The tactician gave further insight into his time as a head-coach with the Blues.

The Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Bengaluru FC owe a lot of credit to former head coach Carles Cuadrat. The Spaniard guided the team to their maiden ISL title during the 2018-19 season. He later left them midway during the 2020-21 campaign, after a series of disappointing results. 

However, one cannot deny his brilliant work at BFC. While in conversation with Khel Now for the ‘Beyond The Scores’ podcast, the tactician narrated several anecdotes from his time with the former league champions.

Here are a few excerpts from the conversation Khel Now had with Carles Cuadrat. In this bit, he sheds light on his departure from Bengaluru FC, the club’s fortunes and plans for the future.

The circumstances leading to parting ways with BFC

Cuadrat on Indian football team, Igor Stimac, ISL, Bengaluru FC and more

Replacing the outgoing Miku was never going to be easy, but the challenge proved harder than many expected. Speaking on the failure to findi a perfect replacement for the Venezuelan striker and his eventual separation from BFC, Carles Cuadrat said, “It’s the kind of job that is (about) day after day, results after results. I was very happy to have been training Bengaluru for two years and a half as a head-coach. If you see in ISL, the only coach that had the same time as me is Sergio Lobera at FC Goa.

“I had a point of view on what to do with the No.9 position and the management had another opinion. Finally, these kinds of things make the work difficult. I have a wonderful relationship with Bengaluru management and I am very grateful to what they did for me. But, when you are at a club for 2-3 years, you are close to bidding farewell. I understand the decision of the club and have nothing to regret.” Cuadrat further spoke about the situation leading to his dismissal.

Unfortunate timing of the decision

The Spaniard also hinted that despite the results, he was confident BFC would qualify for the playoffs, but the club pulled the plug before that could happen. He said, “I was completely sure that the team would arrive in the playoffs for the fourth season in a row. I still trust that those players would have won a place in the playoffs by the end of the season.

“But, we have to respect the decision of the club and I can only give my best wishes for the new plan Bengaluru has for the future,” he further added.

Criticism around lack of goals

There was criticism from several corners citing that BFC were not scoring enough goals during the seventh edition of the ISL, that the side relied too heavily on set-pieces to score goals and more. Responding to this and many other points of criticism, Cuadrat said, “I take that sort of criticism like a compliment. In the training, we are doing our work, we are making plans and trying to get goals at least in situations we can control, like the set-pieces.

“You can try different weapons (in set-piece situations). You give around 20 minutes of the session to that set-piece planning and the rest of the time you are working in open play and about how to score goals in open play situations,” Carles Cuadrat revealed.

“To score a goal, you can make the perfect plan, but when you are in front of the goalkeeper, it’s a skill that some players have and some do not. The teams that play against Bengaluru, they know that we are going to have the ball possession, so they become very defensive with good structure, two lines of four players or maybe with five defenders.” he further added citing that teams become extra defensive against BFC. 

Sticking to methods that work

Cuadrat also talked about how he works in accordance with his philosophy. “Everything that happens in football has a logic,” the Spaniard said in this regard. “What is important to me is I have been doing these things with my logic. My logic has made us competitive. The end result depends on the talent in the last pass and kick. As a coach, you work for those kinds of things happening. Set-pieces were only one part of the things that we worked on in training.”

Future plans

The 52-year-old also shed light on what his future plans could be post his separation from BFC. He said, “Football is my life, so for sure I will keep working in football. I want to give myself a little bit of time. Two reasons for that are, things that can happen in football for me and to pay attention to different possibilities. I had a very close option to train in Europe, but some details of the project made me say no . That has been happening with some clubs in India too.

“I’m not in a hurry to come back. But, of course, I’m watching all the football, trying to stay informed about what is happening in our industry and getting ready for the next project,” he further added in this context.

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