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“Valera is a national team player and those players are always interesting in Universitario”

—What are the objectives that were set for the renovation of the campus?

Base the choice on quantitative and qualitative tools. We have generated a structure in which the quantitative is seen first, and if certain parameters were passed, we continued with the qualitative assessment, such as viewing matches. If that worked, we continued with the collection of references from former coaches or people who knew the player to finally reach a negotiation. The idea was that there was a principle of internal competitiveness: two players in the hierarchy who could compete for a position. After the average age is less than 27 years, the tentative average age of the starting team is under 28, the percentage of the starting team formed in the U is around 26%, the percentage of the squad formed in the club or talent under 21 be 40%…

—Jean Ferrari mentioned that to assemble the squad they used a large number of documents and systems that, hopefully, one day you will be able to show.

Heh heh… well, now we have a technical secretary and analysts. They have developed what they call U analytics, a kind of ranking of players by position in all the leagues according to criteria established based on the game model that we have created. We have, for example, a profile of what a central defender should be. Based on software, we weigh certain qualities linked to that profile and we draw a ranking of players by position and by league, especially those that the U can normally attract players. Someday I would like to share that document.

—With this model they look for which players can adapt to those positions.

We have built a super-specific, super-deep game model, and based on it, the profile of the players by position. And emblematic players that represent that profile.

“Can you give an example?”

An extreme example: Piero Alva. The profile establishes what we expect at a tactical, physical, cognitive level. We have tried to change the dynamic and not wait for players to be offered to us, but go for those who fit the modern profile of the U.

—And what is that game model? From what was seen before UCV it is explained why Novick had no place. It’s a team without much preparation, looking for quick transitions, playing on the wing…

It is a team with a lot of dynamics, very protagonist, that goes out to look for the game, of course with nuances such as when it is time to play at height and other conditions. It is a very strong team in transitions, which is somewhat the philosophy of Carlos (Compagnucci).

—How did you establish the model? Did you discuss it with Compagnucci or is it independent of the coach?

Carlos has arrived because he has those characteristics. Then there are nuances, you will never get two equal technicians. There are profiles of coaches who adapt or have a sensitivity marked by offensive football. In Carlos, his teaching ability is also important because in Peruvian soccer the players reach the professional level with some difficulties, and they need to continue training them tactically, individually and collectively.

—You mentioned that they are looking for a U with an average age of less than 27 years, but they have hired four who are over 30. You also said that they wanted Sub 21 players, why does Rugel leave, then?

The average age of the squad is 25.6 years old and the goal was for him to be under 27. Regarding Rugel, we would have loved him to continue, but it was his decision.

—Who decides the continuity of a player, you or Compagnucci?

We have done things in consensus. There are conversations, we reach agreements for both departures and arrivals.

—Reforming the campus costs money. Has the budget grown?

So far we are under last year’s budget. When the campus is closed, the idea is to be practically the same as in 2022.

—Since you were appointed to the position, you thought about changing the squad. Was it the mission that Ferrari gave you?

Nerd. I go to Campo Mar every day, I watch the training sessions, I travel to watch the matches, I observe a lot and try to see, not just look, in depth. I spoke a lot with the coach and we felt that a restructuring was needed, which is something natural in soccer teams.

—Was it because of the game or because of the atmosphere within the campus?

A mix of everything. In football there are cycles that end and it is necessary to renew aiming to modernize the team’s game.

—Was there a key moment when you realized the need to change?

I don’t know if there was a key moment. Since I had to take on another role, I felt that changes had to be made. You had to shake things up, change some things, improve others, and for this it was super important to have a super-professional, super-trained technical command to give the footballer the tools and demand them to the maximum.

—Was that about Yacob yours or Compagnucci’s?

Since I’ve been in charge, I’ve had to manage the departures and arrivals of between 20 and 25 players, technical command, transfers abroad… whoever makes decisions can be wrong. The important thing is to draw conclusions and look ahead. Obviously if Claudio did not play it was a mistake.

—And why did you choose a central midfielder and not a striker? Why did the U have so many central midfielders last year?

Three left in the middle of the year: Alfageme, Guarderas and Cayetano. It was something very fast, the market closed the next day and, well, there was a communication with the coach, and it was all very fast. It didn’t go as expected.

—And at the start of Valera they were also wrong?

Perhaps it could have been resolved in a different way, but several things happened that sometimes do not reach the media, situations that are not very simple. I think maybe it could have been handled differently.

—Ferrari was asked if Valera could come back and he said he was going to talk to you.

In this market I have not referred to any player, that is not going to change. What I can tell you is that Álex is an elite player in Peruvian soccer, with the national team and those players are always of interest to Universitario.

“You’re telling me something and nothing at the same time…

I can’t tell you more because that’s how I handled myself during the transfer market.

—At the beginning you said that the campus has not been closed. Two players missing?

It’s not closed yet, it could be that number.

—One of them is Celi, right?

I don’t know (laughs)

What positions are you looking for?

We are going to confirm a striker in the next few days. A center forward.

—Does your work have more to do with science than insight?

Not at all. Nothing supplants the eye and sensitivity. Only now there is a quantitative base that helps you filter. There are many tools that we cannot waste that help in the direction.

—Football is also about results. If they don’t win this year, it’s going to be considered a failure.

This is results, we are clear. There are things that can take a while to unite, to assemble, but we are in the U and we know your sports needs. We have worked based on that.

Source: Elcomercio

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