Ibai Gómez “The Derby Is Always Something Special”
It’s been nearly two years since Athletic last beat Real Sociedad. That win, coming back in December of 2017, feels like an eternity ago. The Lions are determined to turn things around on Friday night making this Basque Derby more important than ever. Ibai Gómez discussed the streak in an interview with Juanma Velasco of Marca on Thursday and explained that taking all three points would be the perfect way to go into the international break.
“Obviously, when the result is negative the sensations aren’t good, but the Derby is always something special and different to play in. I really want to play. What Getafe has done deserves recognition. What they do, they do very well and that’s why they are in Europe. That’s why last week’s point has a lot of merit. We have just begun to look at the points but this is a special match. Beating Real Sociedad and going into the break with seven points would be a wonderful way to start the league.”
Real Sociedad play a much different style of football than Athletic, but that’s of no concern to Gómez. The winger is confident in the way Athletic have approached football under Gaizka Garitano and says the team is ready for the game.
“There are many styles of play and all are respectable. La Real are playing a type of football that seems to be going well this season. It’s different to us but we are also doing well with our style. I don’t think you have to compare styles. We trust what we do and will show that, with our style, we are very well prepared for the season.”
Gómez was quick to admit that the Derby won’t be easy. La Real boast an impressive squad this season but the 29-year-old has full faith in Athletic. The Lions have been great since Gaizka Garitano took over as manager and have become one of the strongest defenses in the league.
“It’s true that they have a nice team but we have Raúl, Williams, Aduriz, Yuri, Iñigo…We have a squad that finished last season well and have started this one strong. We have four points after two very complicated games against Barcelona and Getafe. This team is determined. Since Gaizka arrived the dynamics are very positive. Many times we hear that last year shouldn’t be repeated, but it’s the beginning of last year that shouldn’t be repeated. We are a very compact team that is difficult to score against. On top of that, we can score goals.”
A lot has been made about Aritz Aduriz playing with both Aitor Larrazabal and son Gaizka, but that isn’t the only special relationship in the squad. Gómez actually coached teammate Dani Vivian at Santutxu and revealed that he believes the defender will become a special player for the club.
“It’s something very special for me. When I trained Vivian I saw the kind of person who always wants to learn, pays attention, and asks questions. I also saw the desire he has. He’s the same today and I’m happy for him because he has a very bright future ahead. I’m convinced he will be a great Athletic players.”
Injuries have prevented Ibai Gómez from being able to play in the opening two match but the winger hopes to be on the field Friday night at San Mamés. “I will always try to work to be in the team and do what the coach asks”, said the forward. “I will provide my best and improve my weaknesses because I think I can take another step forward. I will try to make the most of every opportunity I have.” Gómez could finally make his season debut against Real Sociedad in what will be a massive game for the Zurigorri.