A look at Bengaluru FC's new manager Albert Roca
Albert Roca, the new manager of Bengaluru FC was unveiled on July 28th at Arbor Brewing Company, Bengaluru. The Spaniard, who had been appointed the manager of the I-League club on the 6th of July, landed in Bengaluru recently and is expected to take charge immediately.
Stepping into Ashley Westwood’s shoes will not be an easy task and Roca is expected to have his hands full.
We take a deeper look into who Albert Roca really is and what he is expected to bring to the table.
Albert Roca was born in Granollers, Spain in 1962. He began his coaching career at CE Europa, winning the Catalonia Cup in his debut season, following which he took the reigns at AEC Manileu for a season.
Roca was then appointed assistant coach of CE Sabadell, before getting his big break at Barcelona. Assistant to Frank Riijkard for 5 years between 2003 and 2008, Roca was involved in Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League, La Liga and Supercopa De Espana success.
The Spaniard then followed Riijkard to Galatasaray and then the Saudi Arabian national team.
After completion of his term with the Saudi Arabian national football team in 2013, Roca was appointed as the head coach of the El Salvador national team in 2014.
As a player Roca was mainly utilised as a centre back. He played for Spanish clubs Real Zaragoza and CE Sabadell FC in the La Liga as well as teams from the second and third divisions.
Style of play
Roca is expected to continue where Ashley Westwood left off. Roca’s teams, apart from Barcelona, have not been the most expansive, instead relying on solid, well-organised defences and collective hard work, but that is set to change with his arrival in Bangalore. During his time as coach of the El Salvador national team, his players were disciplined and tactically sound.
In just his second game in charge, they caused Spain massive problems for which he got praise from Spain manager, Del Bosque, who said, "They were disciplined. Tactically they played well, they made it difficult for us to impose our will on the game."
Roca would look to place a lot of emphasis on the development of youth players. The fact that Bengaluru FC have announced a new residential academy to promote and nurture young talent should aid his cause.
During his time at Barcelona, Roca was instrumental in roping in Leo Messi into the first team squad from their famed academy. Albert's style will largely depend on the players available to him with Kim Song Yong, Michael Collins and Josh Walker all out of contract and it remains to be seen whether he would be bringing in any new faces.
Roca, keen on playing a style of football that attract the fans, said in an interview recently, "I want to assure our supporters that we will always give it our best. I want the supporters to be happy about the way we play."
Roca has stated that his primary focus would be the AFC Cup and development of young players. He intends to keep the Westwood legacy going and improve on it if he can. Roca's first game in charge will be against Singapore club Tampines Rovers in the AFC Cup quarterfinals.
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