Jose Holebas, a player reborn under Walter Mazzarri, has described the way Quique Sanchez Flores handled him as “a joke”.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times, Holebas reflects on a tortuous last season when he was picked up and put down more times than a baby’s toy.
“I’d won trophies, I’d played in the Champions League and World Cup, I’d moved from a bigger club, but I was benched or left at home,” says Holebas, who has already played one more game this season than he did in the entirety of the last campaign.
“I was really upset. I went to ask the manager [Quique Sanchez Flores] what was going on. My teammates didn’t understand it either. He never gave me the right answer. He told the media that I wasn’t playing well, which made it easy for him to leave me out of the starting 11. He took me off at half-time against Southampton, which was a joke. It was like I’d burnt his house down. I expect a manager to be straight, to be a man. This did not happen. It was a bad experience. Now people have the wrong picture of me. That’s not fair.”
For the full, fascinating interview, pick up a copy of today’s Sunday Times.