Tuesday, July 25, 2017

FC Cincinnati 0-2 Valencia CF

Valencia CF managed to shake off an unexpected defeat at the hands of second tier club New York Cosmos and in a way redeemed themselves with a 2-0 win over Cincinnati. Of course this is also a second tier club, so managing to only win 2-0 and scoring the second goal right at the end doesn't give you confidence in our teams abilities, but a win is still a win and hopefully we can learn from this and last match.

We do see some play and some moves that have been practised in training, we do see some of the work Marcelino has been doing, but again I'm most worried about our defense, if we concede it's hard to win, no matter how good our forwards are we need to concede little to none to be able to win more consistently.

We urgently need a solid central defender to pair Garay, otherwise we will find ourselves struggling again in the league. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Valencia CF suffers first friendly loss

Valencia CF lost 2-0 to New York Cosmos a tier two American team in what was a terrible performance from the so far impressive side. Of course you can blame jetlag, you can say that the New York Cosmos are more physically ready as their season begins sooner, but there is no doubt that the performance was not up to par and not what we've seen so far.

Our biggest issue was the defense, with a weak pairing of Aymen and Vezo(who replaced Javi Jimenez) the back line was fragile and it showed, as Garay wasn't even in the match suffering from a muscle injury.

I don't know why team team pushed for the goalkeeper purchase and sale of Diego Alves, when our priority was always a solid defender and a solid defensive midfielder, we haven't brought either and we are now being linked with attackers and wingers, we don't need any of them!

We need a solid defender who will link up with Garay and keep Vezo as a backup, but get rid of Aymen please, he is way too expensive for us to be keeping him. He has huge salary, one of the highest overall in the squad and has not payed off either his transfer fee or salary!

What did you guys thought about the performance and what do you think of the preseason so far in terms of games, transfers and training?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Diego Alves and other confirmed departures

Yesterday, Diego Alves became the latest player to leave Valencia. He joins Flamengo and again, it's for a laughably low amount said to be 300,000-500,000 euros. Alves was one of the highest wage earners in the squad and was said to be a disruptive influence in the dressing room and in training, but it's a mystery why the club, which is complaining about having no money for transfers, is giving away a player worth 5 million for a tenth of that. The transfers of Piatti, Enzo and Alves should have brought in close on 20 million, instead we've got just over 4 million for the lot.

Alves joined us in 2011 from Almeria, making 146 appearances and gaining notability for his penalty stopping, saving 23 during his time with us. Despite that, from a pure playing point of view I don't think it's a bad decision. For me, Alves was never the same player after his knee injury at the end of the 2014/15 campaign. Valencia's record of conceding in recent seasons has been horrendous and part of that must rest on the goalkeeper, not only for failing to stop them, but also because he's the one who must organise the defence in real time. A typical Alves game involved him saving a penalty making a couple of good stops, but an error and conceding three goals. So while all of us will wish him well and be grateful for some good moments, it was time for a change.

With his departure, that means there are only two outfield players left who played under Pizzi: Parejo and Vezo and the latter is hardly a regular. That tells you what you need to know about Valencia's stability in recent seasons.

Other recent departures have involved Santos going to Sao Paolo on loan for 18 months with an option to buy and Bakkali going for next season to Deportivo. Santos will not be missed by anyone but there will be a few fans who will still wonder why it never really happened for Bakkali. He seems to have ended the same way as Fede or DePaul: a flair player and a fan favourite but one who got limited playing time. I think this one is for the best. I've long said in the match reports that I never saw the point in bringing him on for barely 5 minutes at the end. Bad for the player and club. While it's possible he'll have a good seasonat Depor and come back to us stronger, I think it's likely that he'll end up the same way as Fede and make a permanent exit.

The other players whose exit is talked about are Cancelo and Garay. The first has long been the obvious choice to sell to raise funds. Garay, despite a disappointing first season, is firmly in Marcelino's plans for next season but if the club can't get the cash they need from selling Cancelo, he would be the next choice, as he's still sufficiently highly rated for teams in England to pay big money. The lack of clear targets remains a concern. The closest to a clear target for now is Geoffrey Kondogbia of Inter Milan, who the club is interested in taking on loan with a buy option.

Either way, the club needs to get a move on. The previous season finished 8 weeks ago and the new one is just 3 weeks away, with the fixtures announced on 20 July.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Valencia CF 3-0 Sporting CP

Valencia CF trashed Sporting CP in yet another great preseason showing, giving us all hope that we can do much better than last season. Before I get carried away though this is still a friendly match early in the preseason, but the confidence, gameplay, fluidity in the play is there for everyone to see and this team is definitely playing differently than it used to with our last 3-4 coaches.

We are so early in the preseason, but I can already see an identity to this club, a certain style of play and hopefully the squad continues to grow, continues to improve and doesn't stumble at the first roadblock. So far so good and I'm really impressed by the work Marcelino is doing.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Marcelino's training methods

As you all know Valencia CF trashed some Swiss team called Lausanne-Sport, not some great feat, but its always nice to start off on a good footing early in the preseason.

I've watched all of the training videos so far and I've got to say I'm very impressed my Marcelino's training methods. At first I thought it was going to be the same old, as they team only did fitness type training, but since then the training schemes have been amazing, all tactical and technical in nature.

We've seen a lot of training on moves, movement, passing and pressing. Some of the training stuff is something I'm seeing first time ever, so I like that and I think its going to have a positive effect and we are going to see a much better team for it.

With all that said we do need one good defender, we can't rely on the error prone Abdenour, Vezo is a hit and miss and we lack a 4th serious CD either way. Great training can do so much, you also need the players to back up the good training.

So far so good in terms of training though, the focus is on the technical and tactical aspects, with the occasional fitness training to maintain the players weight and stamina. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Valencia CF preparations in France

Valencia CF is holding its preseason preparations in France this week and Valencia's new coach Marcelino has published the squad list of players that will be training there.

Goalkeepers: Neto, Jaume, Sivera
Defenders: Montoya, Nacho Vidal, Vezo, Garay, Abdennour, Javi Jimenez, Lato, Centelles
Midfielders: Parejo, Medran, Maksimović, Orellana, Bakkali, Nacho Gil, Nando, Eugeni Valderrama
Forwards: Rodrigo, Zaza, Mina, Rafa Mir, Negredo

Some players like Gaya, Soler, Nani and Cancelo won't be joining the team as they have an extended vacation period due to their national teams involvement, thus will be joining the rest at a later date.

Diego Alves and Aderlan Santos are not in the team because they are expected to leave, the team has made it clear that they would not be counting on these players for the next season, which is a shame to threat Diego Alves as such, he could have joined the group and trained until he finds a better club to join, so a pity that the club treats its players with such disrespect and contempt.

Right now in Valencia CF squad in France there are only few players that have been with the club for more than 3 years and those are Vezo(yeah, even though he has barely played actually), Parejo, Bakkali, Rodrigo and Negredo.

So that gives you an idea of the team "spirit" or lack thereof. 5 players out of 24 that have been with the club for more than 3 years. If we increase that to 5 years and we are only left with Parejo and when Gaya comes back he will be one of the few as well, counting his time in the B team as well.

So you might be asking why am I so negative again in the preseason, similar to last season, and its because like last season I do not see the strategy, I do not see the careful planing and smart transfer moves, its a scramble to get rid of several players and bring in several players to replace them. There is nothing strategic about it, we are rebuilding once again, just like last season, just like the season before, ust like 3 seasons before, etc...

Friday, July 7, 2017

Valencia CF sign Neto

Its official, Juventus goalkeeper Neto has signed for Valencia CF and the transfer fee is supposed to be somewhere in the region of 5 million euros, plus bonuses based on the players appearances and performance.

This means Diego Alves is as good as gone, with Jaume and Neto who will fight for the first position. At times I don't understand this club, we sold Ryan for much cheaper, we will get rid of Alves to save on money, but then we spend 5 million plus additional money in bonuses on another goalkeeper, when we already have two really good ones and used to have 3.

Spend money we don't have on positions we are fully saturated on and actually don't need strengthening, while we sell for pennies on the dollar just to make space for the new unneeded arrival. Do I think Neto is a great goalkeeper that will be better than Diego Alves? Not even remotely, at best I think he is going to be as good, but even that is unknown as we'll just have to wait and see.

I just don't see what the calculus is, what the strategy is and which players can we realistically get with NO money!?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Aderlan Santos saga

Supposedly Valencia CF had agreed a loan deal with Sao Paulo for Aderlan Santos, adding a 3.5 million euros purchase option at the end of the loan deal, but the player himself has refused such move as he doesn't want to play for Sao Paulo and wants to stay in Valencia CF.

The player feels like he hasn't been given a proper chance by the former coaches and the crazy situation in Valencia CF over the past two years prevented him from winning a place in the starting eleven.

Personally I am yet to see any positive moves by Valencia CF on the transfer market, we haven't brought in anyone yet, we sold Enzo Perez for pennies on the dollar, he was one of the highest valued players on our squad just one year ago and we sold him for pennies and the Maksimovic arrival was negotiated over 7 months ago, think even more than that.

Marcelino wants a whole new backline, but my question is where are we going to get the proper players from? With only Garay as the solid option, Mangala long gone our options are what we have, but Aymen, Santos and Vezo are not in Marcelino's plans and who can blame him based on their overall performances, but its not like we have replacements lined up and money to get them all.

So its a waiting game for now, but so far I'm not seeing any actual smart moves on the market, I'm not confident that the new administration is doing the right moves and the sort of planned and strategic transfer market that we all hoped would see. Its just another scramble to get rid of some players and bring in whatever we can find for the cheapest.