Arrasate: We can produce good performances, whoever plays
Real Sociedad manager Jagoba Arrasate has pointed towards the game at Sevilla on Sunday as being a crucial opportunity for his team, both to distance themselves from a direct rival in the chase for a Europa League place, whilst also towards their ambitions of pushing for fourth spot and the Champions League.
Speaking at his pre-match press call on Saturday, Real Sociedad manager Jagoba Arrasate first mentioned the difference between their last away trip and their next one at the Sánchez-Pizjuán on Sunday, with Sevilla being a much more powerful team.
“We won at Málaga because we made a great start to the game, plus we knew how to suffer when things weren’t going so well. Sevilla have a lot more potential right now than Málaga and if we want to win there, we must improve our performance.”
Though Real Sociedad maintain a healthy gap of points ahead of Valencia, Sevilla and Levante in the chasing pack, Arrasate stressed the importance of claiming another three points, both to secure their first option of Europa League football next season, without forgetting the aim of pushing for 4th place in La Liga and a return the Champions League.
“There’s two teams behind us, as well as Levante, who are eight points behind us. We’ve got direct clashes coming up. Now we’re playing Sevilla and soon we’ll be playing against Valencia as well. Anything that we can get against those teams, or that they can’t take from us, means that we maintain our advantage or could increase it.”
“We have to secure our first objective first, so that we can then push for fourth place later. What we want to do is win the game tomorrow, to get the three points, so that we can distance ourselves further from a direct rival and also so we can get closer to fourth place.”
Looking at Sevilla, Arrasate highlighted key components of Sunday’s opponent and like many managers before him, pointing out how dangerous the Andaluz side are from set-pieces.
“They’ve changed how they play a little. They’re a courageous team, they’re very demanding and most of all at home. They force their game and from midfield to attack, have very important players. They also have strength from set-pieces, which has been winning them many games.”
As for what team he’ll start with against Sevilla, Arrasate wouldn’t name which players will begin the game, but hinted at more rotations, content that he has the squad depth at his disposal, to do just that.
“Each game is different. We’ll choose based on the performance of each player, the characteristics of the game. I don’t think we’ll have an eleven that’s based around eight or nine players. The players have shown that whoever plays, the team can produce a good level of performance. Last Saturday we made changes and the team responded very well. That gives us calm and I think that’s how we’ll be until the end of the season.”
With Antoine Griezmann called up to the French squad by national team coach Didier Dechamps, the player has a great opportunity to stake a claim toward going to the World Cup and not just in a supporting role, believes Arrasate.
“It’s another step in his career. He’s not going to settle for just playing on Wednesday against Holland. He want’s more, starting from tomorrow. He needs to keep playing well for Real Sociedad, so that he can go to the World Cup and not just to go, but to play and be a starter in the French team.”
Last Saturday night, striker Haris Seferovic was detained by local police, following an altercation with his girlfriend, whilst out in San Sebastián. Reports during the week suggested that Real Sociedad had lost patience with the player, but Arrasate assured that even though the Swiss player won’t be in the squad this weekend, he remains very much a part of the team.
“The club has opened an enquiry and in the coming days, it will be discussed. I’ve spoken to him and for him, it’s been a different week. Tomorrow he won’t be travelling with us. We understand though that he has a game with the Swiss team on Wednesday, which will be very welcome to get him going again. We will continue to count on him.”