Fernando Hierro is La Leyenda Roja (The Legendary Red). This story will follow the former Real Madrid fan favourite as he pursues a career in management and bids to be one of the greatest Spanish coaches of all time.
Started on 22 August 2014 by Coxy
Latest Reply on 10 September 2014 by Feliks
CLUB STATEMENT: Real Oviedo Announce Multi-year Partnership With FC Barcelona
BREAKING NEWS: Spanish Division B1 side Real Oviedo have announced a multiyear partnership with La Liga club Barcelona.
The partnership between the teams will see Barcelona as the 'parent club' and the two sides will face off in an annual friendly at Oviedo's Nuevo Carlos Tartiere stadium with all gate receipts being kept by the home side.
Barcelona will pay an annual fee of £96,000 to the B1 division leaders and will be able to send players on loan to Oviedo with the Catalan club paying 100% of the wages. Despite the recent animosity in the media between the two clubs following the signing of La Masia product Alex Grimaldo, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has stated that it is a fantastic piece of business for his team:
'The issue with Alex Grimaldo is over. We understand that it was a fault on our end by not offering the young man a professional deal, it is a choice that we regret. However our new partnership with Oviedo is a smart piece of business. Fernando is creating a good team there and hopefully it will see them become the team they once were. For Barcelona to be able to send our players there to grow is a fantastic opportunity for all parties; the player, Oviedo and ourselves.'
Enrique went on to praise his opposite number on how he manages his team and gives the situation with 18 year old Grimaldo as an example:
'Fernando has proven that he is a natural manager. I know it is still early days but he has won his first eight games and that is no fluke. The players look like they really want to play for him and you can see with Grimaldo that he is really flourishing under Fernando's guidance, which also is a huge factor in why we wanted Oviedo as a club to be partnered with.'
Real Oviedo sit 1st after 6 Spanish division B1 games whilst Barcelona are 2nd in La Liga with four wins and two draws.
REAL OVIEDO 3-0 RACING SANTANDER (SDB1)
Vicente (33, 65)
Spanish Division B1 Table
Player Of The Month - Adrian Lopez
App: 6 Goals: 4 Av. Rating: 7.42
It is incredible what an extended run in a team can do for you. Adrian Lopez joined Deportivo as a boy in 2002 and in the space of 12 years since then has only made over 17 appearances in a season once. Now after 14 straight games and a solid pre-season under his belt, the 26 year old is enjoying his first team responsibilities and his most prolific goalscoring season yet with 5 goals (and we aren't even half way in yet.)
The 6 foot Spaniard looks assured in defence and dangerous in attack and has flourished in his vital role for the side. He has played 90 minutes in all 14 competitive games this season as he looks to put last year's ACL tear behind him.
The Manager's View
'After writing this segment in last month's match-day programme it is fantastic to be in the same position again... not having tasted defeat as a manager of Real Oviedo.'
'The team continue to show their terrific bond on the field with a great run of results, but the fact I am more happy about is that we look comfortable in every game we play. Our toughest test so far has come against Marino; who ironically sit bottom of Segunda Division B1 with zero wins. Whilst we breezed past our apparent "Main title contenders" Racing Santander with a 3-0 victory so it really shows just how dominant we are, but that we cannot lose our heads at any moment a we will be punished.'
'I will say it again - I hope next month is as successful as the last two. We have drawn La Liga side Real Betis in the Copa Del Rey 4th round and it is a test I am very excited about as it means I can truly gauge how far we have come since the beginning of the season. Thank you to all of our wonderful fans and readers for their continued support, we could not do it without you.'
SM: Hello I'm Scott Minto and welcome to a special Revista De La Liga, where tonight we will analyze the season so far in Segunda Division B1; joining me tonight is my good friend and Spanish football expert, Guillem Balague.
GB: Thank you Scott, pleasure to be here.
SB: First off let's look at the league table after 11 games, Real Oviedo running away with it after winning every game so far; what are your thoughts on that?
GB: Well at the beginning of the season they were always favourites to finish in that top 4 playoff area, but I don't think anyone saw them taking control like this, even after Fernando Hierro was appointed.
SB: Do you feel that Hierro is the key component to their success so far?
GB: I would definitely say that he has been a huge factor. The players he has brought in are very good quality and we all know that Oviedo have only just achieved financial security so he couldn't afford to go too overboard on his spending; but he managed to get all of the signings except one for free so you have to applaud him for that.
SM: His management style has been compared to Brendan Rogers at Liverpool what do you think of that?
GB: I understand that. Fernando is a warrior and a leader, he has been his whole career, especially as a player. I know that he expects 110% from his side and he isn't afraid to let you know you aren't doing your job, but at the same time he is a friend of the players and happy to have a laugh and a joke.
SM: Let's take a look at how Oviedo have regularly lined up this season...
SM: This is Oviedo's line-up for all 11 Segunda Division B games so far, the only exception for Copa Del Rey matches is Miguel Banuz replaces Manuel Almunia in goal. Hierro's tactics are very interesting in the way he has the wide players set up, what can you say about that Guillem?
GB: Well I think it is clever what Fernando has done there. His wide players act more as inside forwards rather than wingers and come in more central when attacking. The full backs have full license to attack also due to the extra space made by Vicente and Annunzieta when tucking in, which is why we have seen 18 year old Alex Grimaldo get a few goals so far this season, and Inigo Calderon with a couple too.
SM: How about Diego Cervero? Club captain, Oviedo legend... but he isn't doing his usual goal poaching this year is he?
GB: No and I like what Fernando is doing with him. He still has 7 goals so far this year but he also has 9 assists because he plays as a kind of "false-nine", just how Fabregas played for Spain in Euro 2012. It means Cervero comes in deep to the CAM position to link up with Angel and Orlandi and play balls out wide for the wingers, which shows you exactly why Vicente is the league's top scorer so far.
SM: Do you think they can go on like this all year and win it?
GB: Whether they can keep up their form I don't know but I think they will keep winning. Fernando has a winning mentality and that will drive the players to keep up their great work and I think they may break the league's points record in the process.
SM: Okay thanks Guillem, that's the league leaders Real Oviedo covered, join us after the break when we discuss pre-season title favourites Racing Santander who sit 8th and 16 points off the pace...
Real Oviedo maintain their 100% record as they only concede two goals all month.
Goals are shared around the team as SIX different scorers notch in November.
Real Oviedo stretch their lead at the top to 15 points.
Xavier Annunziata scored the opening goal as Oviedo beat U.D. Logrones to make it 15 league wins out of 15 and maintain their 100% record.
CELTA VIGO 'B' 0-3 REAL OVIEDO (SDB1)
Goldar OG (25)
REAL OVIEDO 2-0 COMPOSTELA (SDB1)
CAUDAL 1-2 REAL OVIEDO (SDB1)
REAL OVIEDO 2-1 U.D. LOGRONES (SDB1)
Segunda Division B1 Table
Player Of The Month - Pablo Ibanez
App: 4 Goals: 2 Av. Rating: 7.32
Oviedo vice-captain Pablo has made big strides in his attempt to get his career back on track and has flourished since returning from England to ply his trade in his homeland.
The former Atletico Madrid regular has gelled well with centre back partner Adrian Lopez who was last month's winner of the award and has been a calming and professional head in the Oviedo backline. The 32 year old, 23 times capped defender notched two goals this month, both with thumping headers on corner kicks.
The Manager's View
'Well three months in we still find ourselves in the same position, and I have no complaints about that whatsoever. My team continue to dominate their opponents but the results this month have been a little tighter than the previous games, this may be a warning sign to my players that they must maintain their focus and I hope this is a sign that they take heed of.'
'It is fantastic that the Player Of The Month award has gone to Pablo and Adrian in the last two months as it shows the quality we have as a team that our goals and workload are a shared responsibility for the entire side.'
'I know we are close to the half way point and currently hold a 15 point lead but I cannot stress enough that we can't afford any complacency. We know that we must keep pushing on and I intend for us to make that gap even greater.'