The right man in the right place. The right coach at the right club. Petit breathes Boavista, knows the club and Besa like no one else, walks the corridors of the stadium the same way he moves around his house.
The former Portuguese international is different. Speak more, speak better, convince the interlocutor with every word, with every statement. Do you know what you want for the Porto Centenary Logo and its details in this great interview with zero zero.
The conversation is taking place at the bathroom door. You can smell the balm, the soccer players’ workshops, and the ambiance that Betty loves. If they are drawn in squares, black and white, then even better.
At the age of forty-five, the coach was no longer afraid to speak his mind. He regrets the labels that have been placed on him throughout his career – as a footballer and now as a coach – as any player who has surprised him positively would say, assessing the 2021/22 season and already looking forward to a future.
If there are doubts, then the talk dispels everything. Petit has Boavista on his skin. He’s the right coach at the right club.
The second part – Betty: «There are no late wages, Boavista has it all right»
the third part – Betty Petar Musa assesses: “He was so exhausted, we gave him oxygen.”
Arrived in December and renovated in February © Boavista FC
Zero Zero – Was it ok for Betty to come back to Besa?
my house – it was good. It’s a home I know very well, I grew up here as a player, as a person, I spent my childhood here, winning titles and coming back full of passion. I came to help, I came to do something different and in that sense we are working, step by step, to promote Boavista. We want Boavista to be able to go back to how it was before and that takes time. We are working to take this a step forward. It was a tough time, but with everyone’s work, I think we were able to achieve the desired goal. This goal was not just permanence, in this club there is no such thing, but the ambition, always the desire to improve. We expected to be in the top eight, but we didn’t, but in time and for all that happened, I think it’s been a good season.
zz – How do you put Boavista 2022? Closer to the Boavista you met as a footballer or who you coached between 2012 and 2015?
q – It is Boavista closer to taking the right steps. It is very different from the club I found in my playing days, because Boavista struggled to win titles. We were always in the top three/four, battling everyone. In the second moment, I was still having a player, then a player/coach and that was a tough moment. With the help of everyone who came during this period, I think we managed to do a good job and get Boavista back into the first league. This is the seventh consecutive season in the First Division, Boavista has grown and consolidated and we know what we want. We’ve talked to management about what our project is, and why Boavista has improved in terms of working conditions. We recently had a scouting division, which we lacked and was an essential part of the football structure. We have created new conditions for training, for coaches and directors to be able to live together and be more together. It takes time, but we are taking firm steps to reorganize the entire club and get back to being a different Boavista than we’ve had in the last 10 years.
17 He paints
46 goals accepted
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zz – Boavista finished the league with 17 draws. It was, by far, the team that charted most of the time. What reading can we do for this number?
q – This shows that Boavista was a very competitive team. Me and my coaching staff joined in November, played 24 games, won six and lost five. Above all, I feel like we were a competitive team and we were closer to winning than losing so many matches.
zz – In the match against Benfica, they lost 2-0, tied and were close to winning at the end. It is an example.
q – Yes, and against Vizela, even with not one player, we still missed a penalty in the last few minutes. Against Paços de Ferreiras we had 20 minutes with many chances to score, in short, there were many matches in which we were closer to winning than losing. Above all, it was the team’s competitiveness that pleased me the most. We were able to give the team an idea, we made a harmonious mix of players by sectors and we had some difficulties here and there, and we repeated the same starting eleven, due to injuries and suspensions. I even think we could have been at another position in the league table, higher. We were able to appreciate the many players and club assets, who today have proposals to leave. We have eight players pre-selected for the respective teams. The balance of time can only be good.
zz – The biggest regret is not to advance further in the league standings or miss the League Cup final, despite the many absences in the semi-final against Benfica?
q – I’m sorry for both. It is true that we were very close to the final, after many years. We lost on penalties, with some difficulties getting to eleven, because we missed a lot. There were athletes in the selections, but we didn’t complain and we were competitive, and we were very close to achieving that goal. It was a pity for our fans, but also for the coaching staff and the players. But, I repeat, the most important thing was to have a positive sporting season and the appreciation of many players.
zz – We were going to take him there. There are several names that should stand out and the most relevant is Petar Musa, who is taken for granted in Benfica. There are others, too: Gustavo Sauer, who left near the end, Makota, even Siba Perez, who was not used properly. Is this happening because of the idea Betty came up with?
q – Yes, so too. The group must be strong so that the individual can stand out. We tried to get the best out of each player, work on each of them individually and then be stronger on the pitch. I was very happy to be a player and to pick up coaches who value individual coaching. Makota, for example, had to improve the quality of directed receptions. We’ve worked with him every day to do that, knowing where he can step on the ground, because we have different dynamics on the right side with Sauer. When Yusupha played, before going to CAN, the dynamics we had on his side were different, because he is more than just a striker and he joined Musa a lot. I think we understood this idea well and appreciated a lot of people. We changed Reggie Cannon to central on the right, because he’s a good player and he has a market as well. With Poroso we were worried about working on receiving the ball, because he revealed limitations in that. He’s a kid with monstrous growth potential. We cannot think that training is just a group exercise, to have the ball in small spaces. no. Individual training and thinking about the needs of each player makes a big difference. Pulling the ball away from the touchline is not the same as shooting from the finish line and giving a corner. All this is important. We appreciate some of the players who scored in order to leave. It’s great as a coach to have players who are wanted by other teams.
zz – Who was the Boavista player that surprised you positively?
q – I will be honest. Before the match against Vitoria de Guimarães, we were together and the coaching staff asked me which player had surprised me the most. I knew them all, but felt there was a lot of quality and it was necessary to get it out. I had to let them flow and grow. A player I really appreciate, who plays even in my old position, is Seba Pérez.
zz – Is this Betty Boavista?
q – No, I don’t think it’s Petit Boavista. But I think the fit between him and Makota in midfield was important, two players who understood each other very well, two different players who grew up with the structure – or the idea of the game – of the three midfielders. They ended up doing a great job in midfield. I think we managed to get a good result with them and then Youssoufa, Saoir and Moussa base the team. We used to modify whenever possible with other names. Malheiro ended up with a good end to the season, Luis Santos and Fran, we were able to get many youngsters into the first team and play. It is an example for children who grow up with the ambition to make it to the first team.
zz – Do you want to share this balance with us and our readers from Boavista?
q – We could have been in the top eight. I tried to convey this ambition whenever I went to a preview or flash conference. Be closer to the places above. We always look for the best and never get discouraged, we must be committed and sure of the greatness of this club. It may take time for things to happen, but we must be persistent and loyal. One of the good things we achieved was the ability to get more fans into the stadium. This commitment won a lot of people and we had a lot of people who wanted to see Boavista live. Against Vitoria de Guimarães we had 15/16 thousand people in Besa. It is a pleasure to see the stadium is well set up, the players must be the ones driving the fans. I think the players always did their best, so the fans went home and felt proud to be Boavistas.
zz – This also relates to how the team behaves. Last season we were already talking about a young player who could make the team play more attractive and beautiful football. Is this the time when the doubts in this regard end?
q – I had no doubts about my work (laughs). Outside? Yeah. These photos are made by journalists and commentators, and now I think they are in the making. I didn’t want to be a football coach. I thought I would work with the squad, be a manager, but the conditions at the club in 2012 led the management to ask me to be a coach/player. And I started to like him. Everything was very fast, I didn’t have any specific training at the time, I got to La Liga quickly and I didn’t have good bases. I’ve done in training what I learned in my playing days. But I didn’t know why I would do a specific training. Why is this training done if I don’t have players for this training? If we’re going to play more on the counterattack, why insist on possession? I’ve grown and grown and I think in my last job – Boavista, Belenenses Sade and Maritimo – I made the teams close to 40 points. Nobody talks about it. We finished the year with 38 and our Tondela win gave us seventh place. There is talk of “the team in the image of its coach”. To play at the highest level, as I did, I had to have some quality.
zz – Do you feel hurt by these labels?
q – Sometimes I do. I see programs where they talk about coaches who are not players like me, and put the expression “in their coach’s photo”. And they are coaches who did not get past the regular clubs when they played, with all due respect. I reached the top and played for my country in two World Cups [nove jogos no total, 2002 e 2006] This is the highest point in the course of any player. We have to understand the context in which we enter the club, before we take it with this or that label. Shall we get in the middle? Did we go in first? Almost all of my projects started in the middle of the season. what should I do? To get out of last position, I can’t play just to draw. We have to play to win and save. If I’ve been through five or six clubs and I can do that, I have to have some quality. The kind of work, the knowledge of the team, the ability to get the most out of each player, and then realize where we are. The difficulties, the weight of being in last place, how to get the team out of trouble, in a nutshell. It’s completely different to start the season and be able to have the players what I want. I will work with them to do this. I was able to do this in the last months in Boavista and I will have the possibility to continue. We are taking steps to get a different boavista. Having a monitoring section and a player database makes a big difference, to try to choose well and get ahead of other clubs. We could lose a player, but most importantly, we have a database that is compatible with your idea and philosophy of the game. We want to start from the beginning doing what we’ve already done this year.