Hi everyone, I've interviewed Allen Dodson from www.villarrealusa.com and he is a Villarreal supporter since 2005 and writes all kinds of stuff on the website from news to editorials. Go check them out for Villarreal news and articles.
• How long have you been a supporter of Villarreal and what prompted you to become one?
I started following the club in about 2005--they were just starting to make an impact and with players like Riquelme and Forlan they were enjoyable to watch. Plus I grew up a Liverpool fan and hated Arsenal, so when they beat Everton and then played Arsenal in the CL semis I had reason to pay attention to them!
• Are you a fan of any other clubs?
Yes, Port Vale and Shrewsbury Town, in that order.
• How long have you been writing about Villarreal?
Since about a year ago when I joined the Villarreal USA team.
• Villarreal season so far has been pretty bad, why do you think this is?
Three reasons: first, the sale of Santi Cazorla really affected everyone mentally, fans and players. Secondly, we had too many moves late in the transfer window. Between that and international duty taking away some players, this team just hasn’t played together enough. Third: injuries. Nilmar only had one game where looked OK and now has had surgery, Angel’s recovery from knee surgery has been slower than expected, and Gonzalo is still regaining form after his broken leg.
• Do you think Villarreal can bounce back and finish in the top four?
Yes, but it will be difficult. We’ll need to get hot and go on a good run!
• Who would you say is Villarreal’s best player and biggest flop so far?
Best players have been Giuseppe Rossi, who has worked his tail off but hasn’t had the support around him he needs, and Bruno Soriano, probably the most underrated player in La Liga.
Biggest flops: Cristian Zapata sometimes has looked fine, but other times he has just been horrible. I haven’t been impressed with the return on that money yet. Otherwise, it’s hard to point fingers at particular players--I just think almost everyone can step it up from what they’ve shown so far.
•Who is going to be Villarreal’s key man this season?
If I have to pick one, I’d say de Guzman, because he, Cani and Borja Valero are going to have to control midfield and produce opportunities for us to score.
• For all those unfamiliar with Villarreal, what would you say are the strengths and weaknesses of your team?
Our strengths are the duo of Rossi and Nilmar (when he’s healthy), the insight and creativity of our midfielders, especially Borja Valero, and our style of attacking play. Diego Lopez is an excellent goalkeeper as well.
• Do you support a new deal for TV money spreading and why do you think it’s so hard for all the clubs to come to an understanding?
I ABSOLUTELY support a new deal for TV sharing. People are kidding themselves if they think the league is become more competitive unless TV moneys are more equitably distributed. It’s hard to come to an agreement because Barcelona and Real Madrid are used to getting their way and seem to have the votes of many of the smaller teams in their pocket. They pretty much control the playing field.
• Any young players to watch out for that could be on a “break-out year”?
Mateo Musacchio has been playing so much for us, it’s hard to remember he’s still very young. Wakaso Mubarak is someone to watch for--he’s tremendously exciting even though he doesn’t know what he’s going to do a lot of the time--he’s very quick but also quite raw. And Hernán Perez, who was promoted to the first team this year and plays on Paraguay’s national squad, is one to watch as well. He is a very polished attacking midfielder with good instincts and pace.
• Can Villarreal get out of the Champions’ League group stage with the opponents they have and if so how far do you think Villarreal will go and what about the Spanish cup?
I think the Champions League draw really took the wind out of our sails (if submarines had sails). I said when the draw happened I thought getting out of this group would be as great an achievement as making the semifinals when we did that, and I still feel that way. I don’t think we will get out of this group, no. Not only is it an incredibly strong group, they’re teams that we don’t match up well with.
As for the Spanish cup, how we do in the CL (and whether we drop into the Europa League) will affect things, as well as the draw. We’ve never done well in the Copa, so maybe this is our year.
• Obviously this is Valencia blog, and we have to ask: How far do you think Valencia will go? Is it feasible to think that Emery’s team could win the Spanish championship?
No. I say that not because Valencia isn’t a good team, which it is, but the big two will run away with the league again. I think Los Che will finish third again, assuring CL football next year.
• Who do you think will win the Champions League and Europa League this season?
I’m gonna pick Bayern Munich to win the Champions League. It just seems like it might be their time.
As for the Europa League, I’m going to wave the Spanish flag. I think Athletic or Atleti will make the final, and so might either of our clubs (Valencia and Villarreal) if they drop into it from the CL.
I'd like to thank Allen for taking the time to answer my questions, really apreciate it and once again you can find Allen articles about Villarreal on www.villarrealusa.com