El Centrocampista

IN WITH THE NEW…. Abel Resino takes over the Granada hotseat as Fabri is shown the door


Monday was all about emotional farewells to former manager “Fabri” González, the man who steered Granada CF to consecutive promotions and top flight football.

Yesterday saw the arrival of a new manager, who’s task it will be to keep them there… former Levante, Atlético Madrid and Real Valladolid boss, Abel Resino.

At a press conference to announce his appointment, Abel kept things simple to begin with, stating: “The team is good. It is too early to assess more. I have enthusiasm. I think the basis is good. Let’s get to work”.

The new manager went on to clarify: “We need time to meet the team. I’ve seen a good deal and I’ll see more. There have been very good games, but also irregular results. When a team has good games in Bilbao and Seville, they can do so in other games “.

“The base of the team is already there” he added, “And if we can strengthen it further, for sure we’ll stay in the Primera”, whilst bluntly stating that “The players at Granada are better than they think they are”.

Abel also gave early indications of his tactical approach for the Granada team: “It’s important to hold the lines as a unit and there must be balance. I care about both the defence and the attack. We are the team with the fewest goals though and we must play closer to our opponents area, whilst the risks involved need to be assessed”.

“It’ll be a clean slate. The system we are evaluating. Let’s try to have some prominence, depending on the opponent. I want some flair and to ensure we’re not contained. The plans we’ve yet to realise, but players make the system, which we’ll clarify later. We have to apply methodologies of what we did in Valladolid. We have players who can play good football, while still being compact”.

To the fans, the new Granada coach said: “You know what it is to suffer, I’m pleased to join your colours. I would point to the fans – carry on the fantastic support of your team, that was shown in the two promotions”.

Following the departure of Fabri González, he added: “I hope to earn the respect of the fans. I send sincerest regards to Fabri and I hope the fans will support us. If there was a separation of that support, it would be difficult.”

Over his longer term plans, having only signed a contract until June 2012 and asked if he’d be staying beyond that, he simply said:”If things go well, I will. If you are not happy, I’ll go end the season.” Though he added: “If all goes well and if the goal is achieved, I think it will be easy for me to stay. If we stay, that will be welcome. The Primera division is very complicated. You must compete with maximum effort”. Finally Abel added that “there are four or five teams worse than Granada, I’m sure”, he respectfully declined to name them.

This managerial appointment by Granada CF president Quique Pina, isn’t the first time he’s worked with Abel Resino. Pina gave Resino his first managerial opportunity as manager of Ciudad de Murcia.

“I worked with him in his debut season in professional football management. He did well with Ciudad de Murcia, where our primary objective was to avoid relegation. With him there we almost gained promotion (to Primera), but unfortunately we didn’t and he moved on to Levante”. Stated Pina.

Echoing the sentiment of his new manager, Pina also added that “Granada will deepen his personality. We are a winning team with Abel, if the fans support the players, we will move forward.”

Much will depend on how quickly Abel Resino is able bring his tactical plans to fruition with the team. Many followers of the club often felt that although there were metits to Fabri’s defensive focus, with the team struggling to score goals, he was perhaps being too restrictive with the team.

Early indications from Resino’s first press conference suggest that whilst balance and stability is important, he want the team to take a more offensive attitude, believing they have the ability to be more flexible.

With the January transfer window also in full swing, Granada have been linked with many new players, particularly to strengthen the forward line.

Over the last couple of days and during his press conference with Abel Resino, club president Quique Pina clarified the rumours over potential target, Gio Dos Santos: “We are the only club to have made a formal offer Giovani Dos Santos, but another club could always come in and snatch a deal. There are several major clubs interested in him, but the only solid offer he and his club have received, is that of our own”.

A new manager at the helm, offering a clean slate to the players, with change in tactical outlook and a president prepared to spend in the transfer market. Granada CF is a club that certainly doesn’t lack in ambition, but nobody said life amongst the elite would be easy and certainly, it hasn’t been.

With only a week left to make any signings and a difficult run of fixtures ahead, it will be interesting to see if the changes make an impact, or not.

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