11 ideal journey 31 J1 Japón

It was a hard work, with Asian qualifying rounds for Russia 2018 World Cup in between, but I finally managed to finish watching the nine matches of Matchday 31 of J1 League Japan. It is a type of football that seduces me a lot for the technical capacity of the players, both Japanese and foreigners, and also the different tactical alternatives that several teams have.

Here is my Best XI of this matchday, and I hope I can continue analysing players for future projects, this time from J2 League Japan. See you soon!


¿Qué hago cuando no entreno?

There are moments as a coach when we are not training, and those are very useful periods to keep growing, take some perspective on things and analyze certain aspects of the game that are difficult, at least for me, when you are coaching. I’m going to tell you how I structure my time and how is a day in my life now that I’m awaiting future projects.

The first thing I do is to plan and divide the day in time slots to devote it to my job as a coach and to other activities such as reading, being with the family or practicing sports.

The first time slot of the day is devoted to analyzing teams. After the formation to local coaches I gave in China where I talked about positional play, I continue to deepen in this playing style and training methodology, so I use the first slot of about four hours in the morning to analyze teams such as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Sampaoli’s Sevilla, Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund and Ariel Holan’s Defensa y Justicia. Also if during the weekend I saw any interesting match I cut sequences of teams I liked such as Sarri’s Napoli, Klopp’s Liverpool and Pochettino’s Tottenham. Every day I try to analyze and cut playing sequences that I can analyze in depth and also show my future teams in order to internalize some aspects of the play in a simple way.

I devote the second time slot, in the afternoon, to my family, practice some sport and no more than two hours to learn languages. I’ve been learning Chinese for some time now with the method 8belts (www.8belts.com) and I’ve just started with Japanese with a personal teacher that I hired through the web (www.grapclass). This way, I try to learn two languages that seduce me and, in case I had the opportunity to coach in those countries, would be able to have some knowledge of them. After the experience this summer in China and observing Guardiola coach in Munich last February, I realized the importance for us as coaches to be able to communicate with the players in their own language, even in a simple way. They appreciate it a lot and value the effort made to know their language. It is not that much about dominating it but being able to communicate with them and use some technical training terms. It wasn’t the case of Guardiola, who did dominate German perfectly. At least, I thought so!

The third time slot comes during the night, when I’m more relaxed and I watch matches, more with the purpose of scouting players and widen my knowledge of the market. I’m now analyzing players from J-League 1 and J-League 2 in Japan, and also the Asian national teams who are now playing the qualifying rounds for Russia 2018 World Cup.

This way I keep myself active, I keep preparing myself and growing as a coach for future projects, and analyzing players who could adapt to the playing style I like to implement in my teams.

Un gran reto

I arrive to Suphanburi with very high expectations. The team ended last season in third position and the club has made strong investments in the transfer market, both with Thai and foreign players, who add to the players already in the squad.

My objectives are to maintain Suphanburi, at least, in third position this year, and to practice a good football that entertains the fans, in particular in the home games. I’m aware of the difficulty of the challenge, because in the Thai League it is usual to have 6-7 teams fighting for the top positions and it is not easy to be in those spots.

The most difficult thing now is, obviously, to find the time to start implementing my ideas, as we have two games in a row coming, Wednesday and Sunday. Then we will have a 20-day stop in the League, when we will have our “special preseason”, and from the 23rd April on we will have a tough calendar, with games practically every week, and many games on Wednesdays; in fact, we will have 12 consecutive games Sunday-Wednesday-Sunday.

My biggest worry is to create the style of play of the team, try to find quickly the way to be as competitive as possible, and that’s what we are doing now. As mentioned before, the greatest difficulty is to have the time to work with the team, but in the two trainings we have done so far I consider we have enough resources to do a good season. I see the players eager to continue in the path of self and collective improvement, and every day, every training counts. I feel the willingness to learn new concepts, how we search for a style and identity for Suphanburi (in football-style) is reflected in the attitude and the daily performance of my players.

I hope we are able to achieve our objectives and have a great season here in Suphanburi this year. From my side, I will put all my effort and commitment to take Suphanburi as high as possible.

1 partido 13 veces

Tomorrow we resume competition and start the last stage of the league. The past three months have been the most intensive in competitive terms due to the national team commitments, and the start of FA Cup and League Cup. During the first leg of the league we solved well this block with a lot of matches, few trainings and the need to rotate players in order to be competitive in all games. Now we start the last part of the competition in which we must face every match as if it was the last, compete at the maximum level and finish to define our goals as a team.

One of the advantages we will have is that almost all weeks will be “clean”; we will have time to train, again with two block of games and two stops in the competition. This will help to compete at the maximum level and recover all those injured players.

Sometimes I feel that talking to the team about performance goals generates a bit of anxiety and it is better to focus on the task, increase performance in every match, and individual improvement of the player will turn into improvement as a team. All in all, what I feel suits best us as a team is to establish performance objectives and find commitment from every player with them, in particular with the youngest players.

Also the fact of signing Toti and Aridane has made the team different and I have had to focus in finding playing alternatives that we did not have in the past; changing two players has implied a lot of time from my side in evaluating the playing style that can give us best performance, taking into account their characteristics and the positive interactions that may generate with the players already in the squad. Thai League is very dynamic in its playing style and the adaptation to it is not easy.

Likewise, my other great concern the past few weeks has been to find the way to be more competitive in our away matches. We are the best team of the League, along with Muang Thong, in home matches, but when we play visiting team we are only the fifth best. The gap in the standings we have with Buriram and Muang Thong is due to our four away defeats, and it is this aspect where I have to insist the most.

We have 13 games left, although I personally prefer to see it as a one-game where we have to perform at maximum level 13 times.

I trust we could be able to finish the season with the taste in the mouth of work well done. The team is more cohesive than ever, the perception that my players have transmitted me the past three weeks of training has been very good, and I hope tomorrow all the work done translates into a new victory and the team performing at a great level. We are BG!!