Valencia CF just played against FC Porto in the latest preseason match and it was a complete borefest!
Valencia CF coach Nuno fielded a strong starting eleven, one of our strongest from last season, with the small changes of Cancelo playing for Barragan and Danilo for Fuego. Nuno also fielded new goalkeeper Ryan over Yoel and this shows how little trust Nuno has in Yoel. His days seem numbered at Valencia CF and once Diego Alves is fit I won't be surprised one bit if the club decided to sell him.
The whole first half literally nothing happened, chances on both sides were at a premium, with Porto showing more initiative and forward drive, managing to make the new Valencia CF goalkeeper Ryan feel uncomfortable at times.
Apart from few shots here and there mostly on Porto's side it was a complete snooze fest of a match. For the Valencia CF squad no one really impressed. I felt the returning Nicolas Otamendi made a few mistakes in defense as he had just returned from his vacation and is yet to get back in form and full fitness. The rest of the defense was good, but not great. Cancelo was average, Mustafi was pretty good and Gaya was quite average as well.
Valencia CF sported a midfield trio of Danilo, Enzo Perez and Daniel Parejo, but unfortunately this didn't give Valencia CF any sort of advantage in midfield or any sort of control of possession. I felt that Enzo Parez was once again too defensive, just like in the last match against PSV and Danilo kind of popped up sporadically here and there, but nothing of substance, nothing or real quality. Daniel Parejo also wasn't up to the task, he felt really slow, sluggish and tired. Its like he played 90 minutes before hand and then was playing in this match. There was no freshness in him and played like someone with no energy.
The forward trio of Pablo Piatti, Paco Alcacer and Rodrigo Moreno felt completely isolated from the rest of the players. Paco Alcacer barely even touched the ball, Moreno was a bit better in that department as he did drop further down, but his contribution was extremely limited as well. The only real contribution was Piatti and even his was too small and too weak.
Overall we couldn't connect the midfield and attack, the defense also sat too deep and couldn't move the playing field forward, the midfield was playing too isolated from everyone else, with only the usual backward passes when pressured even a little bit.
I felt like the full backs weren't positioning well, I felt like the only player who took the ball to bring it forward was Parejo and Enzo and Danilo just didn't want to receive the ball at the back, with the forward flanks with Moreno and Piatti sitting too forward to be able to receive the ball.
I just think the whole positioning of the team was terrible, I think all of the players were too static, I think the fight for some of the neutral balls were too soft by the Valencia CF players and it was generally a weak, weak showing.
The second half was pretty much as the first, I guess you could say Valencia CF were a tad bit more dangerous on occasions, but it was just the same story from the first half all over again. Nuno brought Negredo for Paco thinking Negredo's physicality can add something and that that was the team's problem, but it wasn't and Negredo didn't add anything over Paco.
Rodrigo De Paul also came on for Danilo Barbosa in order to add some attacking prowess, but it didn't quite work. De Paul did make few decent runs on the left wing, but it wasn't something that threatened Porto.
Anyways the 90 minutes ended in a 0-0 draw and the game was resulted in penalties in which Porto won 5-4.
I know its technically another preseason match, but I haven't been impressed at all from our preseason. I haven't seen the type of play and energy and skill that will show me that this team can compete with Real Madrid and Barcelona. I don't feel like this team is stronger than that of last season, I feel that the team is on the same level as last season, rather than on another additional level. The team is supposed to improve in the second season and so far judging from the friendlies I'd say it hasn't.
Hopefully all will work out, there is still a lot of time before the season begins and of course the play can improve, but I'm hoping to see it in at least our final preseason match against Roma.