Former Atletico Madrid and Barcelona star Arda Turan is taking his first steps in management, and unsurprisingly, his time in Spain is having a major impact on his central beliefs.
Life in management has started well for Turan, who has taken charge of Eyupspor in the Turkish second division. After 4 matches, Turan has them top of the table with 4 wins, 11 goals scored and just one conceded.
Speaking to Marca, Turan explained that both Diego Simeone and Luis Enrique are a big part of how he has approached things.
“I learned a lot from both. Cholo’s contribution to my defensive perspective is great. From Luis Enrique I focus on the offensive movements and positioning on the field. In addition to technical and tactical understanding, I learned from both of them to be very honest and open with the players. It was one of the things that impressed me the most about them.”
“Tactically speaking, I learned a lot from Simeone in terms of team positioning, rigidity, acting together in defence, pressing, receiving in the 4-4-2, not allowing the ball to be passedl between blocks and in the organisation of set pieces.”
“From Luis Enrique I learned a lot about how to position the team, how to find solutions against rival defences, how to settle in and react. There are also some names that I cannot fail to mention: Oscar ‘El Profe’ Ortega, for his preparations for the beginning of the season and Mono Burgos, for his preparation of the set piece.”
However he was clear that beyond tactics, what Simeone taught him on a human level is far more important.
“Cholo’s most important characteristic was that he was very honest and very open. He said directly what he wanted. I try to be as clear and open as him in all my conversations with my players.”
Turan spent several years at Barcelona, eventually ending up on loan back in Turkey, but Atletico was always the place where he looked most comfortable.
“Atletico has always had a very special place in my life. It was my first experience abroad, we became a family, the successes we achieved… I will remember all this for the rest of my life. There I not only achieved sporting successes, but I also accumulated great memories.”
Turan’s career is likely to be an entertaining one to follow, if he keeps the same character that he had as a player. A talented technical midfielder, he gave as good as he got without the ball and to the referee.