One of the tenets of Rafa’s coaching philosophy is to have players competing for every position on the team.
Rafa has been able to do a lot of that this season without too much help from the owner.
He would have liked it to be more competitive for places with better players in the squad, but it was not to be – at least not for last summer.
Rafa did manage to bring in three good players on loan during the January transfer window, and winger Kenedy and goalkeeper Dubravka have nailed down first-team positions with the other loan player – striker Islam Slimani – still not fit.
Joselu – we must be ready to play in every game
Spanish striker Joselu has given an insight into the way Rafa thinks, and he has said this today as reported in the Shields Gazette today:
“We have a lot of players,” “We have a very good team. All of the players are in a good moment, me as well.”
“Now I have to be ready to play minutes and to try to score more goals to help the team to win games. That’s it.”
“Some weekends, some players play, and others it is other players. The Premier League is long.”
“We have a very good squad, very good guys. We understand everything. The manager has a good word with us.”
“The manager cannot put 22 players in the starting eleven – all the players are ready, and we work hard for that.”
Rafa has a good way of ensuring all the players in the squad know they are important and must be ready to play in every game.
That’s how he wants our players to think; it sounds good to us.
This is a team game and it’s the team that wins or loses.
In fact, it seems it’s the squad that wins or loses in Rafa’s eyes – everybody’s included.
What do you think?
Happy Birthday to Joselu – he’s 28 today.