Javier Clemente Criticzes Eduardo Berizzo’s Refusal To Abandon His Style Of Play
Legendary Athletic Club manager Javier Clemente knows what it’s like to be sacked. He was relieved of his duties in the summer of 2006 after helping the team escape relegation the prior season. On Monday he was a guest on Radio Marca and refused to say whether or not he wants Eduardo Berizzo to be fired by Athletic. He’d rather leave that decision to the President.
“I don’t like to terminate coaches because I am a coach and I have a lot of respect for coaches, but Athletic is in a delicate situation right now. As a Socio I am worried about the situation, but if you tell me that we must terminate Berizzo then, look, that is something that the President has to decide. You have to be calm and support the team which will help them do well.”
When asked about Berizzo saying that he refuses to give up his style of play, Clemente said that the phrase is very “Argentine” and that some coaches are too focused on how the football looks rather than the actual results. He believes the players should be the ones exciting the fans, not the specific style of the coach.
“It’s a very Argentine phrase. They talk a lot about the show, but the show is a lie. Those who have to make the football nice, good, fast, and beautiful are the players. The coaches are sitting and smoking a cigar. Well, they won’t let us smoke anymore. The coaches who talk about all that are talking to balcony and lying. Athletic is playing badly right now and what they have to do is win, not in any way, but in a way that their victory is good. If they are winning they should keep doing what works, if they are losing, they should change things.”
Clemente was very critical of Berizzo’s unwillingness to change things up, saying that the most important thing is winning. He recognizes that the fans are not happy right now and all they want is to see Athletic win again.
“In football only two things matter. First, you have to get along with the players, understand them, and treat them the best you can. Secondly, you have to win. You can say ‘I won’t give up my style’ but if it turns out that you are not winning any matches, well you should give up your style. Coaches are paid to win, not make the football beautiful. Winning is what is beautiful. I’ve never seen a team that is winning that isn’t playing well. The fans are angry and just want to see their team win, and win, and win. If one day you win while playing beautifully, that’s even better.”
At the moment it doesn’t appear as though Athletic are considering firing Eduardo Berizzo. With the Presidential elections set to take place on 27 December it is unlikely that any major changes will be coming at the moment, but it is clear that things haven’t gone as expected this season. The Zurigorri have gone a club record 12 straight league matches without a win and currently find themselves in the relegation zone of the La Liga table.