Monday, August 28, 2017

Real Madrid - Valencia post-match thoughts

So many commented on the previous thread, that I'll just give some thoughts here.

First on the players....

NETO: Not totally convinced. Made good saves but also looked unsure and flat footed for the goals. No chance on the first but needed to organise the wall better for the second. Jury still out.

MONTOYA: Anonymous and forgettable performance, one of our worst players and capable of much better than this as he was one of our better players last year.

VEZO: has made a decent start to the season and looks a capable back-up, would be sorry to see him go, especially since he could also cover right bank if needed.

MURILLO: decent start for someone who has just joined the team, can only get better when he settles and finds a constant defensive partner

LATO: great performance and assist, combined well with Gaya and having both of them covering that side really worked.

GAYA: good job, struggled at times to get down the wing but is growing in confidence and ability

PAREJO: great start to the season, really repaying the confidence in him and nearly scored one of his trademark free kicks

KONDOGBIA: what a debut, looks exactly the player we need. Strong and convincing, but also great distribution. Watch his pass for the first goal, such awareness. I thought he'd got a bit lucky, but then he produced a couple of others like that. Looking forward to seeing more of him.

SOLER: continues to grow and always looks a threat. The only worry will be what will happen if Guedes and/or Pereira arrive. Parejo+Kondogbia looks the preferred central pairing and left wing doesn't look like his best position, which is through the centre. Will need games to grow.

RODRIGO: good assist for the second, but responsible for the two goals against. Does put in good effort, but his decision making and finishing sucks and unless he improves on this his days will be numbered.

ZAZA: as with Rodrigo, ran and worked hard at closing down, but finishing needs to improve.

SUBS: Nacho Vidal looks a capable back-up to Montoya and Nacho Gil looks ready to back up but will struggle to get minutes. Mina's days look numbered.

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Overall thoughts: the team is starting to look the business and for the first time in 3 years, we look to have emerged from the transfer window stronger rather than weaker. The new additions improve the side and the young players are starting to repay the faith shown in them. What a difference a decent coach makes. Central midfield and central defence, from being a big worry for most of the summer, now almost look to have too many players. Right back could be stronger, but is not a priority and we can wait till the winter window to see how Montoya and Vidal do. Assuming at least one winger comes, the big weakness looks to be up front where we really need someone who can put the ball in the net.

As for exits, as of now Abdennour and Orellana look sure to go, with questions hanging over Mina, Garay and Vezo. Nani looks set to stay as his injury and high wage would put off potential buyers. The other question mark hangs over the midfield duo of Medran and Maksimovich who will really struggle to get playing time with Parejo-Kondogbia-Soler preferred for the 2 spots and Nacho Gil also emerging as a contender. A loan for the season shouldn't be ruled out.

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