“Releasing goalkeepers doesn’t happen by magic”


“Releasing goalkeepers doesn’t happen by magic”

Are you closing your cycle as City’s goalkeeping coach?

Yes. End of a wonderful episode. I learned something about how to direct the process and coordinate the coaches, but mostly about the way the club works. The city is a special club, very big. Some details given there are not given here, for example. Nice to try out English football and end up at a club as big and successful as City.

What kind of details are you referring to?

Once there, you realize that training is important, but above all this is a winning club. They have good players in all categories and, as they say in Manchester, it’s important to learn and learn by winning. In the end you compete to win and the people present get used to the result, which is also important. Logically, without forgetting the training and the basic workers, with us. My coordination from the goalkeeping department is aimed at this.

What do you mean specifically?

To improve technically, to gain experience; but in goal with the goal of not scoring goals because it is our thing. From the goalkeeper, convey a little the idea of ​​a big club in the sense of win, win, win. City academy has been successful in recent years. We won the League (with the second team) two years in a row.

But go home, why?

End of cycle. When I went there I thought to return at some point, I will not stay all my life. Now is the time to go back home, or at least get out of there and do something else.

Did they suggest you continue?

At first, I signed for two years and then they told me to renew and I renewed for one because I don’t plan to stay there for long and I have been doing the academy for three years. They told me about the future, but they realized that I was not keen on the idea of ​​staying. It is a kind of mutual agreement. Time to change a little and see what happens from now on. I’m waiting for a call to find out if it’s going to be okay.

The definitive end, therefore, to his time in England.

Yes, there were four seasons there because the year of the pandemic I was also the goalkeeping coach at Luton. The English second division is amazing, competitive, equal, with great players, fields with 30,000 or 40,000 people, legendary stadiums. The truth is, on the other hand, I also noticed the difference between living in North London and in Manchester. The winter is very long and training in the field with water, water, cold and cold is difficult.

A curiosity, by the way, do you have the qualifications to work in the coordination of the goalkeeper?

While in Lezama I joined Lafu (Iñaki Lafuente) in the fifth promotion of the Las Rozas goalkeeping master’s degree and we both qualified. I also have a national coaching title.

Did you know that Lafuente is no longer the goalkeeping coach at Athletic?

Yes, because of one of the calls to ask him about his knee injury he told me that not only he was leaving, but also the person in charge of coordinating the goalkeepers. I think that after Peio (Agirreoa) left, the department weakened a bit.

Well, everyone is praising Athletic for its work with the goalkeepers at Lezama.

It’s strange that the department is like this. During my time at Lezama it worked like a charm. Things are done very well. The day all Athletic’s goalkeeping coaches got together, we laid some foundations to work on and the results were there. Nothing more needs to be said. See what goalkeepers have come out of Lezama since that time and how far they have come.

Something has changed, it seems, in the training plan of the goalkeepers after the change of management in Lezama.

I think the club will do something to maintain the goalkeeping department because it has worked so well. That is necessary. You just have to see how goalkeepers are today, how they are used in the game, the importance they have… It is important to work with goalkeepers from the base. It doesn’t happen by magic.

In England, for example, what did they tell you about Athletic goalkeepers?

People from other countries, not just England, praise the work done with the goalkeepers at Lezama. For example, Miguel Ángel España, goalkeeper selector, told me, “I don’t know what you’re doing there because you don’t do anything but hire goalkeepers.” Always good work, good coordination. So far, at least, excellent work has been done. They renewed Unai Simón, Agirrezabala… You have to work hard, especially with everyone who came from behind.

Someone might think you’re offering yourself up.

No, because I also mentioned that I was waiting for some calls.

What if Athletic calls you?

This is my club and it’s always fun to go home. Everything I learned in and out of Lezama and my experience as a player I want to convey to the goalkeepers at home or close to home. What is Athletic, it will be wonderful; What a Basque club, also great. I didn’t close myself off. I want to contribute my grain of sand and my experience. We’re talking about training and coordinating in the area of ​​technique, something I consider myself prepared for, but I also don’t rule out training top-level goalkeepers. I have made it to the Athletic first team with fantastic performances from Kepa and Iago Herrerín.

By the way, how do you see Unai Simón, another one of your students?

First, congratulations to Zamora, a great year for him and the defensive team. Unai is at a very high level, in his little things, like everyone else, but he is a goalkeeper with whom the coach can be calm. He also has many years of high level.

And Agirrezabala?

Both. This year, by chance, I trained and experienced a match with him in the national team of Euskadi. Another good goalkeeper, who showed his level in the Cup A guaranteed goalkeeper with a lot of projection.

Well, despite not playing much, he renewed, like Unai Simón.

A bet on your part. Unless you’re Iñaki Williams (laughs), it’s very difficult for nothing to happen to you. Injuries, cards, discomfort. Next year he will definitely be involved in more because Athletic has three competitions. Healthy competition, always pushing, makes you a very high level.

Now, in addition to stopping, goalkeepers have to act as a kind of libero.

This is something goalkeeper coaches have been focusing on from the grassroots for a long time. Everyone works on the standing game because of its importance and because the goalkeeper participates a lot in this type of actions.

Unai Simón took another blow for his mistake on Saturday against Croatia!

It is one thing for the goalkeeper to be a resource to start the game and so on, and another to use him to release the ball with the opposing team on top of the pressure. We as coaches try to make the goalkeeper think quickly and play well with both legs, to get the ball well, hold it and hit it well. Then each person decides what to do, but at least the situations are done in practice.

Source: La Verdad


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