Vital Wednesday Editor Ed, fires a few questions at Ex-Owls Premier League defender Juan Cobian, ENJOY!
Vital Wednesday Editor Ed Jepson, took the chance to fire a few questions to Juan Cobian who was the first Argentinan to play for Wednesday. He appeared for the club during the 1998/99 Premier League season before plying his trade at Aberdeen, Swindon and Almagro in his native Argentina.
(VW) 1- First of all Juan, how are you and what are you up to now?
(JC) ‘I am very well, now living in Saenz Pena, Buenos Aires near the place where I was born. Working in my family business and also with some things in football industry. Mainly with events and friendly games but also recommending some players to British and European clubs.’
(VW) 2 – You enjoyed a football career that took into a lot of different countries, where was your favourite club/place you play for or at?
(JC) ‘It is not because I am now in touch with you, but I fell in love with Sheffield! and Wednesday as a club! Although I only spent a year there, This might sound strange for many people reading this, but it is what happened, not only to me but to my family too.’
(VW) 3 – Do you keep upto date with English football?
(JC) ‘Yes of course. Not as much as I should but I follow it over the internet and watch some live games every weekend.’
(VW) 4 – After England’s embarrassing display at Euro2016, do you think they can recover in time for the World Cup in Russia?
(JC)’Yes, I am sure they will. But in my opinion the FA should have appointed another kind of manager. And this is not against Sam Allardyce, who I respect a lot because he has had a great career, but I see that younger and more up to date managers with new tactical ideas and strategies and the way they express what they need from players. That may get England out of these poor performances. Although, I don’t just think it’s only about the managers but also about the players generations and their desire.’
(VW) 5 – As an ex-player did Messi make the right decision to retire from international football?
(JC) ‘I am pretty sure it was something he thought and expressed in a difficult moment for him. Once he thinks about it and gets all the calls from our nation, I am sure he will realise that his place is in the national team of Argentina. That’s until his body says stop.’
(VW) 6 – Can Argentina be a force at the next World Cup without him?
(JC) I’m a 100% that Argentina will have Messi with them in Russia 2018.
(VW) 7 – Moving on from the international scene, do you keep an eye on Wednesday’s matches?
(JC) ‘Yes I do, sometimes I only have an eye on the results, but I try to watch as many games as I can when I get the chance to catch them on TV.’
(VW) 8 – Obviously the Owls just missed out on promotion at Wembley last May, can they push for a Premier League return next season?
(JC) ‘Without a doubt the Owls will be in the fight for promotion again. It looks like the team were up for it last season and losing the final game is a shame. But, it is something the players, coaches and directors should use to get there again. Sheffield Wednesday are a Premier League club, no matter the results. First of all because of the fans and second because of the history.’
(VW) 9 – Any area’s you think Carlos Carvalhal should strengthen over the summer?
‘I believe he should focus on finding a central midfielder that gets that first pass into the other Midfielder’s or on to the strikers in a very simple way. Someone similar to Wim Jonk who was a team mate of mine.’
(VW) 10 – Going back to your time as an Owls players, what do you look back on the most?
‘Like I said before the fans home and away it was amazing the way they chanted and cheered on the team. Very much like Boca Juniors fans in Argentina. Also the city, the friends I left behind and I am still in touch. And I am still very thankful to Sir Dave Richards and Danny Wilson who gave me chance to have this experience and also to all of my team mates who couldn’t have treated me any better, at the time I was a young Argentinian player at just 22 years of age.’
(VW) 11 – Are there any moments good or bad you’d like to do again?
(JC) ‘Good, when we beat Arsenal at Hillsborough with Lee Briscoe scoring the winner. Bad, the final lap of honour against Liverpool after the last home game, I wish that did not happen.’
(VW) 12 – In the late 90’s did the club feel like it was going backwards/relegation?.
(JC) ‘I think our team in the 98/99 season had one of the best performances in the Premier League, didn’t we!?!? It was a shame that Wednesday could not find the right way to keep going in that way in the year after such a good performance.’
(VW) 13 – Whilst I was at Wembley, I spoke to many ex-players there to support the team, what is it about the club that ex-players return to?
(JC)’Again like I mentioned before, there is something special about the club, the fans and the City. It is really difficult to explain but there is just something.’
(VW) 14 – Fans reading this will have the incredible atmosphere against Brighton at Hillsborough in last season’s playoffs fresh in their minds, how does it compare playing in front of fans in other countries like Argentina, Spain and England?
(JC) ‘Argentinan fans and specially the Boca Juniors’s fans have a special way of supporting their team, we call it ‘fanatism’. I found this in the Owls’ barmy army, its just something like that, they’re always behind the club in good or bad moments. Getting almost 30.000 people to a League One games at times explains it all!’
(VW) 15 – After leaving Wednesday you ventured to Aberdeen, Swindon and more… Which of the clubs you played for did you enjoy success at the most?
(JC) ‘Almagro! who was my last club in Argentina. We got close to winning the title while I was there.’
(VW) 16 – Finally, you’re on twitter where can Wednesday fans follow and interact with you?
(JC) ‘Although I am not a constant user get me @juan_cobian, But, I hope to see many of them in my next visit to Hillsborough. One of the wishes, is to work in some way with the club again! Thank you Ed and come on Wednesday!!!!!!’
All at Vital Wednesday would like to thank Juan for his time and we to would like to catch up with him at S6 in the future when he’s made the long journey!