We’ve all been there. Sitting for what seems to be permanent, watching the presentation unfold as it unfolds, the PowerPoint page behind the statistics and results page, the sea of numbers on the screen, all these little details you hear for days. Now it flows a little.
Only they were different. It was good: it was Bilsa.
On Monday, Marcelo Bilsa was named the new coach of the athletic club – if Inaki Arechabaleta is elected president in Friday’s election. Which seemed certain for some time and for the same reason. How can he not? He had Bielsa – Bielsa! – So the other candidates, Ricardo Barclays and John Uriarte … well, they had nothing. Not now.
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Arechabaleta said that when he approached Bilsa to join his bid for the athletic presidency, the Argentine coach responded in time. The best thing he said was that current coach Marcelino Garcia Torrell should continue and still, he should be able to study the offer. So he did. Marcelino didn’t keep going – because he knew the election campaign was coming up and he didn’t really want to be a part of it – and now Bilsa was presenting his findings.
He didn’t come to Bilbao, and there were no interviews, no smiles, no handshakes and no greetings. Other than that, they made no inquiries or inquiries. Instead, it was done through video, all graphs and graphics. While walking behind him in a room of Bilbao or online, he noticed that Bilbao was sitting in front of him, thin, his hair was very short, he did what Bilbao does: speaks very slowly, analyzes it. It was the same with him and he knew that: while at the club between 2011 and 2013, Arechabaleta’s offer was to seize a second time.
Bilsa also gave her first performance. It was live: there was a classic connection problem and then Bill had to briefly apologize for going to the toilet. Pre-recorded this time, running perfectly.
He said he watched 45 athletic games last season. 45 Athletic Sports, 38 B Team Sports, Four C Team Sports and three Under-19s. He had seen every team except Girona face athletics, who were too late to join the promotion – and worked on every detail. He talked about how often each player was involved, their composition, the players and the emotions, the way to reach them, how they evolved. One hour and ten minutes they spoke and spoke.
He insisted the team was already good: “They play well, I love them,” he reiterated, “and it was the best thing for Marcelino to move on.” And yet the promise – without which Bilsa didn’t really promise – would probably be better than this current side under Marcelino’s leadership, and better than the side Bilsa had previously trained. This team will be more suitable for you than your first team, he said.
This is a fascinating idea. Eventually, they reached the finals of the Europa League and the Copa del Rey. He made a memorable debut at Old Trafford, beating Manchester United. There was a relationship, there was a feeling that this guy who wasn’t fit before is actually fit. They were all tired, it was true, but it was a bit of a ride. Once asked if Bilsa was really crazy, as people say, Iker Munian replied: “No, he’s crazy.” But the fans loved it. Eventually, they sang for his stay, but he left.
Now he is back. Or at least it could, if Arecheblata wins, and now a lot of people will vote against it. Despite other doubts about his candidacy – who is the director of sports? Which players is he interested in? – Or his character, was Bilsa.
“He is one of the top five coaches in the world, he is the most respected person by professionals and coaches. And we are talking about Marcelo for the future, not for the past, “insisted Arechabaleta, who did not stop paying attention to Marcelo. He claimed it was the club’s best season of the century.
He revolutionized everything, drove people crazy. Not only that: all of a sudden everyone was talking about it, about athletics. It seemed to end well. As a strong sign of support, Arechabaleta collected the lowest number of signatures so far: Fidel Uriarte 6,041, Ricardo Barca 4,054 and 2,987. But it felt decisive, almost complete. How can you lose it?
Maybe like this? Earlier in the campaign, the name of Mauricio Pochettino under Barca had emerged as a possibility, but now, two days after Bielsa’s presentation, the other two candidates announced that their manager will be Ernesto Valverde. If he wins, he will return to the club for his third spell after 2003-05 and 2013-17. He had followed Bielsa in the past, which was a welcome relief, and he had tremendous success in winning the Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup, the first athletic trophy in thirty years. Valverde was now offered against Balsa.
Like Marcelino, Valverde did not want to take part in a campaign that was always in danger of splitting. His intention was to stay away from it, which doesn’t mean he shouldn’t become a coach and he was always available as needed. However, he has now agreed to take with him both the candidates he has approached. This was for both reasons: “It should be comprehensive, not unique,” he said.
“It simply came to our notice then. I thought it was good to sign the coach because Iraya has a women’s team with him, “said Valverde. “I thought staying with coach Marcelino would be the best thing for the club. But for some reason that didn’t happen. “
The two have not coached Barcelona since Wolverhampton was sacked after winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Barcelona have not won anything since then; He has kept it out of the way most of the time. After Barcelona, there came a moment of escape in search of his place – he brought a new collection of his photos – and then came the epidemic. He said, “I am not confined to my house; Everyone has it, ”he said.
Valverde is a stress-relieving manager, with the ease with which he has achieved so much. Bilsa then brought air, a breathing room much needed – and success.
47.89% victory ratio (this is higher than any other in this century: Blissa 38.1%, Marcelino 37.33%, Garritano 41.57%). He finished fourth, then seventh, fifth, seventh (then finished athletic on 16, 8, 11, 10). And the destruction of Barcelona’s 2015 Super Cup.
There is something admirable about him, not a hint of ego, which should not have always helped him. No pitch for sale, just the opposite; He doesn’t want to go out when he’s sociable. Big jobs were turned down because they didn’t think it was right. He may not be very popular in Bilbao, but sometimes it seems like people aren’t talking about him anywhere, because maybe or not. Offers from Barcelona did not keep coming; This manager is not looking forward to working anywhere.
But athleticism is nowhere, everything. Outwardly, it is not always appreciated but it is a big club. “Bilbao, what is athletic in Vizcaya, I have not seen anywhere,” he says.
And so they are here again. There’s a lot to discuss – not much of John Uriart’s campaign after he was removed following the broadcast of a sexist, racist and homophobic tweet written by his proposed sports director Carlos Avina – but now it seems almost straightforward. Head to head and between two men whose reputation is rarely high.
Now they have to choose. With the announcement of Bielsa, it was completed. With Valverde, it’s not. The funny thing is, the thing that most likely goes against him is that he divides “his” votes between the two candidates.
Either way, the athlete is someone who likes to be left behind. But will it happen?
Coming back to the last thing, Valverde said, “The sequel has never been better.” Well, except for The Godfather Part II. “