Skip to main content

Hinchas y Jugadores - Rayo Vallecano with Paul Reidy (18th May, 2017)

Follow Paul Reidy on Twitter here and on Instagram here.

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

I discovered Rayo on my first ever trip to Madrid in 1993 and was introduced to the club by a friend living in the capital at that time. He mentioned the idiosyncrasy of the club, the neighborhood and the
political aspect that surrounds the club. I went to my first game the following season and remember being pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the fans who were somewhat bemused to see a foreign supporter make the journey to Vallekas, as at that point in time the club had close to zero in terms of international profile. On regular trips to Madrid I would also ensure that the weekend flight worked around Rayo home fixtures.

I later moved to Madrid in 2003 and one of the first tasks upon arriving in Madrid was securing a Rayo season ticket. My arrival coincided with relegation from the top flight and another subsequent relation to 2B. I attend most home games now and also try and take in some away matches.

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

No, far from it... With the club retaining the bulk of the squad from last season (and having the highest wage bill in the second tier) the view among fans and observers was that Rayo would bounce back at the first time of asking. Sadly, things didn't go to plan and at one point we were rock bottom of the second and it seemed more likely another relegation was on the cards rather than the original dream of promotion. José Ramón Sandoval and Rubén Baraja both coached the side with poor results and not until Rayo legend Míchel's appointment have the team responded. A season we all want to end as soon as possible and start to plan the following campaign.

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

I'd argue that goalkeeper Gazzaniga has been one of the best acquisitions, with the keeper growing as the season has unfolded. Recent performances (UCAM Murcia and Girona away games, in particular) have seen him almost singlehandedly secure two vital wins for the club.

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

The weaknesses have been easier to identify rather than the strengths.... The main issue was the assumption from the bulk of the squad that an immediate return to too flight football would be a stroll and that we'd waltz back to LaLiga without having to break a sweat. Obviously that has certainly not been the case and the second tier of the Spanish game is a more dogged affair with less flair and a need for a solid work ethic. At too many points, certainly in the first part of the campaign , too many players looked like they just weren't bothered and internal skirmishes between players certainly were no help in creating a solid team spirit.

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

There are so many, I could be genuinely be here all night.....Oklahoma OKC, Rayo Femenino, Youth system, Los 17, Fan arrests, Disengagement with own fans, state of the stadium, lying about match attendance, bandwagoneering on Rayo's social values, abject social media platforms (only club in Spanish top 2 flights with no Facebook profile), refusing to listen to the fans....

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

Frustration is probably the definitive word to describe our feeling this year. We've seen how a squad that has all the attributions as talented individuals failed to gel as a collective in the quest for a first time return to the top flight with a questionable attitude being displayed on far too many occasion.

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

The two who stand out are undoubtedly Fran Beltrán and I'd also add Pablo Clavería. Both players have been used in the first team this season with Beltrán defying his youth, stepped up to the plate and securing a regular place in the starting XI with some fine midfield displays. The 18 year old player has just had a contract extension to fend off would be suitors which will see him wear "La Franja" through to 2020.

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

We need an out and out goalscorer ...maybe Ángel Rodríguez from Zaragoza or the likes of Miguel Linares from Oviedo....

Finally, predicted finish for Rayo?

We've looked accomplished under Míchel and should have enough in the tank to have a last 2/3 fixtures without having to look over our shoulder.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hinchas y Jugadores - Gimnàstic with Marius Helgå (14th May, 2017)

Marius Helgå is a 40 year old Gimnàstic fan who lives in Oslo. He is originally from Mo i Rana, Norway (1000 km north from Oslo). He has two hobbies: "playing bass trombone and watching football." 

He runs the Twitter account @nasticnoruega for Gimnàstic fans in Norway. As if he wasn't hipster enough, he also supports Stålkameratene who are in the fifth level of Norwegian football. Not to mention Tromsø (Norwegian top level), Manchester United, Juventus and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Follow him on Twitter here.



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

I visited Tarragona on a trip to Spain in 2006, and immediately fell in love with the city. As I didn’t have a club I supported in Spain then, it was an easy choice to start supporting the club.

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

After a great 2015-16 season, I was really expecting more of Nàs…

Hinchas y Jugadores - An exclusive interview with Román Golobart (1st May, 2017)

When did you make the decision to pursue football and what motivated you to do so?

I never realized I took a decision, since a very young age I knew that would be my life so I took it for granted that I was going to become a footballer.

The motivation was nothing other than enjoying it a lot!

What were your initial thoughts when you were at Espanyol and Wigan became interested in you, and what motivated you to move to England?

Both moments were very satisfactory. I went to a summer camp that Espanyol organizes and after it I got a letter from the club. I was excited, willing to do it - I was nervous, but the kind of nervous that one gets when you know you have a nice challenge ahead.

With Wigan it was a call, but still a very similar reaction. The thing with Wigan was that even though I was bad in English class, I knew I would end up going to England to play football so I didn't bother paying attention as I knew I would learn it there. And so it happened.

Did you find it difficult t…

From Catalonia to Heybridge - the story of an eighth division club (19th October, 2017)

After spending his whole life at UDA Gramenet and a season at Europa, Guillem Ramón moved to Terrassa in the summer of 2014. It was just another Catalan player transferring between two clubs in the Catalan regional leagues - nothing extraordinary.

But it was consequential.

In March 2015, in a match against Sabadell, the full back suffered a complete meniscal rupture, and his season was over. So was his contract - and a big chunk of the 2015-16 season as well. He ended up signing for Cerdanyola, without pay (as he was recuperating), and the doctors said that January would be his return time. However, he debuted in November.

In hindsight, it was a mistake.

After two games, in a training session, on November 25th he got injured again - this time in the quadriceps in the same leg. After two months of recuperation, and still no guarantee of pay, Guillem left for new pastures in February 2016. A trial at Coplestonians FC followed; so did an opportunity at Needham Market FC, in the seventh t…