José Luis Mendilibar: “I’m not a modern coach, I don’t carry a tablet around.”

Speaking in an exclusive interview with former Spain and Real Madrid coach Vicente Del Bosque for El País, Eibar boss José Luis Mendilibar gave his thoughts on David Silva and life as a coach in Primera.

On David Silva

Valencia B offered him to us at Eibar. We played him in an inside role and he learned how to compete. He didn’t speak much, but he was strong and competitive. He was very good with us. If he had been to Real Madrid or Barcelona he would be at the level of Iniesta, of Xavi, although I do think he is up there.

On Eibar’s Takashi Inui

I have been coaching for twenty-something years and I haven’t seen another player understand what I ask of them in the way he does. He is a phenomenon. He doesn’t say much but I think he understands everything. He understands me with his eyes.

On joining a big club

I’m fine where I am. I don’t know what is going to happen. We renew year on year and at the end of the season. When you are a child, you want to be a footballer, you don’t want to be a coach. Now I am a coach. I’m not a modern coach. I don’t go around with a tablet under my arm, nor am I at the computer all day.

On matchday nerves

I suffer a lot on matchday. For example, when the team is warming up I stay in the dressing room and think to myself ‘how at this point can I be suffering so much instead of enjoying it’. It is the way it is. There are people who have a hard time. Some players vomit from stress. Older players and younger players. There are many who think that playing football is having fun, but others are suffering. It is not easy to have fun with football.

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