Sunday, September 20, 2015

Valencia CF 0 - 0 Real Betis Match Report

Valencia CF end the home game against Betis with the third draw of the league. At this point, the fans are beginning to vent their anger and most of the criticism is going towards Nuno. The fans have already been booing him before this game. Most notable is when brings on Alcacer for Negredo, not because they hate Alcacer or like Negredo more, but they would rather see them both on in games where we need a goal. Do they have a point in criticizing the team? In my opinion, yes, and here's why. So far in the league we've only played against lower table teams with Rayo being the toughest among the games that followed vs Deportivo, and newly promoted Gijon and Betis. It is a bit worrying seeing that we can't manage wins against lower table teams when we're a Champions League level team this year and after the huge investment in the squad. So are they right in asking Nuno to quit? Absolutely not. I believe its way too early for this thought to come up. It's true that the level of our play should be much higher but it's also the first year in a while that we're juggling three competitions at once. Maybe there just needs to be time to get accustomed to the schedule. It should be said that Nuno was said to have made getting a clean sheet his priority this game after receiving 3 goals at home against Zenit. I don't know if that helps his case or not. I mean a clean sheet against Betis should be a step towards the ultimate priority which is winning the game and not shouldn't exceed that in importance.

 That being said we have two more games against Espanyol midweek and then against Granada where we need to pick up the pace and momentum before the Champions League game against Lyon. Beyond that, we'll start facing tougher opponents in the League and we have to be prepared for that.

Valencia CF were the dominant side throughout the game, having most of the possession and creating most of the chances. However, the play in general was sloppy. We're at the stage again, where even the basics of the game are suffering. Lots of misplaced passes, rushed crosses and shots and just hoping for the best. I mean this stuff should be taken for granted and the focus should be on the tactics during training; but if the team is struggling with the basics it really should be reinforced in training. These basics of the game are essential for any tactic to be effective. You can have the most brilliant tactics in the world but if the execution is sloppy, they won't do any good.

As far as players go, Feghouli was the most lively by far. He was really trying to create something for the team and was great to watch. Orban who was brought in for this game was also very active and made good runs on the left. When it came to crosses into the box though, the crosses from the left wing especially it felt like they were just kicking the ball without effort or patient to make a good cross, in other words they were just hoping that the ball found somone instead of taking the time and guaranteeing they make the right cross. Another mention has to go to Alcacer for this game. There were moments were he was making such great passes to set up his team mates in good positions. The one moment that comes to mind is where he chipped the ball over the defence to find Rodrigo in a good position. Again, it wasn't to be and nothing came of the chance. It seems to me from this that it is very possible to play with two strikers if Alcacer has that ability.

The second half started with the expulsion of Dani Cabellos due to recieveing his second yellow card after a foul on Rodrigo. We played a full half against a 10- man Betis but couldn't make the most of it. Bakkali was brought in for Gomes, Rodrigo de Paul for Orban and Santi Mina for Rodrigo. But no matter how many attacks Valencia CF took part in or how much possession, there were not many good chances and when they were they were rushed and nothing came of them. Real Betis had to throw everyone back and waste time as they were hoping for a draw at this point and they got it.

In conclusion, Nuno really needs to cover these basic flaws in the game that will let whichever tactics he's using to be a lot more effective and bring out the true talent and strength of this team. The fans have the right to be disappointed but asking for the extreme and kicking Nuno out won't solve the problem. Any new coach will take time to adapt to the team and the team has to adapt to their new tactics and the overall stability of the team which we longed wished for will shatter. It's true we are financially more stable but if the team itself isn't mentally stable and the coaches and tactics keep changing, then we won't get anywhere.


Lineups:

Valencia CF (0): Doménech, Barragán, Mustafi, Abdennour, Orban (De Paul, m. 65), Javi Fuego, Dani Parejo, André Gomes (Bakkali, m. 46), Feghouli, Paco Alcácer and Rodrigo (Santi Mina, m. 83).

Real. Betis (0): Adán, Molinero, Bruno, Westermann, Vargas, Joaquín (Rennella, m. 67), N'Diaye, Ceballos, Portillo (Cejudo, m. 58), Rubén Castro and Jorge Molina (Xavi Torres, m. 60).


Ratings

Domenech 5 - Wasn't troubled too much, had nothing to do but collect the remains of the few Betis attacks.
Barragan 5 - Made himself available on the right side to assist Feghouli but most of the time Feghouli opted to go the distanced by himself. His few crosses weren't effective.
Mustafi 5.5 - Starting to gel with Abdennour. Prevented any real threat from Betis in the first half and comfortably dealt with the few attacks they had on the break in the second half.
Abendennour 5.5 - Fills the gap left by Otamendi quite well, his physicality was crucial to stopping some efforts and disarming Betis player of the ball. 
Orban 5.5 - Very active down the left hand side when he's usually a more defensively oriented player. It added an extra option in attack but again crosses weren't effective and the runs didn't translate to anything.
Javi Fuego 6 - His performance has improved a lot this year over last and his experience shows at times. Great interceptions, breaking up play and effective tackling make him a real anchor in this team.
Parejo 4.5 - One of the biggest disappointments for me this season was his play. Lots of misplaced passes and still missing the key pass that unlock defences. 
Andre Gomes 5 -  He brings much needed creativity to the team with his quick feet and runs but his decision making needs work to make the most of that creativity.
Feghouli 6 - Most of the danger came through him, his decision making whether to cross or continue his run is spot on most of the time. His crossing is the most effective but if he can work on it more, he would be lethal.
Alcacer 5.5 - Great link up play setting up his team mates. Starting to involve himself in build up more rather than just waiting for the ball at the front. Learning from Negredo?
Rodrigo 4 - Forgive me Rodrigo fans out there but this is nowhere near the performance a 30+ million euro player should be playing at. Passes weren't only misplaced they were horribly misplaced. The few chances we had fell the him but he couldn't make the most of it.

Subs:
Bakkali 5.5 - deserves to start more. More effective than Piatti and Rodrigo in this position so far this season. Very promising and with more game time should be lethal.
Rodrigo de Paul 5 - added more energy to the team but we really needed his creativity to show during those 25 minutes that he was on but it didn't.
Santi Mina N/A - not enough time

Please share your thoughts on this whole fans vs Nuno issue and general thoughts about this game and this season so far below. 

Amunt Valencia!

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