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09.01.2009 10:37

Ezquerro: “We need more possession and pressure”

Roger Bogunyà

Former Barça striker Santi Ezquerro knows what to do to beat Barça. “We have to get possession, put pressure on them up front and take advantage of the chances we get”, he said. But he is well aware that Barça “is a very difficult team to beat”.

In an interview with www.fcbarcelona.cat, Santi Ezquerro spoke about what it was like to leave Barça and join Osasuna, the bottom side at the moment, two days before the sides clash at the Reyno de Navarra. The man from La Rioja also spoke about the Navarrans outfit’s ambitions, and said that Guardiola’s side “play at a high level whoever they play”.

How are you feeling at Osasuna?

“We are not in a very comfortable position. We want to get out of the relegation zone as quickly as possible. The fact that we are in the relegation zone also means we haven’t been able to show our full potential”.

Mentally it must have been a big move for you to leave Barça and come to Osasuna. After fighting for every title, now you are struggling to avoid the drop.

web_16.JPG“They are team with different objectives. I had been in other teams before. I was at Athletic for seven years, and at Mallorca... and every club has different aims for the end of the season, and that’s what you have to achieve. For me it is essential to feel important and give all I have in me to achieve those group targets”.

And for Osasuna this year, that’s not dropping down to the second division.

“Yes. We have to be strong at home and show what Osasuna has always been about, a hard team to beat at the Reyno de Navarra. In the last few games it has been like that again”.

Has the improvement at Osasuna been because of Camacho’s arrival?

stoke_33.jpg“Camacho has a lot of experience of the football world and that’s helping a lot for the team to get out of the rut. But it’s also true that Ziganda didn’t get much of a chance given the short time he was in charge of the team”.

From Pamplona and as a very recent ex-Barça man, what do you make of Guardiola’s team?

“I don’t think I would be saying anything new if I said that Barça are playing at a very high level. Whoever plays, the team seems to work. Nobody is indispensable and that means it all works well. They create a lot of chances and are very difficult to beat”.

So what would you do to stop Barça on Sunday?

“We have to be focused in defence and do all we can to make sure the ball is in their half for as much of the game as possible. We have to do what Barça dislikes so much, hold onto the ball and create pressure up front, and most important of all, make the most of the chances we get”.

How have Barça changed from last season to this one?

“Football goes in cycles. When I was at Barcelona we also had a great period in terms of results, and then one that wasn’t as good. Now Barça are going through a good spell and everything is going right for them”.

What do you think all this success boils down to? Is it thanks to Messi?

“Messi is showing that he is a great player, but Barça is not just about Messi. If Messi plays well that’s because such a good job is being done by all the other players. For me it’s the whole team that’s important: Xavi, Iniesta, Gudjohnsen, who’s having a sweet moment...”.

As for Sunday, will make any difference that Osasuna played their cup game 48 hours later than Barça?

“Not at all. It’s not a problem. The Sunday match is a late one, at 21.00, and it’s a game any player would want to play in. There is plenty of time to recover and get ready to face Barça”.
Photos: CA Osasuna.
Photos: CA Osasuna.
What he left behind in Barcelona
What do you miss most about Barcelona?

“In Barcelona I enjoyed three seasons. But what I miss the most is the weather. In Pamplona it is much, much colder. As for football, you do miss the fact we were competing for titles: at Barça you went out onto the pitch knowing you had to win every game”.

Are you still in contact with former team mates at Barça?

“Yes. I speak to them a lot. I often speak to Valdés, Xavi, Sylvinho, Gudjohnsen, Iniesta... I made very good friends at Barça”.

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