Squad news

LOTINA VS GUARDIOLA

14 Apr 2010
Fourth confrontation between Lotina and Guardiola; the Basque was saying that his team is not going to Barcelona just to spend the evening at the Camp Nou, while Barca’s coach is hoping to win all the remaining matches on the schedule.

Josep Guardiola is an historic player of Barcelona FC that won six ligas, two Copas, four Supercopas, a UEFA Cup winners Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and two UEFA Champions Leagues, one as a player (during the season 1991/1992) and the other conquered as a coach. He’s just the sixth men in the history to achieve that double prize (the others where Miguel Muñoz, Giovanni Trapattoni, Johan Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti and Frank Rijkaard). And there’s more, because n the past season he added the Copa Del Rey, la liga championship, The European Super Cup, the Spanish Supercopa and the FIFA Clubs World Cup, meaning an historic rally of six titles in one campaign.

The surprising thing is that he recently started his career as a coach (June of 2007), just when he was named as the coach of Barcelona B, squad that was at Tercera División and that was later promoted by Guardiola to Segunda B. He quickly ascended in the preferences of president Laporta and one year later, he was replacing Frank Rijkaard as the head coach of Barcelona’s first team. This is the fourth occasion in which he will face Miguel Ángel Lotina as a coach, the previous meetings were Barca’ 5-0 demolishing victory at the Camp Nou, a 1-1 draw on the last matchday of the past season and Barca’s 3-1 win at the Riazor.

LOTINA
Depor’s coach gave a press conference on Tuesday, before the trip to Catalonia; he starting talking of the reason why he picked twenty players for the meeting, “We are traveling with twenty because tomorrow we will wait to see how Manuel Pablo is; besides Antonio Tomás and Juan Dominguez are limping.” About the absence of Bodipo, he said that, “he isn’t traveling because we have three available strikers and in the beginning they are fine.”

The other absentee for the match is Zé Castro, but the Basque coach didn’t want to reveal the reason why he is out, “Yesterday Ze Castro asked for permission due to a family issue and I won’t say the reason. We told him the game was important, but let him to choose. It’s a health issue and he thought that the best was to be with his family and we must accept that. I won’t tell the reason why, but there’s a motive, a disease. Nothing is hided.”

Asked if Raúl García was going to start in the game, the coach responded that, “If he doesn’t play tomorrow then he will play on Sunday (against UD Almeria). He brings a good output with the ball and maybe it will be better to have him for Sunday.”

Later Lotina revealed his intentions for the Camp Nou, “We will play with one striker (4-2-3-1), and will face the match hopeful as we play against the best team in Europe and we could agree that in the world. We are tranquil at the standings and it’s the moment to enjoy the game, not making fun of it, but enjoying in the sense of making the right things, to be focused. At the Bernabéu we were okay and I hope that tomorrow it will be similar. It's something nice to play against this Barcelona and will try to make a serious match trying to complicate the things as much as possible, we aren’t going there just to spend the afternoon.”

He also warned that Messi isn’t the only problem that worries him, “It’s difficult to stop Messi. Other teams with a tremendous level haven’t achieved that mission. The only way to stop him is having a lot of aids on the pitch, but Barcelona has the ability to move the ball out from the zone you are protecting. It isn’t only Messi; you must be close to each one of their players.”

“What we aren’t going to do is to be all locked at the back zone and marking every man. It would be very simple to say that we are going to close all the passing lines and that’s it… Barcelona is a passing team, the best in the world in that sense, and not the best for its individualities. The individualities come out from the passes. Why Messi can’t play with Argentina as good as in Barcelona? I can’t say on here how to stop the entire Barcelona. In theory we all know how, but they always find the way to surpass everything.”

GUARDIOLA
Barca’s coach gave a press conference on Tuesday; he was trying to reduce the euphoria after the victory at the Bernabéu, “"It seems that everything was a matter of going to the Bernabéu and it's all over, but we haven’t achieved anything, only an advantage but with the level of the rival nothing is over yet. La Liga has to be won by ourselves and nobody will give away anything. Last year we went out of the Bernabéu with an advantage of seven points, now it’s a ridiculous advantage." 

"We can not think that (Real) Madrid is going to stop fighting, and we neither are going to do it. We are going to continue, so we won’t reproach anything to us, it's all very close and after the great season we are doing, let’s see who the champion is" He added.

Later Guardiola said that the aim of the Catalan squad is to win all the games until the end of the season, "We fight for la liga against a very difficult rival, if they were able to make 12 of 12 possible points, now they are also able to do 7 of 7. But we can not go out to defend the three point difference; you have to go to win every game. The competition will be decided at the very end and tomorrow we begin this final stage against Deportivo."

"The number of goals and points that we have made means a lot, not us alone, but also (Real) Madrid and I am glad that the players know how things are going and we can not be too confident.” He added. Finally, the coach had some words for Andres Iniesta, who suffered an injury on Tuesday, “It’s an important casualty, but must cheer him up and wait for his recovery. I hope to see him back before the end of the season.”

About Deportivo, Guardiola praised the level of Guardado, “He is a talented player, resistant, polyvalent, hard working and very resistant at the left.” Finally, he refused the comment of Lotina about been the best coach in la liga, “I’m the best, but only because I’m winning, but if he would be in my situation, then he could achieve the same numbers that I did. The important thing is the career, to spend ten or twelve years training, like him. I think he is the second or third coach in terms of more matches at Primera. I still have to earn a lot of things.”

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/10

ZAPPING

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