In a week it will be possible to see what are the advantages derived from the arrival of Ernest Valverde at the bench of San Mamés. After six weeks of work and eight rehearsals, the new manager and his team will undergo their first review in own field and against Mallorca, a rival of a level lower than his own. Everything that happened in the pre-season allows us to say that Athletic have entered a different phase. The guidelines mark a distance from what was observed during Marcelino García’s stay of a year and a half, as well as from the scene of Gaizka Garitano, but it is still early to know the magnitude. A delay is necessarya certain road in the competition for orget a reliable idea of what he is or wants to be Athletic of Valverde.
No significant news in the form of transfers or withdrawalss, the key factor when analyzing the project must be the hand of the coach. The management of Valverde appears decisive in the orientation of a group with well-known virtues and defects. The fact that he has the same raw material clearly advises making decisions that favor a change of direction. This is, It is not possible to aspire to an evolution if he does not undertake a revision of the hierarchy which has been in force in the workforce. Said in clearer terms: if he continues to give the footballers who formed the type eleven a hard time, Valverde will repeat the results that have been repeated for the past five years.
It’s not just about shaking up the dressing room, Valverde has his own conception of football that Athletic need to develop and, from what has been seen so far, there are aspects that take him away from role models. previous ones. However, the technician’s objective is to convince the protagonists of the interest of playing another type of game and find the pieces that best match the style you plan to put in place.
During friendly matches, it was possible to see a block less confined, less obsessed with its own protection, which tries to be more dynamic and varied in its construction; who attaches great importance to aggression without the ball, especially on rival ground, but who is more armed in the central strip, where he brings together three men. A simple explanation of the above would indicate that it changes from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1, although in reality the pattern looks more like a 4-3-3.
In this bet, the placement of the midfielders and their profiles stand out. There are no longer two containers that move at the same height and a false point behind the ram that is delayed for hooking tasks. Now, the middle trio is composed of an anchor and two interiors; a closing midfielder closer to the back and a pair that collaborate in destructive tasks and are thrown in attack, reaching the finish area. Maybe more of the risk is assumed without possession or when it’s time to back offr, but connection with the most advanced players is facilitateds, a richer and more fluid, less predictable, deeper elaboration.
In the names section and to the detriment of what the championship will later dictate, Valverde showed the audacity that was demanded of his predecessors. The season is very long and every contribution is valuable, the progress seen is not about removing those who have been fixed, nor having the substitutes tied to the bench. The hackneyed renewal of the squad is still an open question and will come to fruition when the quota of youngsters with real participation in the XI increases. More than a subject, which has already been suspended before without serious consequences despite the accumulated frustration, betting on the values that came out of Lezama in those years is an obligation, the only practicable way if you aspire to overcome the role of frustrated opponent of the continental place.
Gradual yes, but courageousthat the distribution of the minutes is not done facing the podium and that the old guard monopolizes the development by decree, in the highest appointments and in many others simply because he has a job and in theory that implies reliability. This has been the trend at several routes and it would seem that Valverde is in favor of accelerating the transition. At least, this is what their first alignments suggest.
And this turning point has resulted in feelings that invite optimism and hope. It’s still nothing more than a beginning that requires filming and tweaking, but it’s fitting that a willingness to evolve and leave behind experiences that have proven to be exhausted is appreciated.
In the individual chapter, maybe most striking is the degree of confidence that Valverde has placed in the formula that unites Zarraga and Sancet in the construction, as well as he did not hesitate for a moment to choose Vesga, or that he considers the relocation of Iñaki Williams in the group, a change which breaks with a harmful tendency for the group and for the player. The numbers speak volumes on this particular issue. The uncertainty surrounding the future of Inigo Martinez appears as the negative counterpoint of summer.