Paco Jémez showed up for his first official press conference and presentation as the manager of Las Palmas on Wednesday as direct and sincere as always. "It is an honour to return here," he said. The former Rayo Vallecano, Granada and Cruz Azul manager says he was enticed by the challenge the Las Palmas job presents. "I like challenges, especially the ones everyone tells me are impossible. These help me to improve and grow," he continued. The 47-year-old is delighted to return to the "best league in the world" and says his motivation is more personal than sporting.
The Las Palmas-born manager says it is important for him to "speak with all of the players," and he will stay with them until the 31st of December where he will get the chance to know them all. "It will be good for us to be together. We will train tomorrow and later get to know each other better," he said. Asked about the possibiliy of players leaving, Jémez said, "this is the part I like least about my job. But the time for just the trainers to fall is finished. It's good that only we pay the price. The players need to know that, if things aren't being done well, their jobs are in danger too," he said.
Arrivals and departures at Las Palmas
The first signing of Jémez' reign will be Gabriel Peñalba, who the club officially announced on Wednesday morning. "He has the ability to play in any league in the world, he is a fine footballer," said Jémez who also thanked the club for making it happen.
Jémez ruled out the signed of Sergio Araujo. "With his profile, I don't think he is a player that has to come here. I don't think we need him." The 25-year-old is currently on loan at AEK Athens are legal issues while at Las Palmas.
Jonathan Viera was one player singled out for praise by Jémez, who says, "It's a luxury to have him here. I would say there isn't a manager in the Primera that would say he doesn't want him in his squad. He has the abaility to tramsit passion into our play, and we have to make sure we turn make his talent benefit the team. He still hasn't given us his best version."
The new manager is also keen to send a message that something is changing at the club. "We all have to row in the same direction. I want the fans to go to training sessions," he finished.
Toni Cruz: “Paco Jémez no tenía ninguna necesidad de estar aquí”
Sentado a la derecha de Jémez, sonreía satisfecho Toni Cruz durante la presentación de su nuestro entrenador. “Cree en sus capacidades y posibilidades. No tenía ninguna necesidad de estar aquí”, advirtió el dirigente insular”, insistió.
Cruz quiso lanzar un mensaje de claro optimismo pese a la dramática situación de Las Palmas: “Hace un año no sabíamos si lo mejor de la temporada ya había pasado, y ahora estamos convencidos de que lo mejor está por pasar. La llegada de Paco Jémez nos ha traído esa convicción”.
Con respecto al papel que va a jugar Jémez en la UD, especialmente en lo referido a las altas y bajas que se irán produciendo estos días, recordaba: “Siempre hemos dicho que el entrenados es el jefe del equipo. Su opinión es de mucha calidad”. En un claro guiño a Quique Setién, confesaba que “Boateng vino porque nosotros convencimos al entrenador”, dando así a entender que, en materia de fichajes, las opiniones están consensuadas.
“Es injusto pensar en que hemos tenido cuatro entrenadores”
En una circunstancia inédita en sus 68 años de historia, la UD Las Palmas, contando con Jémez, ha tenido ya a cuatro entrenadores este curso. “Es injusto pensar en eso”, dijo Toni Cruz, jefe directo de todos ellos. “Solo hemos tenido un cese, que fue el de Pako Ayestarán. Lo de Manolo Márquez fue una dimisión, y además inesperada. Paquito era interino y ni siquiera tenía la titulación adecuada, ejerciendo una labor más dentro del club”.