Susaeta “We Have Come Into Preseason With Enthusiasm And Desire”
Markel Susaeta is entering his 12th season in the Athletic Club first team and has trained under a lot of coaches. He’s seen massive success and brutal failure, but he’s always remained a humble and positive person through it all. On Thursday, the Captain gave a press conference and was quickly asked about new manager Eduardo Berizzo. He said that there are a lot of similarities with Marcelo Bielsa and that right now training sessions are focused on getting in shape.
“Berizzo and Bielsa have things in common such as desiring physicality, having possession, and attacking. They worked together so it’s natural that they have learned from each other. We are comfortable in whatever situation they throw us in. At the moment we are working on the physical aspect of things because in games the coach wants a lot of intensity and that demands being in good shape. We will work on other things later on. He demands intensity and for the players to be prepared. We have all come into preseason with great enthusiasm and desire, after last year we will try to stay as high as possible.”
Trying to put last year’s disappointing campaign in the past, Susaeta said that the team has all the hope in the world to get things back on track. A new manager means that everyone starts from scratch and there is plenty of competition to earn a place in the starting lineup.
“We have all the hope in the world. There have been years where we played at a high level, in which we were always able to finish near the top of the table and almost always won. Last year was a slump, a disappointment for us all so I see everyone with a lot of desire right now. We are all very excited and if we contribute our part we can do nice things. With a new coach we all start from scratch.”
With 34 players currently training with the first team, Susaeta knows there is plenty of competition to overcome. Everyone is battling for their place in the team and he believes that all of the new arrivals can add something to the team as a whole.
“There is a lot of competition and those who have come into the team have a lot of quality and can contribute a lot. Also, the young players who are with us have great potential and quality. I’m sure they can bring a lot to the team. There are a lot of players and we don’t know how big the squad will be. Everyone is pushing hard to show that we can be in the starting lineup.”
In closing, Susaeta admitted that last year was not easy to endure. Just when things looked to be turning around there would be another disappointing result. The 30-year-old said that, so far this preseason, you can see the determination on everyone’s face and the desire to have a strong season.
“The end of last year was a disappointment for everyone and we don’t want to repeat it. It seemed like we always had a chance to jump up the table and then things went wrong. Unfortunately we aren’t in Europe this year, but we hope to be there again soon. Now we want to be engaged from the first moment. We think we can have a great year and it is not time to look for culprits because last year is over. We have a clean slate to work with. I reiterate that it shows on the face of the players that there is a desire to win back the fans and there is hope that from the first game they will be excited. My career It all happens so fast. It seems like just yesterday I was making my debut. I try to enjoy every day of training and matches.”
It is hard to believe that Susaeta is still only 30 years old because he has been around for a very long time. This season could see the Lezama graduate reach some major milestones. He has played in 482 matches for the Lions, sixth all time, and could climb the ladder to overtake the likes of Piru Gainza (494), Andoni Iraola (510), and Joseba Etxeberria (514). Doing so would be a huge deal for Susaeta, but the most important thing to the Captain is for Athletic Club to have a great season.