Pedro Rodriguez has reflected on how he thinks Tata Martino has changed Barcelona and on trying to change Victor Valdes’ mind.
Barcelona are under new management this season with Martino having arrived at the club in place of Tito Vilanova, who had to step down just as preseason was starting due to ill health.
“It was unwelcome news. Nobody wants to go through these unfortunate events that happen,” reflected Pedro to Mundo Deportivo on Vilanova’s exit.
“I wish Tito well, all the strength and courage to recover as soon as possible.
“We did not know who would come in as the new Coach, if they were to change many things, but Tata has adapted well to the team, with the same idea, with lots of character.
“He is a Coach that demands a lot in training and in game. That’s good for the team to maintain their ambition and that desire to win trophies.
“Tata is different [to Tito and to Pep]. Everyone has their ideas, in Tata’s case it has been to recover the pressure in attack as well as combining a style of play with lots of possession with one that is direct, and we are achieving good results.
“Why did we lose that pressuring of opponents in attack? I do not know, maybe over the years it was lost, but we have always tried to do it as it has been one of our strengths.
“The team always plays very high on the pitch, with the defenders practically in midfield and pressuring high, maybe we needed that intensity tightening, for the whole team to be working together and we have recovered that with Tata.”
The 26-year-old is currently on international duty with Spain, where debate has continued to focus on who should play in goal.
Iker Casillas edged ahead for the World Cup qualifier in Finland on Friday, to which Pedro was asked if it seemed strange for Victor Valdes’ form.
“No, not strange. The Coach is the one who has to decide and he decided that Iker should play.
“You have to respect that decision, but Valdes is in great form and it is logical that the Coach has trouble in deciding because we have three of the world’s best goalkeepers.”
Valdes has begun his final season with Barca, having indicated his intention to see out his contract before leaving next summer.
“Are we trying to talk him into staying? (Laughs) It’s a decision you have to ask him about, but it is true that we all want him to stay, because he is the ideal goalkeeper for Barca, he has been for many years, he has given much to the club and I repeat, he has been great so far this season.
“He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and if he eventually does go, it will be too bad for the club and for his teammates, as he is a person who carries a lot of weight in the dressing room.
“If his will from yesterday is less then hopefully I change that decision and he will stay.”