Artur Petrosyan: I couldn’t turn my back on the team in difficult time

Artur Petrosyan
Artur Petrosyan

Photo: Mediamax/Emin Aristakesyan

It took former forward Artur Petrosyan to coach the Armenia team for just one game to become beloved as a manager too.

He gave Armenian football fans a new hope in the pilot match by giving them the forgotten taste of victory after 3 years of defeats and failed attempts.

Mediamax Sport met and talked to Artur Petrosyan. The manager told about his decision to coach the national team, his plans, first steps and favorite recreation.

I have the power to advance our team

- Mr. Petrosyan, you were one of the best and most popular members of the Armenia national team. Did you ever think that one day you could manage it?

- Of course, but I didn’t think it would be so soon. I thought I would get to this point after a few years in club football. Everything happened very quickly.

Artur Petrosyan Artur Petrosyan

Photo: Mediamax/Emin Aristakesyan

- You took this position at a very difficult and crucial moment. How did you accept the invitation to manage the team? Was it easy?

- I live in Switzerland, so I knew this decision would bring big changes not just to my career, but my family life too. I played for the national team for years and had no right to reject them at this difficult moment. I believed that I have the power to work with the team.

- How did the first meeting with the players go? What did you say to prepare them for the game with Montenegro?

- I knew 90% of the team, as I worked with them under Bernard Challandes management. I didn’t say anything special. The most important thing for us was to change the tough psychological state and give a positive attitude. I think we succeeded there.

Photo: PAN Photo

- What concerns did you have before the game? Did you expect such a result?

- I had no concerns. I knew that the team was ready, and I believed in the players’ dedication. I saw in the 4-5 days of training how great their desire to win was.

- You couldn’t help but get emotional at the press conference. What were you feeling then?

- I felt the same after defeating Northern Ireland in 2003. The situation was similar – 3,5 years without a win, and I scored the decisive goal. I think I got the same emotions after the game with Montenegro, it was something.

Photo: PAN Photo

Stable game requires great efforts

- Although the win over Montenegro was significant, we all understand that one game doesn’t decide everything. The second part of the qualifying stage is ahead. What will you emphasize in 2017?

- We will try to reinforce all the good moves and decisions we showed in the game with Montenegro. At the same time, we’ll strive to correct our faults and errors. It will be very important to have a stable game, which requires great efforts.

- Could you name these faults?
Artur Petrosyan Artur Petrosyan

Photo: Photolure

- This match showed that our problem lies in defense. We have progress compared to previous games, but we had many tactical mistakes. True, we possessed the ball more often and could have escalated the game, but we didn’t. We will fix that in time.

- Every manager brings something new. What will Artur Petrosyan’s team be like?

- My team’s got to have good atmosphere, dedication and desire to work.
Artur Petrosyan Artur Petrosyan

Photo: Mediamax/Emin Aristakesyan

- What was amiss in our team that you will fill now?

- I noticed that the players were feeling depressed. Other coaches and I tried to lift their spirit with jokes and light atmosphere. The players spoke very little both on the field and outside in the first 2 days of training. The lunches were always quiet, and I wanted us to be more energetic. We saw the difference as soon as on the 3rd day and from that moment the atmosphere grew easier and easier.

- What kind of person can be a football team manager?
Artur Petrosyan Artur Petrosyan

Photo: Photolure

- A manager should stay calm and not give in to emotions, and treat the players correctly. They all have different personalities, one requires strict attitude, another – criticism or encouragement. To put it briefly, a manager should have an individual approach to each player.

- How did 2016 go for Artur Petrosyan?

- My team was young in Zurich, we tried to stay in the championship till the end and managed that. Then I took classes for Pro License and visited Armenia frequently. In the end I became the national team manager. I would say the year has been difficult, but successful.

- What will you be doing in 2017?

Photo: PAN Photo

- I will definitely have no time for idleness. If things work out, we’ll have a friendly match in February, and if they don’t, I will go to our players’ clubs and watch their games and training. We have many things to work on, actually, and we need to do everything to be well-prepared for the qualifying matches.

Hasmik Babayan, Gohar Nalbandyan


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