Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Julien Opens His Trap

Julien Faubert has claimed in an interview that Giovanni Trapattoni could still be on his way to West Ham United. The former Italian manager is thought to be in the frame for the Republic of Ireland national job and was briefly linked with the Hammers' vacant 'Director of Football' role last month. The speculation was largely dismissed at the time. However Faubert - speaking in an interview with RMC - claimed that the 68-year-old could indeed be on his way to East London. "His arrival is possible, it is up in the air," said Faubert. "I don’t know if it will happen or not. I have a person at the club - he is Italian - who speaks French and helps me with the translation who told me about [it]. He [Trapattoni] would be a huge boost for our tactics because we have gaps in that area of the game, on the defending and positioning aspects."

With comments that are sure to be an eye-opener for Alan Curbishley, Faubert stated he was surprised by the lack of tactical training sessions and revealed how his team-mates have welcomed him. "We rarely speak tactics at training," he said. "It’s only based on little games and since I’ve been here we have just done two tactical training sessions. We just do games and try to play in little spaces with everybody in the front. They had ideas about French players so they tested me when I arrived; kindly kicked me (laughs). What is good here is that they kick you, then you kick them, but nobody complains, it’s just part of the game. Honestly, you have to be physically strong; everybody is big in my team, apart from the small strikers. They don’t like cry babies, players who stay on the grass. You have to accept being kicked and give it back to them. It’s their game and if it happened at training in France it would finish in brawls, but here the mentality is different."

The 24-year-old admits that English football is a brand new world for him, following his spells with Cannes and Bordeaux. "They do everything upside down and everything is different here and the league can’t be compared to the French one," he added. "They fight for every ball and the refs don’t whistle often. Then, the games are much quicker, they are not focused on tactics at all, there is no time to rest. You arrive at the stadium an hour before the game, contrary to in France where you are away with the team in a hotel a night before. It shows you if you are a professional or not because you are your own boss. It’s up to you to eat well, to drink enough, and to rest to be ready on D-day."

The Frenchman also spoke about his troubles since arriving in England, in particular the serious Achilles injury. "For the moment only bad things happened to me, first the injury, then the robbery," he commented. "It was difficult, especially when you move to a new club, but it is part of the past and I am looking for better days." A starting role is a priority for the flying winger who played in the practice match against Queens Park Rangers yesterday. "Being a starter is the next objective, but I have to pass stage after stage. I have been waiting for six months so I can wait for a few more weeks. I am not at my top form yet so I won’t risk being stupidly injured again."

Addressing the club's ambitions this season and their future plans to grow as a club, Faubert insists the team can qualify for a European cup. "I think that we haven’t been lucky from the start of the season because many players have been injured, a lot of recruits have been injured, but players are starting to come back, Craig Bellamy for example," he said. "I think that we can qualify for a European cup, that is the club’s aim. I think that we can do it. They want to create a new training centre and within two or three years to create a new stadium a little less big than Emirates Stadium but the same kind."

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