Analysis: Those who needed to play played, and even that wasn’t enough: Mistakes that let us down in the qualifiers
– In Al Angulo ironically commented that “the tie in memory was discussed not to have such an advantage.” That was actually the moment he said: ‘U’ going to be champions? Or was there someone else?
I took that moment (the final) as a victory for reasons too numerous to repeat. But I’ll tell you something I’ve never said before: One day we were returning to the hotel by bus. It was a game against Crawford (2-2 away), there. We left the hotel and the streets were closed. Horrible heat at the time, those things still didn’t shut me out of the competition. We had about two hours to get there. It was a tight contest all around. So, when we got back on the bus, I can’t remember who it was with, but certainly with Adrien (Gilbert), Jean (Ferrari) and Manuel (Barreto). I asked, how many more dates are there? Seven, that’s 21 points. And… -I told them- we are going to make 18 to 20 points. And we’re going to be champions. I said it on that bus, because you ask me where I felt it. I don’t know if it was because of the setbacks we experienced, but I said it. Oh, they are throwing stones at us. Stronger now than ever. Such a thing is not well thought out. I felt it.
— When you arrived, everything changed in 3 days: the organization (3-52, captain, training schedules. What did you tell your team? How did you convince them?
I don’t know if you know, but Jose (Carvallo) thanked me for taking responsibility for being there in all the confusion, in all the discussions, when he had to come back, for being attentive and always focused on other things. Be careful, I never made him captain, I made him field captain. Now, how to convince yourself, okay? When we arrived we had to rescue them first, they were attacked. We worked a little bit, a soft trick, but we already put the ball in the system (3-5-2) with that new idea. When we explained what we wanted and pitched them, we immediately felt that they liked the proposal and that they were comfortable. I talked to the elders about it, and I said to them: Did you see that you can do it? What we feel is basic.
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– Now with the time and memory system, what was the ‘U’s best game of the year or all time champion?
If we are talking about the product of the team, then yes, maybe, final. You have to put a level of competition complexity in everything, right? Given the complexity, yes. If you choose, I don’t know, but the best result was Matude and, however, the best product for me was in Monument. I saw how confident he was on the court in both games and that made me happy. We don’t underestimate anyone.
– At U they always talk about spawning. It is a seal. Is that why Rodrigo Urena was one of the most admired at the awards ceremony?
Rodrigo’s personality makes you fall in love. They are in the style of the club, in the tradition, in the history of the Universitario, which is associated with Clau. Eggs, I would say more than nail. But I want to make one thing clear: for me, laying an egg means thinking when you have a ball. Because the one who runs and plays, is that chaos? I kicked everywhere, I didn’t think anything, was it? An egg-layer, to me, is a cool leader, as well as a go-getter. I love him (Urena) and I think he’s a player with enormous potential, but like everyone else they need to know where the limit is.
– What is it to you, who is the spawning example?
Calcaterra. You look at it and you say: This is cool. How can a guy who comes in, stands on the mat and scores that goal in the final be cool? That one has more balls than the others.
What kind of leader did Flores become within the team?
First, Edison must be the boy who lived happily ever after. And Corso, the joy I know too, and Carvallo and all. But what am I saying? From the little I knew him, it seemed to me that even the responsibility overwhelmed him. Where does that celebration come from (goal to Muni). They brought him in the second half of the year, and of course, in his everyday life, I imagine people, every day champions told him to leave, 27, if you don’t know how to take it. Wherever it comes from, it overwhelms you. Aside from the physical issues he had, he didn’t even do a single preseason, which motivated him. The other day Edison was crying in the bank at Modute. He’s a champion now, that’s all.
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– Dare you say the best football player of the year is Piero Quispe?
No, because I wasn’t talking about Pierre or anyone. Because he is always unfair to his colleagues. For example, look at Universitario’s defensive performance. I don’t know if we didn’t end up with our lowest defeat of the season in the end. It was a work for the whole team. But, especially those who play at the back; So no, I couldn’t put one over the other.
– Piero wants to leave the club soon?
I wish him the best as he deserves it. He is an extraordinary child, a great man whom I love dearly, and it is good if it is for his own good. But since he is young, I hope ‘U’ fans can continue to enjoy it. I don’t see him getting frustrated about going to play abroad, I see him happy to be at Universitario and in no rush to leave.
– Is it important to send back players like Ruidias?
We are not dealing with that now. First you need to know what he looks like and what he wants. What he wants with the present and the future, I say. So, if you’re asking me, I’d love to. And chat with the player and get a feel for what those prospects are like before they close, once they’re presented as real. Because he can be the best player in the world and not give up too much. For now, I insist that we are not talking.
What positions does the ‘U’ need to strengthen for next year?
I think maybe one or two per line (laughs).
– Jean Ferrari spoke to El Comercio about his interest in Yoshimar Yoden. Are you interested in the project?
Yeah… I saw everything put together (laughs). I think he is a very important player. But as far as I know it is not free. I didn’t talk to Jean about this. But for now, Yotún isn’t on that list, with Pareto talking about possibilities here and there.
What should be the mission of ‘U’ for 2024? Bicampionado or international title fight?
Both. Both are possible. Do everything in our power, the natural goal of a big club is to be champions. I promise it. And, at the same time, we strive to get the best presentation internationally.