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Hinchas y Jugadores - Alavés with Javier Larroda (12th May, 2017)

Follow Javier on Twitter here.

A bit about yourself and your background

My name is Javier Larroda, I was born in Vitoria-Gasteiz and I am 35 years old. I teach English as a second language at a Vocational Training School in Vitoria-Gasteiz. I studied English Studies at the University of the Basque Country as well as the degree of Tourism at the University of Deusto (Bilbao). I have also lived in the United States for a short period of time (New Jersey and Colorado).

How long have you been a fan of Alavés and what made you support them in the first place?

I have been fan of Alavés since I was a child but I remember that I was not used to follow the games so much. My team was Alavés because my cousin “Santi” (Santiago Martínez) played for the team back in the 90s.

Given the transfer windows and the squad that was assembled at the start of the season, is Alavés where you want it to be?

What can I say, Alavés will play the ‘Copa del Rey’ final against Barcelona and we will play at least another season at La Liga.

Of the signings made this season, which one worked out the best/had the most impact and why?

In my opinion, Marcos Llorente is definitely the one that worked out the best and the one that is having the most impact. He is one of the best players I have ever seen at Mendizorrotza stadium. He has not scored any goals yet, but the way he gets back the ball, the way he tackles, the vision of the game, it is really outstanding. If he goes back to Real Madrid next season, we will see him a lot at the starting 11.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Alavés this season? Any standout players?

One of the strengths of this season Alavés is for sure the team itself. They never surrender and they work as a team the whole time. Besides, they are one of the youngest teams of the league and they are willing to do something big this year. On the other hand, one weakness of this Alavés is without any kind of doubt the forwards. They only play with one forward, the Brazilian player Deyverson, and he has not scored as many goals as a forward should score. Other forwards such as Christian Santos or Rubén Sobrino did not find their place due to different reasons.

As standout players, I would like to mention Theo Hernández (one of the most followed players in La Liga at the moment by the big European teams), Manu García (our captain), Fernando Pacheco (one of the best goalkeepers of La Liga) and Ibai Gómez (one of the player with more goals of the squad and recovered from Athletic Bilbao).

List some things you appreciate and some things you can’t stand about the club management.

Things I appreciate:

  • The professionalization of the club in a short period of time
  • They are willing to grow as a club in the following years
  • They signed up an excellent technical manager

Things I can’t stand:

  • They are not focused completely on Alavés since they are also the owner of the basketball team called Baskonia.
  • It is not clear whether the economical benefits of Alavés go directly to Alavés or part go to Baskonia.


What has the mood among the fans been during the campaign? Do you generally agree/disagree with them?

The mood among the fans has been excellent. We are so excited about playing our first Copa del Rey final in our entire history that we can’t stop dreaming about lifting up that cup every single day.

Are there any talented youngsters at the club that you expect to have a big future?

I am thinking about Martin Agirregabiria, I would love to see him playing at Mendizorrotza in a near future. I can also tell you other names such as Einar Galilea, Sergio Llamas, Darko Eguiluz, Ander Estéfano, Juan García, Josu Alberdi, Manuel Gómez, Sugoi Soto, Yerai Viana, Yerai Sotelo, Ekaitz Marco, Iñaki León, Ander Peciña, David Gallego, Eneko Lombraña, Ibai Quintana, Eneko Casas, Izan Gutiérrez, Andrés Santos, David Gallego, Aritz Castro, Javier Ibáñez, Julen Castillo, Aitor Ruiz de Eguilaz…but most of them are still really young. It would be great to see them playing at Mendizorrotza in the future.

If you could make one realistic signing for Alavés this summer who would it be?

Mario Balotelli, I think he would be a great player for us. If he played for Nice this season, why not for Alavés?

Finally, predicted finish for Alavés?

Alavés, the winner of the 2017 Copa del Rey and 8th position at La Liga. How good does it sound?

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