Andoni Iraola Praises Eduardo Berizzo And Calls For Patience With The Athletic Club Manager
Former Athletic Club captain Andoni Iraola is off to a wonderful start in his coaching career. The 36-year-old took over as the manager of AEK Larnaca where he has already lifted the Cypriot Super Cup and is currently competing in the group stage of the Europa League. The Lezama product recently spoke with Radio Popular and admitted that he still follows Athletic closely and believes that fans should have faith in the Lions.
“I watch Athletic’s matches whenever I can. It seems right now that the team is playing better than the points suggest. They are not in a good place in the table, but they are transmitting good sensations. You have to trust that things will work out. There was a big change with a new coach and many new players. We must give it more time before making a real assessment.”
Iraola is widely considered to be the best right-back to ever represent Athletic and was asked about his thoughts on the position right now. He had words of praise of Oscar De Marcos and company, while also saying that Eduardo Berizzo’s team plays a style of football that makes opponents uncomfortable.
“Athletic always have players of good quality. Oscar, [De Marcos], Ander [Capa], and Iñigo [Lekue] can give a lot at the right-back position and fit in well with what the coach asks of them. Berizzo has clear ideas and playing against his teams is uncomfortable. He presses at the very top and that carries risks. There are pros and cons. He has done well with other teams and with work the results will come.”
In closing, Iraola has called on Athletic fans to have patience with Iñaki Williams who has struggled to score goals in the striker position. He understands that the demand is high, but also highlighted the fact that it took Aritz Aduriz a long time to find his best level in front of goal.
“Playing at striker is not an alien position for Iñaki [Williams] although he has had the best performances on the wing. It’s true that being in that role demands a higher number of goals. He hasn’t played as many games as a striker and there are matches that he has played very well as the Nine. Aduriz also took a few years to find his best in front of goal. You have to have patience.”
Andoni Iraola is a living legend at Athletic Club and someone who could one day be in line to coach the first team. Since taking over as the manager of AEK Larnaca he has impressed and showed the ability to get the best out of his team in a difficult league. It’s clear that he still follows his boyhood club closely and wants to see Athletic become as successful as possible.