Spanish flair to BFC's defence

Gonzalez has adjusted well in backline

Spanish flair to BFC's defence

 At the end of last season if there was one area that troubled Bengaluru FC, it was their central defence. Curtis Osano had parted ways with the club and Bengaluru were looking for a defender who could fill the big hole left by the big Kenyan.

It was then that the newly-appointed head coach Albert Roca decided bring in Juan Antonio Gonzalez aka Juanan on board. No one had heard about him and there were doubts on how the new man would pair up with Bengaluru’s longest serving foreigner, John Johnson. But Roca was confident.

“He’s played with and competed against some of the best players in world football and I have little doubt that he’ll give the team an advantage,” Roca had said about Gonzalez’s signing. And now, having entertained many with his no-nonsense football for a while, one can be certain that Roca was spot on.

González seems to have taken over from where Osano left last season. In the limited time they’ve played together, the Spaniard has gone on to stitch a quality partnership with Johnson. “It’s been good. We understand each other’s games. I think that’s very important if you’re to click as a pair,” said Gonzalez.

“I’m always with John and Cameron (Watson) during training and we speak about football always. In fact, these guys speak football off it too. It’s just football. So that’s helped me in settleing too,” he added.

Looking at the Spaniard, one would think he’s an attack-minded defender — someone who doesn’t mind throwing his body around, lunging into crushing tackles and powerful in the air. But the 29-year-old has a different take on his playing style.
“Yes, that’s an important part of my game. But that’s not all. With John around, who too plays in a similar manner, one has to stay behind and do the cleaning work. We take turns. One player goes front and the other stays back. We always help each other,” he explained.

When Gonzalez joined the Bengaluru set-up in August last year, the team had just one aim, to perform well in the AFC Cup. While they did so to reach the final, Gonzalez believes that there’s hardly been any change in the team’s mentality. “I don’t think much has changed. We still want to win every game we play,” he said.

“Yes, a few new players have come in. Lenny (Rodrigues) plays with Cameron Watson now, but not much change as such. We continued with the same plan as before. The coach has this mentality and we have continued with it,” said the central defender who has played for teams like Deportivo ‘B’, Real Madrid Castilla and Leganés in the Spanish second division.

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