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Hinchas y Jugadores - Real Valladolid with Roberto (18th May, 2017)

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If you're interested in finding out more about Valladolid, Roberto recommends:
A bit about yourself and your background

My name is Roberto, I’m 41 years old, and I’m from Valladolid, where I was born. I’m a teacher of English but I also work for a telecommunications company.

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

I think that the first memory should be like when I was 12. My father had a friend who knew Mariano Minguela, a legend in Real Valladolid. He gave me a signed little pennant with his picture in one side and the Real Valladolid badge in the other. I still keep it, and it’s one of my personal treasures. That made me a fan, and more than the titles or the names, what made me support Real Valladolid is the fact that in this city, unfortunately, everyone prefers Real Madrid or FC Barcelona. I’m proud of my city and my team.

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

Yes, let’s say so. At the beginning, the project that President Mr. Carlos Suárez tried to set up was a winning team. We’ve got one of the lowest estimates in Liga 1|2|3, but the work made by coach, Paco Herrera has been fantastic. Just have in mind that the club made 17 signings, almost a complete team. So, being in the playoff positions is a great ending.

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

We lost our complete attack last season, and although our forwards haven’t made all the goals we need, I think that Raúl de Tomás and Cris Espinoza (this one in the winter market) has given us the punch that we needed. Jaime Mata is a very obscure player, not always recognized, but very important. The goalkeepers have both had irregular seasons, but I trust in both of them.

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

José Arnáiz is the man of the season. He had like 5 or 6 matches where he completely disappeared, but he is back, and his role is very dangerous for the adversaries.

The weakness comes from our irregularity:  one great match, the next frustrating. But now we are at our best, ready to get to the playoff positions.

Out strength is our defense: Guitián and Álex make an extraordinary couple, completed with Becerra as a goalkeeper.

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

I appreciate the support of the “fondo norte” (the grandstand that encourages matches); all promotions that mean more publicity at José Zorrilla Stadium; all the activities related to youth sports. On the other hand the cost of single tickets for matches (although the price of the season ticket is one of the cheapest) and that we should have more activities to promote the club in the city.

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

As I said, due to the irregularity of the season, it has been like a roller coaster: one week we were the best team ever and Paco was the commander to the glory, and the next one we were fighting with giants. But now it seems that the faith has come back.

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

For sure. We’ve got great expectations with Anuar and Santi Samanes as midfielders; Higinio as a forward and Óscar Arroyo as a defender. They have had an incredible season.

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

We are going to need again someone as a forward, so for example Joselu (Lugo) or Ivi (Sevilla Atl.). Quique (Almería) would be great because he is a former player, but I think he is out of our dreams.

Finally, predicted finish for Valladolid?

Playoff positions, but not sure if we could defeat all and promote to Liga Santander, it would be fantastic though!

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He was short. Very short. At 5'3", the left winger sometimes played in an over-sized shirt.

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