Nordin Amrabat has likened Quique Sanchez Flores to Roberto Mancini as he prepares to make his full home debut this afternoon.
Amrabat worked under the Italian at Galatasaray and sees similarities between him and Watford’s Spanish coach. The first trophy Mancini won in England was the FA Cup.
“They both have good organisation, play good football and have good tactics,” said Amrabat. “Quique is quite strong on tactics. He and his staff analyse everything, for two or three days. We train a lot on tactics and when you see our games you see the organisation is always good. We are difficult to score against us.”
Aren’t they just.
Sanchez Flores and Amrabat spoke at length on Wednesday to discuss how the forward has settled in since he signed for a club record fee from Malaga last month.
“I talk with him about the feelings he has and the feelings I have when I analyse the match,” said Sanchez Flores. “We have the same idea – he needs to adapt to the new style. It’s a different velocity. But when I talk about adapt with this player I’m not talking about train, train, train. He trains and then plays against Forest and Palace. He got important minutes against Palace. It’s time for this player. He has characteristics we need. He has power, he is clever and he complements the other strikers. He has experience and he has the qualities we need.”
Amrabat, 28, has wasted no time in fixing up an apartment to cater for him, his wife and daughter and thanks to the help of the club’s international player liaison officer Lorenzo Libutti, he has settled in like a duck to water.
“The life is good,” he said. “I was born in Holland, so it is not a big difference living here. Driving on the left is not a big problem. It’s a nice club, good fans, nice stadium and a good atmosphere. The squad doesn’t have arrogant people; all players are nice, they are happy. It feels like a family.”
Although not short on confidence, Amrabat did admit: “I think need more games to adapt, to be stronger.”
He started at Nottingham Forest as one of two central strikers with Troy Deeney. The Moroccan played in a slightly different role at Crystal Palace, playing as one of two floating forwards behind lone striker Odion Ighalo.
“I’m normally a winger,” Amrabat said. “I play on the left wing. Last year I played as a striker and as a No.10. But I prefer the wing and if I have to choose, the left wing.”