Imanol is one step away from making history with Real Sociedad | Football | Kinds of sports

Imanol Alguacil said goodbye at the press conference before the Cup semi-final against Mallorca (21:30) with the trademark “Go for They!” Earlier, he noted that he would ask the bus driver to take them along the Avenida de Madrid, the direct line leading to Real Madrid’s arena where fans converge, “because the game starts with the reception, although I don’t know if Erzaintza will allow that.” Sometimes the Real Sociedad coach can’t stand it and his passion takes over, as when he celebrated the Cup title by acting like just another fan in front of reporters.

Sincerity can also help. Like on the eve of Saturday’s game against Villarreal (1-3). While any other manager would have dodged questions about the Mallorca match with the repeated phrase “we’re focused on the League”, he broke away from the platitude and admitted: “I’ll be honest, we’re all thinking about the semi-final on Tuesday.” And he continued without palliatives: “I always say that the next game is the most important, but we are one step away from playing the final with the fans in the stands, and that is what we wanted to do three years ago. There’s no doubt that a comfortable win over Villarreal – which didn’t happen – “helps more, but I think everyone, me too, and of course the player too, is thinking about that semi-final that could take us to victory.” the final”.

Game after game, a couple of sentences were thrown into the trash bin, although he spoke only the truth, because it is difficult to lie to the coach of the San Sebastian team. Even as he showed sincerity, he also admitted, “There were two points this season where I said that hiding or not giving clues to my opponent sometimes makes me feel embarrassed, but I admit I said a few little words.” lie.”

This sincerity also sometimes gets him into trouble, as after the game against PSG in Paris, when he attacked, without naming him, his player Hamari Traore, who was off the field receiving treatment when Mbappe scored 1-0 in a throw. in the corner, with Kubo in charge of hiding his partner’s absence. “If a player leaves the team with one less player, it’s because he needs to go to hospital,” he admitted. His fervor was also on display in Son Mois in a league match against Mallorca, his cup semi-final opponents, when television cameras caught him making obvious gestures to Beñata Turrientes to get him back into the game after a heavy hit. …the head of the one who finished the game is dizzy.

Despite everything, or maybe because of it all, Imanol fits perfectly into the Real Madrid ethos because he is part of it. This is not some strange element, but a mechanism that has always been at the club’s disposal and which has led one of the most brilliant five years in the history of San Sebastian. the club he venerates, with a monument at the gates of the Real Arena to Alberto Ormaechea, the coach who achieved the greatest glory in the history of the Realists, winning two league titles in a row (1981 and 1982).

Coach Orio doesn’t have a statue yet, but he is one step away from achieving the milestone of another fan-adored coach, John Benjamin Toshack, the only one to lead Real Sociedad to two Cup finals. He was just one game away and two away from winning the tournament for the second time.

It is true that his team is not going through its best moment of the season. After a brilliant start to the League, which seemed to repeat the patterns of the previous campaign. The very fact of playing in such a difficult tournament as the Champions League weakens the strength of the biggest players and does the same to a greater extent to the teams that do not have such a large wardrobe. And if the minutes accumulate in the legs of the players, then the injuries are more severe, from which no one is immune, but which have caused terrible damage to the team led by Imanol.

At least he’ll get Mikel Oyarzabal back at the bell. “He hasn’t played for a long time, but the captain is full of enthusiasm and draws strength from everywhere,” says the coach left without Barrenechea, who retired as soon as the match against Villarreal began.

Mallorca traveled to San Sebastian with 500 fans after being seen off at the Son Moix gates by fans shouting “Yes we can!” After a goalless draw in Palma, their coach Javier Aguirre is not giving up. He had already encountered a similar situation when he coached Osasuna. “We weren’t favorites that time either, and for many reasons there are a lot of similarities with that. The external environment is very similar. There is a beautiful story behind it and I hope it has a happy ending,” concluded the Mexican coach.

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