Friday, October 13, 2006


Short interview with Mascherano

Q: Do you feel different managers have asked different things from you on the field?

JM: I don't think different managers ask for different things. My style, the way I play, has always been the same and maybe different managers work on that basis. Perhaps here I'm not known very well, but I would define myself as a central midfielder, maybe a little bit more defensive than offensive. There are two types of central midfielders: those who reach the box and maybe manage to score loads of goals every season, and those who maybe are more focused on providing the team with a sense of balance, of working more on the defensive. In every team I've played I've always been more of a defensive player rather than attacking, you know? I create play from further back perhaps.

Q: What have you observed about the English game so far?

JM: Well... I guess it depends on the teams. Most play with two central midfielders maybe a little bit further up front. But it varies. If you look at Chelsea, they have a defensive midfielder in Makelele. Arsenal plays with Gilberto and Fabregas, but Gilberto is the defensive midfielder. Manchester plays Carrick - defensive midfielder ... I think when a team plays with two midfielders one has to defend a bit more than the other. And one has to provide some balance. Logically, if they can take turns, that's the best. Maybe I find Liverpool is the team where they can both do it. Like Xabi Alonso and Gerrard, you know? And now Sissoko, who can reach the goal area - but also, when one is up front, the other can defend. The other thing here is that it's a very fast game, it requires a lot of people attacking, a lot of players up front. And then, when the move is over, get back really quickly to defend ... I think it's a lovely game, really dynamic. End to end. But it's fast!

Q: And how are you finding your role at West Ham?

JM: I'm working on it. I'm working with the manager on this. I think what he's asking of me is a little bit this: that I be the more defensive midfielder. That I go out and play but maybe stay a bit further back. We're working on it.

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