This is taken from my site https://djsmileysawordp.wordpress.com/
I received a call from the president of Rayo Vallecano for a meeting in Madrid Spain in a neighbourhood of Vallecas. I accepted it even though I had never travelled overseas in my entire life but at the same time this was not an opportunity I would turn down.
Next stop I was at O.R Tambo international airport boarding a plane from South Africa Johannesburg to Madrid Spain and I was so looking forward to the meeting. I had this dictionary with me that I used to translate Spanish words into my beloved English language obviously that's the one language am sure I can speak and write besides the other languages spoken in my country.
Then I figured the only language I speak fondly is football so might as well learn one or two words of football in Spanish.
I believe the below words will atleast make me stand out while having meeting with Rayo Vallecano President and yes I started doing a bit of work on knowing them...
Gol – Goal
Fuera de juego – Offside
Centrocampista – Midfield
Delantero – Striker
Defensa – Defender
Capitán – Captain
Árbitro – Referee
Tanda de penaltis – Penalty shoot-out
Tiempo añadido – Extra time
Tiro libre (falta) – Free kick
Saque de esquina – Corner kick.
I got to the president Office and am welcomed by a very beautiful lady and she tells me Mr President will be with you in no time while offering me a seat at the reception.
After a few minutes the lady calls me and says ' please follow me Mr President is ready to meet with you're am like God help me speak Spanish I need this job.
We get to the President office and the lady opens the door for me and she says in English 'Please feel at home' and she closes the door after I went in and two men in their black suits are waiting for me seated next on couch.
We shake hands and one of the men says in spanish,
Hola Smiley bienvenido a madrid
and the other one translate it into english saying ' Hi Smiley and welcome to Madrid' and in my heart am like thank you God for answering my prayers so soon indeed you are a star God.
The translator says Mr Smiley we've been following your profile since you retired from playing football and some of the work you have done on coaching side of football at your home country has been brilliant that's one of the reasons we called you for this meeting so we can discuss the possibility of you taking over at our club as its first team manager.
As they say the rest is history.
A bit about Rayo, Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, S.A.D. (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈraʝo βaʎeˈkano ðe maˈðɾið]),[a]often abbreviated to Rayo, is a Spanish football team based in Madrid, in the neighbourhood of Vallecas. Rayo was founded on 29 May 1924, and currently compete in La Liga following promotion from the Segunda División. Home games are held at the 14,708-seater Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas stadium.
It's 28 June 2018 and am inside my office at the club's training ground and am going through the clubs playing staff presented to me by my technical team and I see preseason will only start on the 16 July.
So we've got 25 players registered as first team. Now I start analysing the squad one by one according to the information provided by my coaching team.
From the 25 players we only have 1 left back and after checking our Best team and youth team we got only useless players that will atleast for now not be considered for first team, so the only option for us is to go and buy and which by the look of it will only be done on the next transfer window which will only be around January and again our team just got promoted from the Segunda B so we are still broke.
While still checking the playing staff, I acme across 31 year old Mario Suarez who isiby nature a defensive midfielder and I thought to myself ok this guy here
will be my left back and I checked his contract...am like Sh#*t so this guy is on 125K pounds a week for a team which will is expected to be battling it out at the wrong end of the table... Holy me that's bull.
On a positive side his contract runs till end of the season so for now am gonna get him to work as my left back actually for the whole season but I still need a back so I will have to retrain someone.
So I started planning how am I gonna take this team forward, which philosophy am gonna instill at this club.
How am gonna play, what about training, how hard am gonna work the players although if there's one thing that I learnt about life in general hard work pays.
It's second day at my office and I got there early in the morning around 7am I was looking at our training facilities with my coaching staff, according to what I see we have fairly basic corporate facilities, good training facilities and good youth facilities.
On to my decision on how I want to play before I can even plan training I need to figure out how I want to play, so Spain is characterised by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
So from that now I understand why most Spanish teams likes to play with a low tempo because it's hot.
Basically no end staff direct football in Spain like in England where everything is rushed because of the whether, come to think of it probably that's why most of South Americans prefer to play in Spain rather that England where it's cold.
That's what I came up with for our tactic, we will pass it shorter in a low tempo and play narrow since we don't want to go wider beacuse I believe we don't have great passers to use the whole width so rather be compact and pass closer to the nearest colleague.
Our team is expected to be relegated so defending to me will be priority number 1 and I want us to be hard to be broken down which if we are hard to break down and get a couple of clean sheets then that will help us a lot to play in this division again next season.
In attack I have gone for a Pressing forward with an attack duty cause I don't want the opposition defenders getting too comfortable, in the middle of the park I've gone for a BWM - Support and a MEZZALA - Attack because both roles are told to do their their defending higher up the pitch and help out the Pressing forward to disrupt the opposition building from the back, actually this two role can end up causing us to defend in a 4-4-2 formation depending on which of the two roles goes up to help the striker.
I cross my fingers they don't go up at the same time to close down, behind the BWM I've gone for FB - Support because if the BWM goes havoc and go close down God knows where atleast they will be someone behind to sweep up.
I don't expect too much from the FB to be honest but 2 attributes are of importance which is 1. Positioning and 2. Anticipation since I need him to always know how to position himself so those attributes are very important for him.
Behind the MEZZALA I went for Suarez to play the Invented Wingback role in a defend duty so as to protect that side of the pitch when the MEZZALA goes forward.
It's a day before the players comes back for preseason and I have a meeting with my coaching team to plan training and we decided that for preseason we gonna work the players very hard so on our training program we added Endurance, Resistance, Physical and Quickness for the first two weeks because we had 5 weeks of preseason.
From the third week we started working on our tactical requirements so we can speed up tactical fluidity before the start of the first game of the season.
16 July 2018 at the training ground the players have gathered around waiting to meet their new manager. I start by introducing myself and telling that they good to be worrying about relegation and most of them agreed to what I was saying but one guy said if you want to succeed here you need toind what comes out of your mouth and didn't answer him and told the to start training.
So we played 4 friendlies before our first game of the league and I was happy that we won all of the games.
What made me happy the most is we kept clean sheets in all of them.
Before we wrap up the first chapter of my adventures in Spain I want us to have a look of some of the things I was looking out of to see if my players are actually doing what they've been told to do, so the first game of preseason we played Besiktas with the always trusted Loris Karius of Liverpool in goal lol, if you remember the final of champions league between Liverpool vs Real Madrid here
We won the match 2-0 but the score is not that important
If we take a look at the above picture the circled challenging the player on the ball is our BWM closing down the player on the ball and next to him is our MEZZALA and PRESSING FORWARD and if we look at three of them the BWM is closing down the ball carrier and the MEZZALA will pounce once the ball carrier passes the ball to the player next to our MEZZALA and our PRESSING FORWARD is checking the two centre backs in case the ball carrier tries to pass the ball to one of them.
Our ANCHOR MAN is keeping check on Kagawa the opposition number 10 and our RIGHT WINGER is in between the opposition Left back and Winger while that man circled at the far right is our RIGHT BACK which by those attributes I mentioned earlier on his doing exactly how I want him to do... brilliant.
Our midfield consolidation doesn't cause too many eyebrows as well since if you look at the player on the ball which is our RIGHT WINGER he's not actually isolated because close to him he's got ous right back, anchor manand he can still play a long ball to our Invented Wingback since he's not marked, what am trying to emphasize here is the fact that even if we loose the ball are gonna be in danger of considing a goal on a counter, out of 100% I would say no because if you look at the above picture carefully you can see that we actually have about five players behind the ball so it's not if we are in danger even if we loose the ball and remember we using BALANCED mentality.
That man BWM is still closing down the ball carrier and behind him the right back is holding his position without panic incase BWM is beaten then we still safe.
Our BWM has just won the ball and now we transitioning from defence to attack and our RIGHT WINGER on attack duty is the second in line hit of to join our striker,
A little later on the same move our Ballwining Midfielder losses the ball in midfield and the opposition survive but take a look at our WINGER on Attack duty the free space around him if only we didn't lose the ball and played a diagonal ball to him just check the acres space he find himself in... brilliant.
We actually played the first real game of the season against Espanyol and won 3-0.
Thanks a lot for getting this far reading everything much appreciated and please look out for chapter 2 of my adventures in Spain as we look to build on our brilliant preseason...cheers for now #FM19.