Valdés: “The team is on the right track”
Speaking after this today’s training session, Víctor Valdés admitted:“the team have had a few blips, but it’s nothing more than that”, whilst assuring the media:“I can see no reason to doubt the team.We are even doing some things better this season".
Looking to Saturday’s game against Seville, Valdes explained: “we can expect a Seville
team who will be very strong, as always. They had some poor results at the start of the season, but
with the new manager there’s been a change in philosophy and they will be very tough, with
strong players up front. We will have to be on our toes to beat them”.
Seville’s keeper Palop has been ruled out of the game and Valdes agreed:
“he’ll be a big loss for them, but we have to show respect for his teammate (Javi
Varas) who’s taking his place – whenever he’s played, he’s done well,
However, we don’t have to look at the things that are happening to them, we have to focus on
our own game”.
“Just a few blips”
Asked about Barça’s start to the season, Valdes commented:
“we’ve had a few blips, but it’s nothing more than that. We are on the right
track now, both in terms of results and how we are playing, I’d say we are even doing some
things better this season than in other years”.
“Our rivals know more about us”
Valdes also believes: “we’ve had no doubts about the team and I can see
no reason to doubt us. Our rivals know more about us and can look for other ways to attack which
they maybe didn’t have in the past. We have to be very focussed at dead ball situations and
learn from our mistakes”.
Cup rest “did us good”
The keeper missed the trip to
on Tuesday, alongside eight other first team squad players and he explained: “it
did us good, because we didn’t really have a proper pre-season and we haven’t had as
much time to work as the players who didn’t go to the World Cup. It certainly helped us get
some fitness and tone back”. As to the five B team players who did figure on Tuesday, Valdes
affirmed: “I wasn’t surprised at how well they did, nor at their commitment. They are
coming through well trained and with the skills and tactical knowledge the boss is looking
Madrid game best played at the weekend
There’s been speculation that the Real Madrid game might be
shifted to Monday night, but Valdes wouldn’t be too happy about such a switch:
“football is for the weekend. It might get the same audience on a Monday, but I’d see
it as a bit light. As a pro, I’d prefer it on the weekend”. Whenever it’s finally
played, Valdes believes the game: “like always will be a decisive game for everything that
surrounds it and all the talk about it, but there are two or three other teams who will also
realistically be in the race for the title”
Iniesta for the Balon D’Or?
There are six Barça players in the running for the FIFA Balon D’Or and Valdes has his
own preferences: “I’d like a Barça player to win it and if I had to choose, I’d
give it to Iniesta, for everything he’s done this season and because we are such big mates.
He’s really growing as a player and at his age he’s still got a lot of potential
.he’s at such a high level of confidence and every year he becomes more important to the
Valdes also explained: “Xavi has been carrying some important
injuries and if he needs it, I’m sure the boss will use him sparingly. He’s a big loss
for us and I hope he gets over the injuries as soon as possible” Another of his teammates,
Messi, was praised by Di Stefano recently and Victor reckons: “I’ve always said that
the sky is the limit for him - he’s still the best”.
The press also wanted to know about David Villa and Valdes assured them: “there’s
no worrying in the squad – he’s shown what a goal scorer he is and he brings so many
things to the team. We value him highly and the goals will come”. Valdes was also quizzed
about Pinto’s famous whistle against
and was adamant: “we all have ways of signalling the defenders and he has his own.
He does it to communicate with the defence, not to fool an attacker”.
Guardiola, “the secret of our success”
Asked about Sir Alex Fergusson’s reported desire to count on
Guardiola’s services, Valdes commented: “I cannot imagine it. First of all, for the
good of this club – I said a while ago that his appointment was one of the best things that
ever happened to the club. When he left us as a player, it was hard to imagine Barça without him
and now one of the secrets of our success is that he’s the boss”.
Not just marketing
Finally, Valdes commented on the
latest marketing campaign
to get the Nou Camp full for every game: “everything helps. It’s a way to
express the unity between the fans and the players. We need them and they need us –
that’s not just marketing, there’s a lot more behind the campaign”.