“Football has been in an extreme situation for a long time”

The Guipuzcoan coach he returned last Sunday to reign in Seville with a victory in the derby against Betis, the fourth (and a draw) in five duels of maximum rivalry. Sevilla, who rejected his signing three summers ago, give up before some sparkling results, which in many cases are the best in the history of the Nervión club.

Already more cold, do you notice the happiness of Sevilla after another more won derby?

Of course. Perhaps many people do not know what a derby is, but those of us who have been in Seville for a long time know how much that game means for Sevilla and also Beticismo.

And the joke.

The jokes and jokes are there, of course, but I would also like to highlight the great coexistence that exists in this city. The passion that exists before and how you coexist later. That should be an example everywhere.

Monchi has been criticized from Madrid for jumping onto the Villamarín lawn to celebrate with the Sevilla fans.

I am not very aware of that subject but Monchi is passionate, he feels that way and he is transparent. There is nothing bad or negative and he does it out of absolute respect for the opponent. I have it too and I feel the same about Betis. And in the stadium itself, because Betis treated us very well.

“They say you don’t know what a derby is until you lose it”

You have five, you have won four and drawn another. And the day you lose?

They say you don’t know what a derby is until you lose it. Although in the end there are three points. Then we know the weight that these parties have in the city but the hangover passes and what remains are the points. We are still in November and we turn the page quickly. There is a break but, if not, we would not be talking about the derby tomorrow.

Alavés, Wolfsburg, Atlético, Athletic, Villarreal, Barcelona … It doesn’t sound easy.

Yes. You have to prepare for what is coming, which is very hard, of a brutal demand. We have important absences in the form of injury and we need energy.

Will it weigh to be several more months without En-Nesyri?

Youssef is a very important player for us. First we feel sorry for him, it is a pity that he had that injury. We will try to find solutions, but it is bad news, both for En-Nesyri and for Navas. We will try to make sense of the word team.

“Monchi is transparent and does it with respect. Betis treated us very well there”

For now, he will have Munir and Rafa Mir upstairs. What do you say about the criticism that was poured on the Murcian for his mistakes in front of the rival goal in the derby?

Rafa is a boy who comes from playing in Huesca, he has taken a very big leap. It has had to have a much more intense presence than progressive due to the needs. We are delighted with your attitude and mindset. Will keep working and improving to help us.

And do you expect anything from the January market? Have you already discussed it with Monchi?

Monchi is the first to be aware that we need things for January. I don’t like to talk about things to eat, but obviously we will have to take advantage of the moment to correct some situations due to injuries and the African Cup, with Bono and Munir. Luuk de Jong? I’m not talking about names, the winter market will come and it will be time to respond.

Do you think there are too many games and that causes more injuries, especially after the pandemic?

FIFA, UEFA … everyone wants there to be more games, to stretch the gum more. But the players have two legs, two lungs, one heart and we cannot turn our back on that reality. Those in charge have to realize that they must take care of the footballer’s health. There comes a time when the very demand of the competitions makes the boys beat.

He says it bluntly.

It is that many reflections are made to get more money but never of this type, and that should be the number one precept, because the main protagonist of all this is the player. If we kill the hen, there are no eggs. There is more and more physical and mental demand, more pressure. Soccer has been in an extreme situation for a long time. 25 years ago, the one who played the most 40-42 games and now they play sixty-something, without rest.

There is a lot of league left, but Sevilla is up there, third and tied on points with Madrid. Still not considered an applicant?

We are in November and LaLiga is a marathon of 38 games. If we look further, wrong. You have to take the curve that touches at all times. The teams that are always at the top will be again. Real Madrid, Atlético, Barcelona … I don’t have a favorite but the one with the most merits will win it.

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Barcelona, ​​10 points from Madrid and Seville and 11 from Real, too? It looks like a cheaper League …

Barcelona too, for history and potential. But I waste very little energy thinking about whether the Spanish LaLiga is going to be expensive or cheap. LaLiga will always be expensive. The one who ends up winning it, like Atlético last year, deservedly wins it and with a lot of effort. Winning every game here is a conquest.

What do you think of Xavi’s appointment at the Barça club?

Xavi has been one of the best players in the history of Spanish football. But it is a decision that the leaders of Barcelona have made, I do not have an opinion on his appointment and I do have the utmost respect for Koeman’s work, who has had to do a complicated job and was a colleague of mine.

“Monchi is aware that we need things for January”

And how does a leader from Gipuzkoa like you see La Real as a leader, who also left there, from the txuri-urdin quarry?

La Real is a great team. It is no coincidence that he is a leader. It has a consolidated bloc with several internationals, some of them Spanish. Silva, Isak, Merino, Oyarzabal … And he also has an ideal coach, Imanol, to mix that talent with the best quarry in Spain, which is due to results. His second team went up to Second A and his third team, to Second RFEF. It is a job of many, many years.

Any more favorites to be on top?

I can talk about the Real; from Athletic in this which will be Marcelino’s second year; Villarreal because he also has a very experienced coach, Emery, who they know well in Seville; even Betis, who will also be fighting the Champions League. All of them and some more are going to force us to have a very important year. You have to get very strong to the final stretch of the League.

Those so famous ‘last 10 games’, as said by his admired Luis Aragonés.

I have never hidden my devotion to Luis. He is a reference as a coach and as a leader. His figure is tremendously attractive to me, I have admired him a lot. And of course I share that of yours that you have to arrive strong and well positioned at the final stage of LaLiga, because this is a tournament in which many unexpected things happen. Like playing at two or nine, rain or snow …

“The usual ones, Barça too, will be there. La Real is a great team”


Title contenders

In the Champions League they have much less room for maneuver, although if they win the two remaining games, Sevilla will go to the second round. How do you see the ranking?

We knew it was a tough group, but we could and should have been better. We have not won any game and now we have another two to do a machado, with a very nice challenge. But the first thing is to win at Wolfsburg, we will dedicate all our strength knowing that before we have another league duel against Alavés. The further we go in the Champions League, the better for the club, of course.

We will have to pray. Could you dedicate a prayer the other day to the Great Power, when he passed near Sánchez-Pizjuán and the Council of Sevilla took him a few minutes?

My hair is standing on end. They invited me to be able to take a while to our Lord but I considered that it was not the right day, because it was the eve of the derby. I really want to, I hope to remove that thorn. I want to enjoy the magnificent traditions of Seville and feel them on those Holy Week dates. Costalero? That is going to be more complicated. My friend jesus (points to Jesús Gómez, communication director of Sevilla) He sent me a photo under the Lord and it was as if it were me.

In England these weeks there has been a lot of movement of coaches. What was of Tottenham’s interest in you last summer?

That is history. There were options to be able to take other paths but I am happy at Sevilla. Train in the Premier? One learns to live in the present and the future does not exist, God will say. I put all my passion and energy into this profession, without making more plans.

And what about journalism? Do we still know less about football than Luis Enrique?

Obviously you know less about football than he does. You know a lot about your profession. In the end, the Press is part of the football color. You play your role and you do it very well and we do ours. Just as they gild us the pill, we have to endure when it is not like that. Sometimes you have to isolate yourself and do what you think will help the team the most by trying to protect the main actor, the player. But journalism adds an extra spice to football, without a doubt.

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