Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Geoffrey Kondogbia joins Valencia CF

Geoffrey Kondogbia joins Valencia CF on a one year loan deal, with the option to purchase the player at the end of his loan term, the purchase sum is being kept secret for now, but rumor has it its around 20 million euros.

Valencia CF sought out the player for close to a month, with Inter playing hardball at first, but ultimately the player wanted to join Valencia CF and get more playing time and Inter were forced to loan him out as Valencia CF just doesn't have the money to buy him out immediately.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Valencia CF 1-0 Las Palmas

Welcome back Mr Lim you have brought us good fortune.  With the owners first appearance at the club for over a year it was up to the team to show that his money has not all been wasted. I was a bit concerned that certain sections of the fans would spoil the night with chants against the owner and not concentrate on supporting the team but the fears were unfounded.

With the slightly surprising inclusion of Nacho Vidal in the right of defence with his face mask after the assault by the player of Atalanta last week the team looked the obvious choice. Montoya injured in training allowed him the opportunity.  Players such as Cancelo and Garay included despite their certain transfers next week.

It was Valencia who took the lead in the 22nd minute when a great run by Carlos Soler on the left who rolled he ball to Zaza in oceans of space just outside the area to fire the ball home, much to the relief of the home crowd. The Italian striker had already picked up an early yellow for a bit of an elbow but as usual the ref seemed to ignore similar offences against Valencia.

I thought Medran had a good game but its a shame that we have to try and accommodate  Parejo Medran and Soler on the left because he is better in a more central role.  Valencia were bossing the game and chance after chance came and went.  Why are we so afraid of getting our body over the ball and hammering in low and hard shots through players instead too many touches and we lose the ball.

Zaza had a great claim for a penalty turned down. I have only seen it live at the match and have not had chance to see it in slow motion but to me and 34,000 others it looked blatant and one of many strange decisions by the ref. { OK having now seen it on TV, perhaps the ref got it right }  Halilovic was sent off for a high challenge on Gaya after 30 minutes and again not seen it in slow mo. but who cares we are now playing against 10.

We should really have gone on to win easily but it was not to be and we had to accept the 1.0 win. Three points is three points and a good start to the season. We have to rebuild the defence this week with the visit to Real Madrid on Sunday. Interesting choices to be made.

Not a totally convincing performance but a win is far better than the first game last season that's for sure. I will leave it to you to give your views.  Also good to see us in control until the end and not giving away a silly late goal. There seems more confidence in the team now.

Neto 6   No problems for him and an easy game really.  Not bothered too much but looked confident and handled and distributed well.
Garay 7  Flawless game and obvious why he is wanted by Juventus and Spartak.  Shame he needs to go but looking forward to the new faces.
Gaya 5   Not one of his better games, crosses were going astray too often. He sets a high standard but this was a bit below par.
Vidal 6  Every touch was applauded by the fans, we love to see a home grown doing well.  He made some great runs and defended well. We will forgive a couple of silly mistakes as he is young. A great future with us.
Vezo 6   As we would not get much for him if he left we have to keep him.  He is gaining experience now and apart from the occasional bad ball out defended well. Will be a good stand in.
Soler 5  Not his fault but until he was switched to a more central role late on he looked a bit lost apart from setting up the goal.
Medran 7   This guy is certainly maturing fast by doing the simple things and not trying to be too flashy too often. His passing is really accurate and works well with Parejo.
Parejo 6  Does the good work and is winning more tackles now. He has the crowd and manager on his side and it's improving his play.
Cancelo 6   Playing his more attacking role he made some great runs and great crosses.  We need the money but sorry to see him go and in tears at the final whistle.
Rodrigo 6   Lots of work and lots of running but too many times passes are not accurate enough. He needs some goals for his confidence.
Zaza 7  The match winner,  how can you not love Zaza ?  Works like a horse and scores great goals. Really seems to love the club and the fans love him and see a real passionate player. Just needs to curb his aggression sometimes.

Nacho Gil for Medran  73 mins
Mina for Rodrigo   78 mins
Maksimovic for Soler  88 mins

Crowd  34,000

Friday, August 18, 2017

Murillo and Kondogbia to join Valencia CF

Valencia CF looks set to sign two Inter players, central defender Jeison Murillo and defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia both of whom the club has been chasing for a very long time. At one point Inter was playing hardball and not moving an inch with their demands, but both players wanted to leave and forced Inter's hand as much as possible to allow for a move to happen.

Jeison Murillo arrives to Valencia CF for about 12 million euros, while Geoffrey Kondogbia arrives for around 18 million euros. For what little I've seen from these two players, it seems that they are decent players with Kondogbia having the more outstanding preseason with Inter and doing well for himself, so definitely a good purchase.

Finally some good news, though VCF is yet to find suitors for Aymen Abdennour who the team wants to sell due to the request of our coach Marcelino, as well as Orellana. I actually don't know why the coach is so dismissive of Orellana, to me he seemed like he had a great preseason, he was one of our better players during the friendlies and writing him off like that seems like a lot of favoritism towards certain "established" players from last season.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Valencia CF 1-2 Atalanta

As soon as I saw the Atalanta team walk out onto the pitch I thought that it was going to be a tough game. Their players all looked bigger and stronger than our boys and that is what it seemed for long spells earlier on, men against boys. They seemed able to control the ball well and found the passes a lot better than Valencia and it was no surprise when they went ahead in the 13th minute. A freekick from the left and Toloi easily out jumped our defence to head home.

The tables were turned when in minute 20 a free kick, again from the left was pushed out by the Italian keeper only for Vezo at the rear post to head home levelling the score.  I have to say that it was against the run of play but a goal is a goal.

Vezo and Javi Jimemez were the central defenders and Jimenez was showing again what a good and reliable player he is. He made a number of great tackles and looks a real class player. Vezo was doing ok but his ball out of defence was going astray just too many times and just not good enough.

Again Soler was put out wide left and looked totally lost in that position. He kept drifting in leaving big gaps and leaving Gaya exposed too much.  This has to change before next week as there was no player wide for the midfield to pass to.  Cancelo was showing why he is not a defender by having a very good attacking game getting the ball across well a few times and also slicing open the defence himself before firing over with a good opportunity.  Gaya also had what appeared to be a good goal disallowed when he chipped a great through ball over the keeper only to see the linesman raise his flag for offside. Also, he was unlucky when his cross was volleyed over by a Zaza bicycle kick which would have been one of the goals of the season with the great build up play, but it was not to be.

At times Valencia were playing some good passing football when they got the ball down and made numerous opportunities. However it was the same old story when the chances were squandered. Rodrigo made a good opportunity for himself breaking through for a one on one with the keeper but, trying to chip him just passed it into his arms for an easy save.  Other Valencia opportunities came and went.

Unfortunately it was Atalanta who had the final word when Palomino had an easy tap in after a corner from the right to give the Italians the final victory. To be fair Valencia improved in the second half with fresh legs but a win was not to be.

Positive performances from Javi Jimenez. If he keeps this up it would be impossible to leave him out for one of the new central defenders who are supposed to be coming.
Cancelo had a good game and if he does go it will have put a little on his value or at least convinced somebody he is worth buying.
Zaza and Rodrigo,   plenty of running but strikers are judged by goals and they didn't get one unfortunately.
Parejo and Medran looked ok in midfield but Soler was awful and it needs sorting. Maksimovic actually looks a good prospect and I liked the way he came on late and took responsibility, taking the ball from Parejo and making good passes.
Santi Mina came on late and I don't want to be a Santi hater but he really looks totally out of his depth this season.

We are getting near the start of the season and just like last year still haven't sorted out the defence.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Werder Bremen 1-2 Valencia CF

This was to be our toughest test yet this preseason, playing away in the Bundesliga is never going to be an easy game. Werder Bremen finished just above half way last season so a good test for Valencia.

Parejo caused the first piece of excitement when he missed narrowly with a long range free kick in the sixth minute, but was a little more accurate after 20 minutes when from another long range effort put Valencia ahead. A great goal from the new captain and will silence a few of his critics with that goal and his all round effort.

A crazy moment from Neto nearly cost a silly goal but with a little luck and some quick blocking the chance was lost for the home team. He just seemed to freeze and take his eyes off the ball, unforgivable really.  OK you are entitled to make a mistake but let that be the last one this season please.

The home team equalised in the 70th minute when the defence fell asleep and a deep cross was turned in for an easy goal. Bremen were a little unfortunate also to have another goal ruled out for offside which looked ok to me,  but we are not complaining.

In the final minutes Mina was put through and looked as if his boots were tied together when he tried to control the ball. Fortunately the home keeper made a hash of the save and Lato was there following up to put the ball in the net.

A bit of a lucky win with a not too convincing performance but a win is a win. Also to win with a late goal is always nice and makes a change from us giving away late ones. If we were lucky then let it continue because we had our fair share of bad luck last season.

The team must be doing something right because the goals against in the warm ups has been quite impressive and it can't all be down to luck.

I thought, good games for Parejo, Jimenez and Vezo.  Average games for many but not sure about Soler on the left.  I think Medran needs to dye his hair blonde, shave it mohican and get loads of tattoos on his face and arms. Why ?     Because then we will probably notice more the good things he does on the pitch.  He looks so ordinary that he just blends in too much.

Zaza and Rodrigo looked a bit ordinary and we need more from them, More goals that is.  Cancelo caught my eye on one occasion when he just stood rooted when the attacker ran forward instead of tracking back. Is he saying I want to go, who knows but he can go if he doesn't want to work.  Mina not good enough in my opinion but I haven't heard Man Utd or Juventus asking about him so I guess he stays.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Negredo joins Besiktas

So, as officially confirmed, Negredo's time at Valencia has come to an end. The player joins Besiktas, with his arrival celebrated by a truly awful video. The fee is said to be around €2.5 million. So Valencia paid 28m for a player worth less than 20, then sells him for less than a tenth of that and about a third of his value. There are many bad examples of poor transfer dealing in the Lim era, but this one has to be the pits.

Negredo joined Valencia back in 2014, sitting out the early months due to an injury. When he did play he was far from the standard that Valencia wanted. He did score some important goals, including a crucial goal to book Valencia's place in the champions league group stage and a goal from the halfway line vs Rayo but all those were overshadowed by him missing sitters, such as the one in the 81st minute vs Real Madrid which would have locked up three points and overall, was nowhere near justifying even half of his fee. Nuno clearly grew to dislike the player and ostracised him and DePaul in his last season. When he did come back, experiments at playing him with Alcacer didn't work and the latter tended to be preferred. Last summer, he was high on Valencia's list of players that they wanted to sell but with no takers, VCF had to settle for a loan to Middlesbrough, with a buy option. With Boro relegated, that buy option wasn't exercised and the club was saddled with him again. While the transfer fee is pitiful, it does free up a significant financial fair play margin, indeed, at the end of last season, Negredo made up an eighth (!) of the team's FFP budget.

With him removed, the club does have space to bring in new signings, which would involve, in order, a central defender then a defensively minded central midfielder. After that, a defender who can be back up on the right and centre would be high and a left winger, with Nani proving injury prone.

Overall, I wouldn't be too harsh on Alemany and co for the Negredo transfer as it was a mess not of their making. Lim's reckless spending in the first transfer window has really screwed us up and three years later we are still suffering. The club tried last summer to get shot of the dead wood and had no takers and with 85% of the current window gone, it wasn't going to happen this one either. So the administration faced the difficult choice of soldiering into the new season with dead wood like Santos, players who Marcelino doesn't count on or selling them on the cheap to get their salary off the books. Hopefully we can now see some movement on bringing in new signings, with Murillo high on the list. If we can sign a competent central defender and central defensive midfielder, we can yet challenge for top 7.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Looking for writers

Hey there guys and gals, I'm looking for few new writers to help me keep the website updated and have more news.

I've been trying to post as often as I can, but between work and personal stuff and just being really busy I've been unable to post on a regular basis and I the only way to improve this is to have some of you passionate VCF supporters write.

If you are interested please post in the comment sections or send me an email and I'll set you up immediately.

Few news while I'm at it is that Alvaro Negredo will be leaving Valencia CF and joining Turkish club Besiktas. They are actually able to come very close to his current salary and with no offers from England, Negredo has softened to a move to Turkey.

While its still not official yet, the deal is very close and is supposed to go through, but again we'll just have to wait to hear an official confirmation.

As far as new arrivals to Valencia CF, there has been nothing new, the club were after few players like Kondogbia, Jeison Murillo, Grzegorz Krychowiak, but so far nothing has materialized as players are just not interested in joining Valencia CF. Our club's reputation has really taken a beating the past few years and it seems players are avoiding our club like the plague!

So its going to be really tough to acquire new decent players!

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.