What better anniversary present than a win?
What better anniversary present than a win?

Calleja celebrates a year in charge: “Playing like that pleases me, we gave a complete performance”

An unbeatable present. Javi Calleja completed a year in charge of the first team yesterday and today celebrated his 50th match in charge with a magnificent victory at San Mamés (0-3). With the victory against Athletic Club in Bilbao, the head coach got his 22nd win in his 50th official game.

Calleja was more than satisfied: “Celebrating anniversaries like that please me. I’m happy because we deserved more points than we had coming into this game, but it’s only one match. On Sunday we’ve got Valladolid and we have to think in that match now. The team gave a complete performance. It’s an example to follow in the future.”

After these 365 das, Calleja can be proud that he has the statistics in his favour. In all official competitions, the ‘groguet’ coach has a win record of 44%, while that is just above 35% in LaLiga. In fact, Calleja has been able to get more than 50% of the points up for grabs (69 out of a possible 114).

In other official competitions that he has led the Yellow Submarine in, Calleja has two wins and three draws in the Europa League, and two victories in the Copa del Rey.

What’s more, during these 50 matches under the Madrid-born manager’s orders, Villarreal have scored 71 goals (56 in LaLiga, ten in the Europa League and five in the Copa del Rey).

For Calleja, his team were great at San Mamés: “We always had clear ideas on how to play, but the results weren’t backing us up. We had real faith in our ways and we were united in the dressing room. We were solid defensively and we showed courage in attack. We were ourselves when we had the ball.”

Regarding Pablo Fornals’ golazo and the spectacular performance from Ramiro Funes Mori in the middle of the pitch, Calleja praised his players: “Fornals broke free. For me, he was man of the match. The team worked very hard and then the goal from Pablo opened the floodgates, which was the hardest thing to do. From there, the team was braver. We’ve also discovered Funes Mori as a midfielder. He’s great to have around because of the personality he has. He’s committed and he always wants to improve. Each minute on the pitch will help him feel more comfortable there and what’s more, he’s great in the air,” he concluded.