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20.06.2007 13:52

Ringing The Changes

Sandra Sarmiento/Sergi Nogueras

Txiki Begiristain has spoken openly to the media during the club's trip to South Africa about the changes to the squad that will be made over the summer to allow the team to continue challenging at the top.

With work already underway on remoulding the playing staff for next season, the Barça technical secretary gave his views on the work that he has ahead of him. "When you in the process of forming a new team is easier than when you are renewing the squad, because that is walays more complicated," he said. "We are happy with the ideas that we have and we are convinced that we will form a squad capable of playing for everything."

Begiristain does not see his work as something of a direct examination: "No, it is not an examination," he continued. "I am part of a club that has mechanisms and a way of working and I responsible for part of that. The examinations are sometimes the results and sometimes the style and way of working, more than just a one-off performance."

Past And Future

nas-fcb1_x1x.jpgAfter seeing the title slip by, the technical secretary described his thouts on the season that has just finished: "Disappointment," he stated. "That is what we feel after seeing a team with so much quality come so close, but in the end were not able to achieve the things that we had hoped for. It is an enormous disappointment."

Looking ahead to what the supporters can expect, Begiristain gave assurances that the team will not repeat some their performances next season. "The quality was there. We have not finished sixth and been knocked out of the cup early on. We were fighting for both domestic titles until the final month of the season and it was not about quality that we did not win anything, it was more about how we approached things, a question of mentality and state of mind."

Assuming Responsibility

After Joan Laporta's press conference on Tuesday, Begiristain reaffirmed the president's views: "What we agree on is that the team is capable of much more," he continued. "I think that the responsibility is everybody's and we have to be doing things right every day, little by little. If everyone keeps training well then things are fine, but if that drops off at all then when Sunday comes around you can see it and, although we noticed a slight drop in the level of performance on occasion, it did not really affect the outcome of the league. I think that when Laporta talks about commitment he means things that the club can do and what I mean is the commitment of every player. To be a little rigorous, one has to know what everyone is capable of and what they are not.

"I assume total responsibility because we are talking about the management. My responsinility is the coaching staff and the players. There is a step in between, which is the responsibility of the coaches for the players, but I have to know how everything is going and when the players are not playing well and for my part there has been a lack of reaction to that, which i fully assume."

Refreshing Change

web_11.jpg"The feeling that everyone has when a season starts is that the team can win things again," Begiristain continued. "It is not just about winning the trophies it is also about winning well because of the quality that we have. What happens then is that we are responsible for the management of the team, we have spent a lot of time watching from Sunday to Sunday and can see how each game ends. We were top of the table and reached the First Knockout Round of the Champions League and there was always a chance of winning things this season. What was a problem was going week to week. After every game we had to ensure that we were still first and that we had played well.

"What happens afterwards is that when we needed to bounce back it was too late. That was the problem. We have to ensure that we do not go week to week and go more day by day and be more rigorous in training. How can we improve our quality? We need more knowledge and control over what everyone is capable of."

Weel By Week

"We have created a relaxed state," he explained. "It was not adequate and we could not always compete. I am responsible for the football side of things and I assume that completely, but I am also thrilled that, together with the coaches, we can correct these things and create a new team and introduce new mechanisms to ensure that the players are at their best and that will mean that we continue to fight for trophies. We have to be more rigorous."
Ringing The Changes

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First Team Changes
Txiki Begiristain confirmed that there will be changes made to the playing staff in the summer as he stated: "We need changes because the squad has to be refreshed. We have to introduce new machanisms of performance. Firstly because we must not forget that our job is to measure improvements and if we understand that some players have dropped in level then we have to try and improve on that and our work is to build and improve where we feel things have dropped off."

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