All eyes are focused on the Cup final against Barça. Nobody better than someone who has been everything in Athletic to analyze the game for the title on Saturday at La Cartuja. Julen Guerrero, current U-17 coach, considers that all finals “are uncertain” and that Marcelino’s team will have its options, but for this it will be important to regain the confidence shown when the Asturian arrived on the bench and won the Super Cup.
There are only four days left to play the second Cup final.
I think it’s a nice and good incentive. There is the experience of having played a final recently, this can be used for the one on Saturday. In front will be a rival like Barça, who also play a lot because it is a title, but Athletic has to go with all the illusion in the world of being able to lift the Cup.
How do you see the final?
All finals are uncertain as to the outcome. It is clear that Barça is a club used to playing this type of game and winning titles every year, but that says nothing more than that. Athletic won the Super Cup beating Real Madrid and Barça. This has to be your mindset. To win this trophy he had to eliminate the two teams most used to winning titles. Why can’t he win this time!
Athletic won the Super Cup beating Real Madrid and Barça. This has to be your mindset
How do you see Athletic?
There is no doubt that not winning the final against Real was not what was expected. Perhaps he could have fallen into a bit of nervousness, but until that meeting he was in an upward line, he was seen as a safe team on the field, what he did and the resources he had to get the games forward. It is what you have to recover. That security that he showed when he faced the Super Cup, each one giving his best and knowing what he has to do. They were games in which the team was seen for sure. It is what he has to recover to face this game in the best possible way.
Since Marcelino’s arrival, he has improved, but lately it has been difficult for him, he is offering more questions.
Yes, lately he is having a hard time getting the games forward, with many draws. This means that the progression that you may have had is not reflected. That is why it is good to remember the moments in which the team achieved important things, winning games and the Super Cup. Not long ago of that. You have to recover those moments so that it gives security to the players.
What are the main virtues of Athletic?
It is a very recognizable team when it comes to the way they play. Lately he has had to vary his line-ups a lot due to rotations and because he has had to play many games in a row. He has had to face two finals and the coach tries to make sure the players arrive as fresh as possible. It is a team that seemed sure of what it was doing. For me this is the most important thing. A team transmits security when you see that the players have confidence in what they do, both defensively and offensively. Athletic was comfortable on the pitch with what they did and everyone’s performance was optimal.
How can losing the final to Real affect?
Hard to know. I always like to look at the positive aspect in the sense that it has served as experience to play against Barça. Let the players take the field loose, with confidence. It is the third final that they will play this year. The finals are different games, any mistake is paid because there is not much reaction time. All the details must be on a positive level due to the fact that they played a final a fortnight ago.
Individual errors are being a very important slab.
This has to serve as experience. Athletic also sometimes takes advantage of the opponent’s mistakes. Most of the goals come like this. If you want to risk playing from behind, many times you take risks, but other times it also works out well. The important thing is to draw conclusions, know what you want to do and how you want to do it, where you want to do things and where not to do to avoid these types of errors, especially in these types of matches that are 90 or 120 minutes long and in which any failure is difficult to recover.
The team that knows how to shake off doubts from the start of the game has a lot to win in the final
And how do you see Barça?
He had the setback of this weekend in the League, but he came from an impeccable career. Little by little Barça has been recognized more. He has had a difficult start to the season with many changes, both in terms of coach and players, with the entry of young lads. They have been finding their style in the field. Schemes tend to vary. This weekend they started with defense of three centrals and then changed to the line of four. It is true that little by little he has progressed and is in his best moments of the season.
How can the defeat in the Classical against Real Madrid affect you?
I don’t think it will cut them off from the good track record they had lately. The team that knows how to shake off doubts has a lot to win in the final. The important thing is the security that each team shows on the field. Go safe with what you have prepared and the script planned. And also with a ball. Barça is very comfortable with the ball, but Athletic also has to find its moments to reach the rival goal. If it comes, it can hurt you.
That security to which he refers was not shown by Athletic in the game for the title against Real Sociedad.
They themselves already said that they were not as they wanted. You already know, surely they are going to put the remedy so that in this final it does not happen. The experience of fifteen days ago should serve for the one of Saturday. Surely they will do their part so that the same thing does not happen again.
What will be the most soccer keys of the final?
Barça will want to have possession and put Athletic in their area. They have players who generate chances in tight spaces. Athletic will try the opposite, that they don’t get too far behind. We have seen it in the Classic. Madrid did them a lot of damage by stealing the ball and going out in offensive transitions with space and speed. Thus it generated many occasions, especially in the first part. I imagine that Athletic will want to look for this. Barça risks a lot. If Athletic is firm in defense and the pressure is good and steals balls, the higher the better, it will be easier to give them chances.
Winning the Cup is an important award for all teams, but especially for Athletic because of the way they compete.
It seems that the Cup is beaten in Bilbao with four lost finals in the last twelve years.
It is not easy, first you have to get there and then in the final you meet rivals who have done their bit. You always have to think what this is going to be. Those behind could not be won, but there is a new opportunity and the players have to believe in their chances, they are going to have them.
Another Cup final without an audience.
Yes, it is very angry. And more for a hobby like Athletic, who are eager to support their team. It is important for all the experiences that are had and also for the kids. It’s a shame because two finals have also coincided with the pandemic. We hope it passes soon and that the next one there may be a public. And that the players feel that the fans will be sending energy from home.
What would it mean for Athletic as an institution to win a Cup title?
It would mean reinforcing the work that is being done with the philosophy that the club has. It is also very important for the new generations to see that things can be achieved. Who want to wear the Athletic shirt and feel identified with the club in every way. It is an important award for all teams, but especially for Athletic because of the way they compete. Quotes like this help the youngest to identify with Athletic.