Skip to main content

Jozabed - the risk-taker on and off the pitch (29th September, 2017)

In 2014, Jozabed Sánchez was a talent at Real Jaén, relegated to the Segunda B that summer.

When Jozabed’s four goals and 12 assists couldn’t prevent Real Jaén’s relegation to the theoretically amateur third-tier of Spanish football, he took the punt and joined Rayo in division one. It was a gamble, a huge one, and no one thought about the signing working out.

Two years later and with 10 goals and 3 assists not enough to save Rayo Vallecano, Jozabed was on his way to Fulham. The stakes of the gamble were even bigger this time. Not just because he had no preseason to work with. Not just because it was a different country, or a different league, but a different mentality. The history of Spaniards failing in the Championship is a long and damaging one. Those who succeed are the ones who fit the physicality-type stereotypes associated with the league. The playing style which made Jozabed shine in La Liga is almost the opposite of that - patient buildup play, quick transitions and short passing. But most of all, risk taking.



Jozabed first came onto the map for a performance that many La Liga scouts just could not miss. While at Real Jaén - in a man-of-the-match performance - he scored and provoked an own goal in a historic 2-2 draw against Espanyol. Intercepting passes, procuring last ditch tackles, taking high-risk long shots from outside the box and playing positive passes towards the opponent's goal, Jozabed ran the show.





But for me, it was this performance that really showed Jozabed's risk taking abilities.

It was at home to Las Palmas, and Jozabed created the first goal and nearly scored Rayo's second with an audacious lob from near his own half.





Notably, there are others too, like this goal - an audacious one against Villarreal in the 2015-16 season.





Jozabed, perhaps predictably, never really succeeded at Fulham, being loaned back to Celta Vigo within six months, before signing a permanent deal this summer. But taking that risk, having done something that most would be cautious to even consider...that is something missing from the modern game.

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…