viernes, 3 de marzo de 2017

Bats in the belfry at 150 Edmiston Drive!

Aye, Pedro Caixinha, for moments, was made of sterner stuff in his Aztec stage. “It is true that I am explosive, something impulsive, but I always say what I think,” Caixinha said in an interview with a sports channel. On YouTube there is a bunch of videos about their verbal fights with rival coaches. Anyone who takes the Ibrox reins will have to have the character and the temperament to make many changes (The players who brought MW, a game system full of fissures among other things). The question that underlies all this is whether the form of professionalism of Rangers players and Scottish football is prepared for someone like Caixinha? 

Among the first alarmists is Charlie Nicholas. The former celtic striker made the mistake of asserting: “Don’t forget Caixinha will know very little about the game here.” I do not agree, Caixinha was three years linked and studying with the coaches of the current Scottish football and knowing the surrounding culture, I do not think anything is alien to him. Caixinha partner in the studio coach, Alan Stubbs, in another interview, reinforces the idea: “His English was absolutely fantastic – like a lot of foreign coaches, he put the rest of us to shame a bit with the way he could speak our language. He communicated his ideas really well”.

They are bored when they try to think our club under the parameter of the failure of Paul Le Guen. “Players turned on him and it is still the same mentality within the Scottish game”, said Nicholas. Although this must be borne in mind, the times are not the same, the demands are not the same, other people involved. It is no longer divas time and the moods of the crowds in Ibrox do not want a season like this. From Warburton's discursive incantations on the "ethics" of work, I thought we had more rigorous forms of training. The succession of games where the errors were not modified and Senderos' public statement (once MW was out) that they did not watch videos or study rivals. It seemed that Warburton was the big change and in the end it was a marketing campaign to sell bread in thin slices but with a sour taste by expiration date.

Pedro Caixinha is a perfectionist in his work, studious, meticulous, and an obsessive in planning. Worker like few in the strategy, same that is born as an idea but that develops in each training of very detailed way. When Caixinha was young, he tame bulls in his native Beja, a paternal inheritance. The first time he had a close relationship with the bullfighting world represented a traditional streak of value for Caixinha that he will never forget and occupy his life. “It was five years old when in a meeting, my father put me in front of a bull to fight”.

A Mexican journalist told me last night that he has a special way of seeing football. It has led the Santos Laguna in an evolutionary stage, making debut a great number of young people and exerting an aggressive style and playful to the Mexican fitbaw.

Caixinha learned from two managers, he is often said in the interviews, one is Carlos Queiroz (former manager of Real Madrid and Manchester United among others) his academic bases of the game, the work of training. And the other is Mourinho: "I do not try to be a copy of José Mourinho, I have my own style and identity although there are always points of reference and clear that Mourinho is one of my referents just like Guardiola," he said a few years ago to the Spaniard sports daily Marca. Pedro is an advanced disciple.

Caixinha attended in Scotland in his coaching career, where he was companion of Davie Weir and Stubbs. He obtained the UEFA license after completing his studies in 2010. He spent three years studying there. In his perception, Scotland has the best schools to prepare and certify technical directors. It was there that celtic incorporated him as a scout in Portugal and Spain.

Within his concepts focused on the mentality of the player, the Portuguese, with an incorporated Mexican accent, considerer that the word "defeat" within the dressing room should be eradicated, even from the youngster of every club. He is convinced that inculcating the word "victory" to children, the boys would grow up with better convictions.

Standing in the center of the pitch, during his first practice with Santos Laguna, Pedro Caixinha sized up how difficult it would be for him to reach the title of the Mexican league. The reason? His method of work forces the footballer to think and, according to him, most of the Mexican players do not do it. So it is not surprising that it took two and a half years to get the title.

In Caixinha's words, whenever the players reach the dressing room they have on the board the drawing (graphic model) of the training session with the different phases to be fulfilled: organization, dynamics and exercises. What we are looking for is that at the end of the practice each player thinks and asks how and why he has done it.

Within football there are four performance factors: physical, psychological, technical and tactical. This collective sports game is imminently tactical, according to Caixinha. Everything you do has to do with the principles of the game, which are in the moments that exist during the game, such as the offensive transition and when you must defend, which is what you want for the team to have an identity. "That's the hard part, because it's hard for you to think, and most Mexican players are not used to thinking, and in football you have to do it, because it's a game of decisions (…) That's why we spend 12 hours a day at the club and that's what makes us different.” An out-of-the-ordinary training methodology in Mexico. Of course, the training needs “no pain, no gain”, and always looking to develop the most important muscle of the current player: his brain! "Training: base cell of success"

Caixinha changed the optics to the game through the workouts, his range of exercises is so wide that I do not remember to have seen a same training twice. He was an observer and sought to change technical and mental aspects in his players, I remember very well how I could not believe that a top level player did not know how to face the game or hit the ball with both pegs, I also remember how elaborate his game system was in block and as he read and reviewed all the data that provided the department in charge of the analyzes”, says Mexican journalist Alberto Ruiz with enthusiasm. At Santos Laguna, he introduced the GPSport, a technology that measures heart rate during training, passing effectiveness, accelerations, miles developed during play time, as well as preventing possible injuries. 

In the last hours, I read a lot of the word risk in many of our fanbase. Caixinha can be a quality leap towards something totally different from what we know as a manager. It is an update of the role that seemed to manifest incipiently with Warburton (which in my opinion ended up being something fictitious). It will not be immediate, but I think it's the moment of history knocking on our doors.

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