Álvaro Lemos Collazo (Santiago, 28 years old) has an obsession. Going up in yellow is the canvas that follows him every night. With 109 appearances for UD Las Palmas and his status as captain, he blesses the verb of Xavi García Pimienta. He is his fourth coach on the Island after Manolo Jiménez, Paco Herrera and José Mel Pérez. “In the end it’s a change of scenery, it’s never to our liking and we try to work on new concepts. He perfects his attacking system, bets on playing a lot inside and opening up on the wing. It’s a change that can be positive; we’re going to improve a lot in matches. It has a great impact on the sides being more closed and safe when it comes to avoiding cons. It has already been seen with both clean sheets”, values the side in an interview with this medium, which will be published in full tomorrow. In relation to the aspect that most impresses him about García Pimienta, he insists on his oratory: “I way you have to express your methodology. That way of seeing football, as well as expressing it. The way he feels it.”
On the tombstone of José Mel Pérez appears the ‘with this it did not give us’. Do you agree?
It’s not up to me to assess that, players don’t make those decisions. We have a great team, both at a football level and in human terms. It is one of the best teams I have been in my entire career. I don’t know if with Pepe we would have achieved it or not [el ascenso]; football is a world, overnight everything changes vertiginously. I highlight the dressing room we have and the sensations it gives off, which are positive.
What tactical notions and main novelties do you detect in the García Pimienta method?
It is a change of scenery, which is never pleasant. We try to assimilate new concepts, which he brings from his script such as those related to the attack system. He claims to combine inside and open the band. This is a change that can be positive for UD. We are going to improve a lot in the games.
Given your condition as a right-wing offensive projection player, what have you been asked to enhance?
It greatly affects the fact that the sides are more closed. Compete safer with the intention of avoiding the cons. Basically what was seen in the last two games. Two duels, 180 minutes and two clean sheets. Therein lies the key to a job well done.
Beyond the pressure, the 4-1-4-1 drawing and the Barça style, what has captivated you the most about the Barcelona coach after three weeks of work?
What has impressed me the most is his way of expressing himself. How he explains everything to you. He sees football in a very respectable way, but his way of transmitting it impresses you. The way you feel and defend your idea. There are 16 days left, 16 finals and we will go up. In the end, we players are the same and we cannot fail our fans.
He is chaining his fourth campaign at UD -109 duels after debuting on August 19, 2018- already managed by Manolo Jiménez, Paco Herrera Mel and García Pimienta. In what category do you place Catalan? Does it bear any similarities with the other three?
UD always wants to play football, a very specific type of football. The players that he has are to play under the same philosophy and I consider that all of them have deployed a similar proposal. Each one with its touches and nuances. Each coach with his script and tactical baggage that he brings as standard. Both Jiménez, Herrera and Mel tried and tried to always play ball. Each one with its differences, but always based on a style that we like.
«García Pimienta impresses you with his way of explaining football. He captivates by the way he sees it »
After what was seen against Tenerife (0-1) in the ‘Centenariazo’ on January 2 or against Cartagena (0-2), is not going up a failure?
The promotion is what we have wanted for quite some time, since I arrived here I have not stopped dreaming about it [verano de 2018]. I stepped on the Island, with the descent, and there was already talk of going up at all costs. Let’s fight it. We will do everything possible to take UD to the First Division. I do not enter if it is a failure or not, we are in a position to fight for it and we are going to achieve it. I trust a lot in this team, in their talent and heart, we will try to give joy to all these fans. They deserve it.
He began his journey in yellow as part of a team forged based on banknotes [se hizo con el segundo mayor tope salarial de la 18-19 de 19,2 millones con Toni Otero de director deportivo], which featured Rubén Castro, Mir, Fidel Chaves, Cala…And now, the glamor is provided by Viera and Jesé. Which team is better?
In my first year there was a great team. All First Division players who are in First Division. The one now is more of a team…
I think so, you have Jony [Jonathan Viera]Jesé…The first year there were very good footballers but I didn’t see it as the team that has been forged now.
Would you sign to play the final of the ‘playoff’ for promotion against Tenerife? In this campaign, two games and two victories against the chicharrero team.
I would like to go straight up, but if I have to play against Tenerife it would be a ‘Champions’ match. Playing for promotion against Tenerife would be incredible, for football and for us. If we achieve it, something very nice for the fans.
Do you like how Ramis’s Tenerife plays?
Each team has a game system, it’s not that I like it more or less. The important thing is to win and achieve a goal. There are many methods, you just have to find the most effective according to the players. For tastes, colors.
Which rivals do you consider to be dangerous?
There are many who are doing things well. I prefer Eibar and Almería, they are two great teams. And don’t forget about those who are going to squeeze like Huesca or Girona. They started irregular but be careful, they will end very well.
Big Data has become fashionable in the yellow house. Are you comfortable with technology? What does it give you?
Football evolves and it is always good to have data on everything, both physical and analytical. Everything that each player does is recorded; It is educational and very helpful. Not only to grow individually, but for the team. You can see where you have weaknesses, your real potential… It reveals what you can improve and has an impact on the game. But in the end, like everything else, it is the grass that dictates. What you have to do is put the ball in, although the data is very good and helps you know what you are going to face.
Give an example.
If statistically, it is proven that I fail in many passes, a large percentage, then I should not risk it. You work to correct that numerical aspect.
“Big Data records your mistakes and helps you grow. But you have to put the ball in, the grass dictates sentence»
UD is the terror of the applicants – they have only lost to Eibar in their duels against the top eight – but then they lose 17 points with the rivals from the bottom half. Why?
There is no explanation. It’s like when we go to Lezama to face Amorebieta, it lives in descent, and you don’t achieve victory. When we play against great teams, we give a plus. We need to give it to everyone. The 21 rivals are dangerous and competitive.
And Burgos comes…
Another demanding match. We must be solid at home.
Do you feel singled out for being one of the survivors of the cycle of former sports director Toni Otero, along with Raúl Fernández and Maikel Mesa?
I don’t feel singled out, I came with Otero [ahora en el Pontevedra] and I have offered a great level. With your slumps, you are not always one hundred percent for extra-sports things. I have been at the foot of the canyon for four years in Las Palmas.
Are you still with a psychologist?
Yes, it is essential to talk to a psychologist. Express yourself with a professional, in my case, outside of football. It helped me improve as a person and in football.
No, my thing was specific moments of concentration, helping me not to get frustrated. I was training. I’m very picky.
You have one more year left on your contract, why have you found your home in Gran Canaria?
I had never felt like this, with such a long career and with so many games in a club. I have found a great family in Las Palmas, under the mantle of the fans and the city. I miss the promotion.