Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Leicester City 1-1 Valencia CF

Valencia CF continued their preseason preparations with a friendly match against Leicester City FC as a part of an English tour and tonight both teams were evenly matched throughout the match, with the outcome being a 1-1 draw, a fair result all things considered.

Valencia CF started the first half the better team, we had the ball possession, we were dictating the tempo and we had good fast movement on and off the ball for the most part. The one negative was the conceded goal, but it was more of an individual mistake, rather than a collective error. The highlight was obviously the goal scored by Parejo on an assist by Zaza.

The other negative was Rodrigo Moreno, he seems to be struggling so far in the preseason and I haven't see anything from him that is giving me confidence that he will repeat last season. He seems sluggish, he seems lethargic and just generally out of it. Considering the club was willing to sell Zaza and still are considering it, its clearly a mistake, since we can't rely on Moreno as it seems. I know its still early on, but he's been training for over two weeks now, he featured in two of out preseason matches and should be getting close to form on paper.

No one from Valencia CF particularly impressed me in the first half, or for that matter the second, but on that later. Every player did good in the first half, again the biggest highlights were the goal scored and goal conceded.

As far as Medran is concerned, since obviously the focus will be on him and whether he shows enough to stay in Valencia CF, he did okay. Nothing special, played it safe for the most part, the few times he made riskier plays he lost or gave away possession, so it didn't work out when he tried to create something more.

Its hard to judge him just from the friendly matches, how he does in training is half the picture, so it will be up to Marcelino to make a decision and I trust it will be the best one.

The second half brought in a few changes to the Valencian team, with Marcelino bringing in Neto, Mouctar, Gaya, Mina and Wass in place of Jaume, Vezo, Lato, Moreno and Medran.
Those changes didn't bring much change to the flow of the game, both teams had few weak tries on goal, nothing direct, but few weaker tries. I think Leicester had slightly more tries and shots in the second half and stepped up their game, while Valencia CF played in the same gear and got overwhelmed a bit.

Further changes in the 64th to 65th minute didn't bring any improvement to the play, in fact with Wass and Soler in the midfield Valencia CF actually lost more possession and completely lost control of the proceedings, as Leicester were dictating the play.

We still haven't seen out best 11 out in the field, I think Marcelino is still undecided what would be the best squad and still trying to experiment, though you can see in the squad he started and the subs and timing of subs who he currently favors.

Either way I'm looking forward and expecting to see Kondogbia and Parejo in midfield, with Soler on the right wing, with Moreno and Zaza up front, right now Murillo and Mouctar probably being the favorites for the CD starting positions, Gaya obviously as left back, Neto at the goal and the right back position is up for grabs if you ask me.

None of the youngsters have impressed me, Ferran is okay, Kangin lee has a long way to go, Escobar still seems far off of the level required as well.

What we seem to be missing is a Goncalo Guedes, someone with fast pace, direct running and someone who would force things. We need to get either him or someone exactly like him, otherwise we might have trouble scoring goals. We just lack that X factor right now that Guedes gave us last season. So if we can't land him, the club needs to work on getting a proper replacement, someone with a very similar skill set and footballing characteristics. 

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