Valencia CF was on the verge of losing to Eibar today with the opposition leading by one goal since the first half, and then gaining a player advantage in the second half after a terrible decision by the referee to give a straight red card to Orban for a non existent foul. There was no foul, let alone a direct red card, but once again referee bias or whatever you want to call it damaging Valencia CF.
Ultimately Valencia CF fought back with one less player, managing to equalize the score in the 85th minute, with an own goal by David Junca. Technically Valencia CF has scored only once in the last 5 matches, with a sole goal against Barcelona.
That is one of the worst goalscoring ratios in the league and something that the team must improve if its going to even stand a chance to potentially fight for a Champions league position, with chances of it significantly reduced this week. Few more poor results like this and we'll certainly be out of the running for Champions league, making the team regress from last season.
Valencia CF could also consider themselves lucky, as Jaume had a wonderful save early in the first half to keep a shot out of the net and earlier than that there was a possible penalty for Eibar as Mustafi handled the ball with his hand, though to me it seemed like his hand was in a natural position and it wasn't higher up or anything to make it unnatural position.
Eibar also had a penalty shot awarded to them when Orban got his red card, as the non existent foul was in the penalty area, but once again thanks to Jaume who made another wonderful save, Valencia CF was able to keep on fighting. Ultimately all his saves payed off and its not much, but a point is better than no point and Valencia CF managed to scrape off a draw.
Some of the negatives are that the defense is quite bad, three of the key chances for Eibar in the first half came from the left side, meaning Orban and De Paul weren't covering well, then the positioning of both our central defenders was bad as they were always positioned in a worse situation and allowed the ball to go into dangerous positions, instead of easily being headed away from the penalty area.
Our midfield control also sucks, we can't seem to be able to hold the ball for longer periods of time and there is no sideways passing, all our passes are forward until we lose the ball, this has to change and I urge Gary Neville who might be reading this blog as I'm sure he is searching for VCF sources in English, I urge Gary to work with the team on sideways passing and retaining the ball. The players have to learn to slow down the forward movement and passing and start passing sideways or backwards in order to retain the ball. We need a little bit more controlled attacks, rather than the free for all that we have now. This is purely tactical and it can be solved with proper training and tactics.
Finally we might as well play with only two central midfielders since playing with 3 of them doesn't give us more control, so why waste space and attacking power like that when we suck at it? Gary needs to play with two strikers or experiment with more forward players, maybe implement a 4-2-1-3 formation.
Have a diamond formation in midfield with two deeper midfielders to keep the back safe and one forward midfielders like Gomes to be really up front and running channels. Then of course the forward trio of two wingers and a central striker. Its clear to me that our 4-3-3 formation and small variations of it don't work for us and we need to adapt and change.
Gary if you are reading this I urge you to experiment with the formation and implement proper training and tactics for our midfield to retain the ball and slow down the attacks, right now we lose the ball way too often as the players don't see to understand that they can pass backward or sideways, they don't have to all out attack all the time, retaining the ball and keeping possession is more important in most of the cases, rather than all in attacks that don't do anything.
If you guys have Gary's twitter account, tweet this post to him, lets have him know that there is an English VCF resource that he can visit and read up.
Sergi Enrich 1-0, 44 min. Assist Ander Capa
David Junca 1-1(o.g.) 85 min.
Jaume 8 - Had two wonderful saves to basically keep Valencia CF in the game and not have us lose badly. He is constantly improving and might prove to be the long term goalkeeper that Ryan was supposed to be.
Barragan 6 - Good defensively, made few good moves clearing out dangerous balls, but was weak going forward and unable to support Cancelo.
Mustafi 5.5 - Not impressed by him performance, didn't seem to be in the best positions when needed and didn't have the defensive impact that he needs to provide.
Aymen 5 - Have no clue what it is, but his performances are really mediocre to bad. He doesn't use his strength, he has questionable positioning, man marking is another weakness, just overall poor performance.
Orban 4.5 - Not at fault for the expulsion and penalty, it was a refereeing mistake, but he wasn't up to par and all of the dangerous actions came from his side of the pitch.
Fuego 6 - Weak and anonymous in the first half, actually improved in the second half with a man down and started providing a more substantial contribution.
Danilo 5 - Surplus to requirements, was unable to stem Eibar's attacks and didn't have any contribution on attack.
Gomes 5.5 - Tried a lot of things and was a willing runner, dribbling and moving forward, but ultimately couldn't provide the final ball.
De Paul 4 - Completely out of energy as he couldn't provide good defensive cover and failed all of his attacking moves. Substituted at half time.
Paco 5 - Feeding off of scraps, but have to rate him for his contributions even if it isn't his fault he get no chances, couldn't muster up anything to either score or assist.
Cancelo 6 - Decent attacking contribution, provided few crosses and few passes, but it was never quality crosses or quality passes. Useful when going back to provide defensive cover.
Piatti 5 - Better than De Paul, was a lot more active and caused the opposition to do a lot of fouls on him, allowing VCF to have some good free kicks.
Gaya N/A - The match was weird and have no clue how to properly rate his 30 minute performance, overall did good, sound defensively.
Negredo N/A - Not enough time.