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Hinchas y Jugadores - Celta Vigo with Joseph Sexton (3rd May, 2017)

Joseph Sexton is a Spanish football writer and is a staff writer for Marca. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Also, I would highly recommend his piece on Iago Aspas, you can read it here.

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

About six years now I guess, back when they were stuck in the second division. I didn't have a strong tie to any particular club at the time, and I started going out with a girl from my Vigo. On my first visit there, I went to a game at Balaídos, and the rest - as they say - is history!

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

I think so. It was always going to be challenge being in Europe, we had a short squad before the summer and Celta fans can remember all too well about 2004 when they reached the last 16 of the Champions League but also got relegated (Berizzo was playing for the team then). So mid-table and going as far as they ever have before in the Europa League makes for a fine season, ditto making the Copa del Rey semi finals. That's maybe the only disappointment, to go out at stage to Alavés having knocked Madrid out.

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

I think Pione Sisto has been very promising, also until that horrible injury Giuseppe Rossi was doing a fine job as back up.

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

The defense is still an issue this season. As much as the individual players shine, there can be a systematic thing where it all blows up. Orellana was playing brilliantly for us before he fell out with Berizzo and got sold. But definitely I think Daniel Wass had made a massive step up this term.

Obviously, though, Iago Aspas has been the standout player.

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

I think behind the scenes the club has been run very well for some time now, the new sporting director had a good summer. My complaint is more about the city council than the club - they can't agree on the stadium issue - ownership, refurbishments, etc. It's gotten to the stage where the club has given notice (let's see how real the threat is) that they plan to vacate their municipally owned ground, and build an out of town stadium. The surround of the ground as much - indeed, more - than the current one is a real highlight of the match-day experience.

One issue I have (and this is common to many clubs in Spain) is the ticket prices. They are too high, given the relative level of income and unemployment, etc. Spanish clubs don't seem to get the Economics 101 concept of Price/Demand elasticity. They simply assume if the lower prices, the same amount of people will go more or less, and they'll lose money. I disagree. I know people who've had to give up their season tickets for financial reasons, and people who would go to more games if they could afford to.

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

They can be a bit fatalistic. A bad start to the season, and they were worried about a repeat of that relegation season. There's a bit of a bipolar element. But I appreciate the level of emotion in the following, in so many Spanish provincial towns, the local club can get swamped by the Madrid/Barça fans. That's not the case at all in Vigo. There is a very strong and passionate support.

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

Of those who've seen a lot of first team action, definitely Sisto. But beyond that, Celta B are having a superb season. They are are top of their division in the (regionalized, third-tier) Segunda B. Watch this space.

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

We buy well and no doubt the sporting director will have some names lined up. But I would be overjoyed if Nolito came back. After a promising start at Man City, he's fallen out of the picture. He enjoyed his time in Vigo, so I think a push should be made. Other than that I would to see try and sign Las Palmas' Roque Mesa. But he's playing for his hometown club, and the Canary Islanders are home-birds (and who could blame them!) so maybe he wouldn't fancy rainy Galicia!

Finally, predicted finish for Celta Vigo?

I think we'll finish where are now, comfortable midtable and likely top half. We have too much to do to claim a Europa League spot through the league placings- but in that competition, if we can make it through the second leg and into the semis - who knows?

A huge thanks to Joseph for taking the time to do this.

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