106 appearances with his national team; currently he’s the third man on the list of more international matches at the South American country, only below Javier Zanetti (145) and Roberto Ayala (115). As it happened with his history at the clubs, he conquered several titles, including the Copa America 1991 & 1993, but missed the highest price: the FIFA World Cup.

Simeone extended his successful run when he decided to become a coach. He conquered the Torneo Apertura 2006 with Estudiantes and later the Torneo Clausura 2008 with River Plate. On December 23, 2011, Simeone was unveiled as the new Atlético Madrid coach and had an imminent impact, because he only needed eight months to earn two European titles: the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup. Many people complained because he wasn’t named as part of the finalists in the UEFA list for manager of the year. This is his first official meeting with José Luis Oltra, who is living the opposite scenario, questioned as his team lives in relegation.

OLTRA
Depor’s coach addressed the media on Friday’s morning; he talked with reporters for twenty minutes. He was under the pressure of some journalists, mainly in the issues related to his continuity at the club and the perception of the fans regarding the performance of the team. Oltra managed the situation pretty well and stayed calm.

He started analyzing the situation lived at the team during the week after the recent defeat at the Riazor, “For me things have been normal: trying to focus on our task and what can be improved at the team. We need to prepare the next game in the best possible way and I see that things are normal inside the group, because the players are focused and willing to work; they’re united and committed in order to clinch the goal. I didn’t see things being different, though evidently the current situation isn’t the best and neither is what we want, but it was a normal week compared to the rest.”

Later he commented an inquiry about the commitment of the players towards the coach, “I valorize it according to the current status of the team and according to what you ask; I don’t know any player going out to a press conference stating that they’re until death with the coach; it is you [the journalists] who ask, and as a consequence of a series of questions they end responding, and these questions are usually uncomfortable for the players, and in the end they respond the normal thing. In this case I believe that there’s a union at the team.”

The most polemic moment was when the reporters started to ask the coach about the pessimism among the fans after the latest results; firstly Oltra said that, “You say this, the journalists are creating an opinion; I blame you for that, but it isn’t only me doing it, you can hear what Michel and Mourinho say about it. We believe you’re only focusing on the negative issues; the questions are going in the same direction. I can’t reproach anything to the fans, I only have words of gratitude for them, but later I never saw them going out of the Riazor unhappy or crying, especially with this group of footballers, who gave their souls in every game, some days with more accuracy and others without it. That later they watch the situation at the standings? Yes, but we talked before of what was the goal was and that it was going to be a complicate year. A lot still to be played yet and must remain calm as I see a group with enough arguments.”

And it’s that for Oltra the fans of Deportivo are enjoying with the game displayed by the team despite the negative results, “What the fans transmit to me, they are very good fans, educated and correct,  what they transmit to me on the street is support to the team, confidence, a lot of tranquility and a lot of optimism. That’s what I detect, probably you, who are closer to people, will have a different view.“

“I believe that yes, this year and in the past one, the fans are enjoying more compared to past moments, and feel more identified with it, at least it’s my personal opinion, perhaps I am seeing a reality that isn’t real. But I insist; I don’t play for people and neither to play well; I play to win. I try to work and would love to see the team winning. I believe we have made very good games, the second half at Valencia, almost the entire game at Granada… at home against Betis, the first 20 or 40 minutes, even the second part. Many games that didn’t brought good results, but the team played well.” He added

About the rival, Oltra stated that, “Atlético Madrid is a great team; they have won all the games at home, a team that’s the runners-up in liga and that qualified in Europe, a team that have won the Europa League and that has a coach that brings character, besides a team with a large squad and a big budget, probably with the best players on their positions, but we’ve enough arguments to compete and already did it well at other stadiums. That’s our thought. People already told me that Atlético Madrid won’t win all their home games, perhaps they were only trying to cheer me up. My vision is to try to play there, to see the team focused and not committing mistakes, to present our best version. In resume, to persevere in our intentions, because we cannot go out already defeated.”

Asked if he’s worried for been playing with two rookies at the centre of the defense, the Catarroja-born coach answered that, “Falcao is pretty good and any player assuming the responsibility of his mark will do a great you. You are assuming that Roderick and Insua are playing, which is pretty good as they are the only natural options for that position, but there are other possibilities with more experience. Manuel Pablo, Evaldo, Álex, there are a lot of possibilities. The point is that I am not worried due to the age of the players, but to see both matching a great level; I am also worried of Falcao, because if we could have the best and most veteran centre-back it would be the same, we are possibly talking of the best striker in the world. I am worried of that, and not if both centre-backs are 20.”

Despite the casualties at the centre of the defense, Oltra assured that no one from Deportivo B, apart from Insua, is going to be picked for the game, “No, evidently if I was going to travel with someone I would already called him for the training sessions. What I can tell you is that we have plenty alternatives at the team, which I already explained, so I don’t consider that possibility, though it doesn’t meant we don’t have centre-backs at the B squad... Uxío Marcos, Rubén… and other people that can match the expectations, but it isn’t part of the plans to pick them.”

Then Depor’s tactician was asked if he sees everybody convinced of what there are doing on the pitch, and he answered that, “Who’s everybody? I see my group convinced. I see the players, the professionals, convinced. I see the team is convinced and that view hasn’t changed. What worries me is to see the team going out in order to compete; it is the thing that worries me.”

Another tense moment was when journalists started to question him about his continuity at the job; firstly the ex-Almeria trainer said that he feels supported by president Lendoiro, “Totally. I have plenty confidence and don’t feel questioned, neither nobody has talked to me of a margin of games. The president talked to me after the last match and he transmitted confidence and support; he’s great for that.” Lendoiro stated on the past weekend that “A point is always good” but Oltra didn’t want to comment on that.

Then he said to feel privileged to have a job at the club, “Deportivo is too big and is a privilege to be here. I hope to stay here for a while, for how things are managed and for the familiar environment. On these days it’s privilege to have a job and I am more privileged as I do what I want in an extraordinary place and don’t valorize what happens at other clubs.”

Finally, Oltra didn’t give clues of the lineup for Sunday, though he gave the sense that only a few changes will be made, “I will put the best team in order to defeat them, with some differences according to the rival’s skills As long as I understand that this is the best for the team I will keep doing it, the day I understand that changes are necessary then I’ll do it. At the beginning there are some modifications, what happens is that one thing is to try to do something and another thing is what the rival will allow you to do. In the end the goal is to travel to the Calderón in order to win the match.”

SIMEONE
Atletico’s coach offered his press conference on Saturday’s morning; he’s eager to win tomorrow after suffering two straight defeats during the week (liga & Europa League), “Evidently, when you lose the best thing you can do is to win as soon as possible. The team needs to find again the path of the victory. It always happen the same; when you have to lose the best thing to fix the situation is a victory; we need to extend our run and must remain focused in our performance, which has been pretty good.”

About Deportivo, the Argentine man commented that, “Deportivo is a team that plays well. They have a solid output of the ball. Their right side is pretty strong. We all know what Valerón can create at any moment; we won’t discover him and it creates tension. We need to be fine at defense in order to grow offensively.”

Regarding the defensive casualties at the Galician squad, he commented that, “It’s a difficult situation for the coach. It isn´t easy to arm the squad when you only have a few tools. I already talked of the productive things of Deportivo; they’re a dangerous team at midfield and in attack.”

He also confirmed that Filipe Luis will play and that Cebolla Rodriguez will be back on next week, “If nothing weird happens we hope to count with him [Filipe]. About Cebolla, possibly he’ll back on next week; the rest of the squad is fit to play.”

“We don’t have any other player with the characteristics of Filipe Luis, with his importance in offense and with the work that he does at defense. He’s an important output for the team, just like Juanfran, and the team exploits this option. The other day [against Real Madrid] he was unavailable and it was hard for us to create our game, because we were missing an important player.” He added.

Simeone also confirmed that Diego Costa will play against Depor; this after the polemic week lived by the Brazilian striker, “I love Diego Costa; we need him and hopefully he will make a great match tomorrow, because he’ll play. What others say I'm not interested. I don’t like to use the word affection with the players, they just want to play and tomorrow he’ll play, because he’s an important player for us.”

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/12

ZAPPING

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