Gurpegui: The Fact That Athletic Have Never Been Relegated Should Be A Source Of Pride
Recently retired Athletic legend Carlos Gurpegui is currently serving as an ambassador for the club and knows the Txurrigorri as well as anyone. On Monday he had the opportunity to speak at the Ordinary Assembly of the International Federation of Athletic Club Peñas and took the time to address the disappointing season under Kuko Ziganda. He said that fans must recognize the good things, such as the Lions securing permanence in La Liga which should continually be a source a pride seeing as how the Basque giants have never been relegated to the second division.
“The season has not gone as well as we thought it would in the beginning, but we have to keep mindful of the good things. We will continue another year in the Primera. The fact that Athletic have never been relegated should be a source of pride. The club always wants to have the best team possible, but given the philosophy it is not always easy. There will be new faces next season and that should help the team improve. I want to thank the fans for their encouragement and affection that they convey in difficult times like these and I would ask them to continue trusting the club because everyone wants what is best for Athletic and the fans.”
Several key figures around Athletic, including legendary players and coaches, have all pointed out recently that fans should understand that there will be difficult seasons due to the club’s unique identity and policy. That being said, the Basque giants are always looking to improve and compete at the top of the La Liga table and will hopefully be able to return to their best form next season. As of right now Ander Capa, Cristian Ganea, and Dani Garcia will all be joining in the summer, while others like Mikel Merino are high on the transfer priority list and could further strengthen the squad.
Manager Kuko Ziganda will not make it past the end of the season as he is expected to be relieved of his duties when the campaign comes to a close. Athletic have been in advanced negotiations with Eduardo Berizzo for a while now and the Argentine will reportedly become the next manager at the San Mamés this summer, barring any unforeseen issues. With a strong squad and promising additions on the way, fans are hoping to see the Lions compete for European qualification again next season after what has been a disappointing year.