Xisco Munoz turned a blind eye on the full-time whistle after bringing Watford again to the Premier League. The win over Millwall in April 2021 was their eighth in a row at residence. It ought to have been a second of pure pleasure however his emotions had been blended.
“A part of me was actually comfortable as a result of the Premier League was the aim, however one other half was unhappy,” Munoz stated. sky sports activities. “If we had had 25 extra video games collectively, we’d have loved all of them as a result of the crew was prepared for any state of affairs.
“We may play on transition, low block, medium block, excessive press, we may do every thing. I used to be a bit unhappy as a result of I knew that in two weeks it could all be over and we must begin from scratch as a result of the competitors within the Premier League is completely totally different.”
Seven video games into this Premier League season, with Watford sitting 14th within the desk on seven factors, Munoz has been sacked. 4 different managers have been and have since departed. Not that the Spaniard must recall the ephemeral nature of his occupation.
He talks to sky sports activities from Cyprus the place he’s awaiting severance pay after his final job at Anorthosis was reduce quick after only a few months as a result of occasions past his management. “They modified house owners and fired me. It is a bit surreal,” he explains.
“I do not need to go away but as a result of they solely despatched me one e mail saying they do not need my companies. The brand new house owners say the contract is with the previous house owners and so they do not speak to us, so we might must go to FIFA. I used to be informed it was a very good venture.
“I believe it was an enormous mistake.”
Munoz is in good spirits given the circumstances. He bought used to the unpredictability of his chosen profession, an eclectic journey that noticed him begin in administration with a title in Georgia. He’s now busy making ready for the subsequent problem.
“Now could be the time. We’re making ready new coaching classes, engaged on easy methods to enhance our processes as a result of, with house owners now, you do not have time. If you do not have outcomes initially, there is no such thing as a time to enhance your self so it’s important to talk concepts shortly.
“Once we are available, now we have 10 concepts. Consider them as 10 balls to throw at you. However you solely have two palms, so perhaps you’ll be able to solely catch two. Finally, you may deal with all 10 balls however It takes time, so it is best to simply talk one or two easy messages.”
Munoz speaks to coaches throughout Europe, exchanges concepts and watches soccer in England and overseas. Now 43, he says there’s ‘no proper approach in soccer, it’s important to determine for your self what works for you’ however a person’s affect on him is evident.
Rafa Benitez was his coach at Valencia the place Munoz was a part of the title-winning aspect in 2004 who additionally lifted the UEFA Cup that season. Actual Madrid had Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos and Raul. Valencia had one thing else.
“Actual Madrid had the very best gamers on the planet, so we solely had one option to beat them. Extra teamwork, extra energy, extra group, extra focus, extra preventing. We We needed to have higher values. We had this successful mentality. Everybody had that of their blood.
“No person goes to present you something without spending a dime. I bear in mind these years, I realized that. I used to be hooked. You recognize it’s important to work onerous for what you need. That is what Rafa us realized on and off the pitch I began to actually take into consideration the sport.
“Rafa began giving me totally different concepts. Till that second we had solely performed for ourselves. Perhaps not for ourselves, however for our personal traits. Rafa taught me easy methods to handle totally different conditions, offensively and defensively.
“Each coach is aware of the techniques. Each coach is aware of the sport. The distinction is your stage of element. You want quite a lot of issues as a supervisor, however it’s important to talk that element. I believe that is the key – how can we outline teaming as much as get the very best out of you?
“For instance, at Watford, with Ismaila Sarr, how may we discover house for him? We all know that when Sarr has house, he’s a high participant. So how will we get the ball to Sarr with him in a very good physique form to assault house? We would have liked a plan to get into this case.”
It labored. Sarr scored the winner that day towards Millwall, simply as he did in Munoz’s first sport in cost towards Norwich. It was a tough begin. “Norwich then Swansea, the highest two groups, then the FA Cup towards Manchester United. Wow. It was powerful,” he stated.
“But it surely was a tremendous expertise. We checked out what we may change instantly. We tried to present higher particular person coaching as a result of the league could be very tough and so they had quite a lot of accidents. We had been conceding targets, so we labored on clear sheets at first..
“Over time, we began discovering extra options on the ball and doing extra counter-pressing. The gamers bought the message. I felt that if we had been organized defensively, we may assault higher. Each week , we had been making an attempt to place the again line a bit greater.”
After which it was throughout.
“I bear in mind the day they sacked me, it was a day without work. The gamers and the employees had been off however I used to be there at 8am as a result of for me there is no such thing as a days off and [sporting director] Christian [Giaretta] met me there as a result of he knew I’d be there. He informed me.
“For me it was a shock, in fact. The crew was with me. We had been inside our goal. Seven factors from seven video games. However it’s important to perceive that another person makes the choice. made the choice to nominate me.
“Usually when somebody fires you it is as a result of one thing unhealthy occurred. However when you have got everybody’s help all you’ll be able to say is thanks. J loved from the primary day to the final. I’ve nothing however good phrases for Watford and particularly the followers.”
He was changed by Claudio Ranieri – mockingly the person who changed Benitez at Valencia all these years in the past. Ranieri lasted three months. Watford have been relegated underneath Roy Hodgson, having received extra video games this season underneath Munoz than his two successors.
It is simple to see why he feels worthy of one other alternative in England. He hopes to return quickly. “Proper now, it is the precedence. It is time to come again. I miss the extent of the gamers within the Championship. We’ll see what occurs subsequent season,” he stated.
“There are quite a lot of groups on the identical stage within the league, the distinction is just a few factors between success and failure. So it is all concerning the particulars. Generally you’ll be able to play properly and typically you’ll be able to play badly, however you’ll want to be the crew that takes the spoils.
“It is concerning the psychology, the administration of the group within the Championship. The gamers must know what’s required, it’s important to persuade them to go repeatedly each three days. It is part of soccer that folks do not see however it’s an essential half.”
Munoz has proven he can do it. He simply needs the possibility to shut his eyes once more in silent celebration.
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