In need of new idols after the fall from grace of Raúl de Tomás, Spanishism wanted to believe in Joselu. But of course, at 32 years old, there were doubts about his ability to be the team's offensive reference, even though in recent seasons his level had grown exponentially. After the derby, the few doubts that could still exist have vanished. Joselu Mato is the new boss in Cornellà. Because in addition to goals and a total adaptation to the philosophy of Diego Martínez, the Galician striker has achieved a deep identification with what it means to be a parakeet.
The image of Joselu ordering the Camp Nou to shut up after scoring the equalizer penalty is already part of the history of derbies. And as is logical, the blue and white fans have elevated that gesture to the category of a continental title. The goal did not serve to achieve three points, but it did serve to honor a crowd that had felt harmed hours before the game. “This is Espanyol, the feeling is very positive. After all the adversity of the previous 24 hours, we knew that it was difficult to get anything out of the Camp Nou. We have fought for all those who have not been able to bring their shirts to this stadium”, confessed the striker after the game. His gesture, raising his index finger to his lips, is already on a par with Tamudazo (2007) or De la Peña's goals (2009), unique moments of ecstasy in the field of his eternal rival.
To get here, the Galician striker has had to bet very heavily on Espanyol. The commitment shown from day one with the club and his objectives have made him a heavyweight in the dressing room in just six months. Diego Martínez has taken advantage of this. The coach, also Galician, has built his system thinking above all about the abilities of his striker. And Joselu has responded with sacrifice and goals, many goals, more than any most optimistic fan could have thought before his arrival. "For us it's wonderful," said the coach after the game against Barça. "He is happy for that goal, but the most important thing is that he is happy for the team, for scoring a point," he added.
But there is much more. In an interview with La Vanguardia last summer, Joselu claimed that he was not just an auctioneer, and that with his head he knew how to do many more things than see the door. And this was noticed by Diego Martínez, who for some time now has transformed Espanyol football into a sport in which, with luck, Darder acts as quarterback and Joselu as receiver. The coach is looking to apply a lightning war in which the striker is crucial. Joselu controls, protects, downloads, assists and marks. He intervenes constantly to try to improve each action, either with his head to comb and look for a second play, as he tried to do with Melamed in the derby, or to give way to the sides, give continuity and look for the shot, as he did in the play of the penalty
After fourteen consecutive defeats at the Camp Nou, Espanyol did not lose thanks to Joselu's goal. After six years without even scoring on rival ground, it was he who broke the jinx. Not even with Gerard Moreno, Borja Iglesias or Raúl de Tomás, the last great offensive references, did Espanyol manage to score. In addition, Joselu already has eight goals in fifteen games, numbers that none of his predecessors (Gerard Moreno 5, Borja Iglesias 8, De Tomás 7) had improved in his most prolific season in the blue and white team. Espanyol has a new leader, and the fans have added a new derby hero to their collection