Wearing a red T-shirt that says Europe, we’re back (We are back in Europe), Jagoba Arrasate on Sunday celebrated the year of “illusion”. The return of Osasuna after 16 years to European competitions was the chronological final touch to the success of a group of Basque coaches, eight because of cheap caricatures, who were born in a radius of only 84 kilometers, and who supported the 22/23 track. Nicknames without too many ks or lengths, figures occupying the current edges of national and international football: Mendilibar, Arteta, Bailiff, Emery, Lopetegui, Iraola, Xabi Alonso and the aforementioned Arrasate.
“Maybe because of the group character we have, the confidence that is transmitted to the players And that we Basques don’t marry anyone,” says Javier Clemente, one of the two Euskadi coaches who won two league titles together with Alberto Urmaetxea. In the Basque teams, in general, there is no place for the pressure of the press and this dilutes the environments of the clubs, which we all know how they were adapted later.
Without a single style, without even being able to talk about the school because they didn’t all come from the Euskadi quarries. Arrasate started at Elgoibar, Mendilibar at Arratia, Arteta hung out at Everton in 2016 at Arsenal to become Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City, Emery started his career at Lorca. “I remember we were in the South American 20 in Colombia [en 2005] And Alberto Benito (today in the staff of Aston Villa), who was in Cadiz, said that Unai left football to become a coach at that time and face Lorca. I remember he rose to second place in Iran with a goal in the 90th minute.”
Who says it’s Mikel Etxari, 76-year-old wise, trainer of trainersEuskadi coach, always associated with Real Sociedad football, led Eibar among other teams. “We’re not doing anything special,” he says, downplaying himself. He has kept in touch with nearly all of the people referred to in this report. Some of them are footballers like the case of Emmanol Alguasil, Arteta and Lopetegui. or Arrasate, where he taught tactics over three courses. Emery asked me for notes when I was a Ferrol player. And that was the year 2000.
“Football is a manifestation of the country’s idiosyncrasies. Perhaps the Andalusians are more skilled Basque football has always carried the stigma of physical strength. I think if there is something that sets all of these guys apart, it works. We are a people who learn by doing. Industrial cooperatives were born in Mondragen, and if you look closely, the Basque sport is being developed with tools of work: isicolares with axes, texingas (dairy) races or stone-lifting, ”adds Etxari.
Even this 23-year-old generation doesn’t age. The youngest is Andoni Iraola, He is still 40 years old; The eldest, Mandilbar, is 62. He was a modest striker and his first appearance in the top flight, in the 2005 season, was surprising. “I had to replace him,” Clemente recalls. “He’s a great guy. In his second spell at Eibar, the long season, he did great. And before that at Valladolid. The coach’s world is illogical. He’s the weak point of the clubs, which has been affected by the press a lot of times,” he insists.
Twenty-seven years had to pass for Mendy, the one with the ‘volatas’ (somersaults), to When your players fail to train, win a title. “He likes to have a lot of rhythm, everything is very powerful. As a coach he pushes you in training and in matches, obsessed with high pressing,” said many players he’s had like Jorpegi or Carmona.
“So much success together may be a fluke of life. Today we can be scoundrels, others can be”Roberto Pérez, president of the Basque Coaches’ Committee, endorses this. “The Basque coach works a lot, he usually doesn’t get things out of control, and after the group we talked about, it’s about some players who were very concerned about what was done there, what the rest of them did, and they did as they learned from them.”
Certainly what the football world praised most was his presence at the same time Julen Lopetegui, Mikel Arteta and Unai Emery are in the premiership, separated by just 40 kilometers from their birthplaces, Astiaso, San Sebastian and Hondaribia. “We Basques also have a spirit of victory that comes to us from a century ago when our ancestors went to make the Americas,” says Etxari.
Arteta was the sensation in the Premier League until Arsenal ran out of bellows It will pass on the Manchester City mentor. Emery arrived from Villarreal in the middle of the session – in his second British experience after Arsenal – he was seventh and Wolves, in 13th, a team that when the former national coach took him before the Qatar World Cup was 19th and he had only added 10 points. 39 possible.
An example of how he knows how to check his players’ heads is Diego Costa. He knew that after a year, it would be difficult for him to adapt to the Premier League and that he couldn’t expect many goals from him either. And he only asked one thing: to go out and bite every training session to spread the spirit to the rest of the team. That he would have been able to draw colors from his teammates if they weren’t as hungry as him. And she did it,” they say. The team became rock-solid and as motivation, Jolene promised pizza and dinners out of his own pocket every time the Wolves held the door to zero. That happened eight times.
“Emery is distinguished by his ability to work and his search for solutions to difficulties”“As a coaching staff, he always tried to instill in us this culture of effort. If things don’t work out, he goes into his shell until he finds a way to fix it,” says Juan Carlos Carcedo, second in Hondaripetara for many years. They asked him what was the key to success and he answered ’17’. They insisted on seeing what he was referring to and it turned out to be the number of Manchester United games he had seen before the final.’
The technician from Zaragoza and Ibiza, among others, confirms that each of them “works Differently and the level of analysis is not the same. Arteta, for example, has been out of Spain for a long time, but I think most of them stand out for being good people. The people of Mandelbar, Arasat, Iraola and company are sincere, easy-going and normal people…without an overwhelming personality like Moe or Guardiola, but with another equally good way of doing things”
“Let’s see. There are good and bad things too,” says Clemente, the most famous coach in the Basque Country. of the past fifty years. “Knowledge can be all, but then some don’t go beyond district two. Those who leave, based on the fact that many of them were very good players and played in great teams, well, they tend to succeed. But they also struggled. Arasati is in Real Madrid didn’t even let him breathe.” Jagoba spent 14 months in txuri urdin. Farewell to Philippe Montagnier, the coach who led them to the Champions League, in May 2013, giving him the chance to get into the first team. The first was surprised. He’s gone from being almost a part-time coach when in the lower ranks of Real Madrid – a PE teacher on vacation – to guiding the blue and whites in Europe’s top tier. The next campaign began lopsided, and in November, after the defeat at Málaga, he was already out.
In the line marked by Clemente, the model is Xabi Alonso. His time at Real Sociedad, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern has introduced him to great scenarios. From Luis and Del Bosque – “the concern for what is important”, in the Spanish team, from Benitez – the “tactical” – from Mourinho, the coach who this year deprived him of his first European final – the Europa League – and from whom he learned “how to be a leader and how He convinces the team to play for the same goal” … and the genius of Pep. “I envisioned what would happen at the Games,” he said in recent press conferences.
“He reminds me of Guardiola. It really happened when I was playing him. He was a coach on the field,” Mo returned the compliments. He took Alonso Leverkusen, from Real B, when he was penultimate in the table and took him to sixth place.
I recommend Xabi Alonso.
“I would recommend any president to sign Xabi Alonso on the bench,” he said. John Toshack says. Then he adds with Welsh humor: “I made the first knot in his tie.” The truth is that JB is dedicated to his children and even more so to the Alonso dynasty: “It’s a family affair. When you have football for breakfast, lunch and dinner, everything is easier. And Xabi did it.”
Another from San Sebastian, Andoni Iraola, also grew up in the Antigoco school like Alonso and Arteta, He conquered the bench in Rayo. Beneath his natural aesthetic, with his turtlenecks, unmarked of a memorable past as a footballer – the 510 games he played for Athletic – hides an odd manager. Being a Bundesliga enthusiast doesn’t attract attention. It’s your thing. But being tired of cycling is not normal. But I was “tired” of playing in the virtual league, Tropela, with great results, and getting to know the career of Italian Gianetti, his idol.
When he’s not watching cycling or football, he’s watching the NFL, Which were earbuds, stops and tactical tackles are important, although he understands that too many stops will fail with the dynamic of football. Iraola is able to take advantage of the passage between the dressing room and the Rayo stadium – the center of the field – to point out concepts that happen to him or that he saw in the game. He always goes with a pen and a notebook. In his normal life too.
Convinced to train without the ball, he likes the player to go to the board To refute him in tactical conversations. Among his petty eccentricities is another: he obsesses over what will happen in matches if he leaves his 10. He considers it to be one of the least working positions in elite football.
Immanol Belev triumphed with his Champions League ticket as well as with his speech. He was true to his principles from the start. In Oreo, he had a 9v11 match because two of his players got into an argument and until it was resolved, he took them off the field. The coach, who has been kept isolated from his entire family during the pandemic to avoid any possibility of him being a carrier of the virus, has built moral lessons around winning or losing, with his son as an example, “Personally, he’s a lovely person to care about.” The condition of his people, but not just the players. From the cook, the staff or anyone else. There is nothing arrogant about it. It’s a profile closer to the low than the average,” notes Miguel Angel Moy, a former goalkeeper who now comments at Movistar.
“And all this character, he later moved to the field. He knows how to make tough decisions, Able to sit down key people to give players the chances they deserve during the week. As he says, when these guys line up, it’s because they’re doing it “the damn thing.” He’s a coach in constant evolution who likes to have possession of the ball, but not to have it, but to damage, with that little vertical point, to break behind his back… He’s developed the team defensively. He’s an amazing coach.”