Monday, August 27, 2012

Valencia CF star players past,present and future

A friend and a fellow Valencia CF fan and website owner Adi recently wrote a pretty good article about Valencia CF and the "6 steps to success" on his website. I recommend people from the Balkans read it.

It wasn't an analysis of what needs to be done, more of a statement and affirmation of some, I'd say basic truths.

But I did find his first step titled "stars" unrealistic and impossible and if followed it would have destroyed the club. Now I know it was more of a statement for the future, but its important to know and understand the past, to be better prepared for the future.

So I decided to write an article, around his article and "stars" paragraphs and sort of rebuttal him on some points. Also I wanted to write something on this topic for quite a while, but just couldn't decide on the start, so his article gave me sort of the excuse.

Here is my English translation (believe me Google translate is terrible): "We won't bring in stars, we are going to have them by creating them, and that is something we(VCF) do great. In fact our new player, I'd say a star of the club is Aly Cissokho, and he is certainly going to remove any difficulties on the left back side that Pellegrino had by the sale of Alba to Barcelona. The biggest star of the club is of course Soldado and what amazing miracle that Llorente didn't fall for the 30 million euro bid from Tottenham. We've even heard from the administration that they want Goldado to finish his career at Valencia(stay alive and see it to believe it). This summer only Alba left from the important players, which many supporters think was overrated anyways.
Selling of best players to Barcelona and Real Madrid
Speaking of Alba we must mention the key reason why Valencia CF can't have the same results as "their" dear Real and Barcelona, and that is because the club must, I repeat must stop selling players to Real and Barcelona, young players as well as senior team players. Its not allowable the weakening of Valencia to strengthen Real and Barcelona more and more. Last players who went to these clubs were Joel and two cadets which Barcelona "stole" from us. Okay, when we look at Joel he wasn't that important player for Valencia, but is surely a huge potential, and he went to Real Madrid C team and its a big question is if he is ever going to reach Castille and not to mention the A team.
Albiol, Villa and Alba would surely have been the backbone of the club if they stayed, if we add in here Silva and Mata, who went to England, and current players we get one respectable team who would give any team huge problems no matter where its played."

Now first of all Valencia CF hasn't really lost any key players to Real Madrid or Barelona, in fact quite the contrary as Valencia CF has gained quite a bit of players from Real Madird and to a lesser degree Barcelona. If we do a basic count we have Alba coming from Barcelona youth team, Mata coming from Real Madrid youth team, Parejo, Soldado, Canales and even Gago just recently coming from Real Madrid and/or at some point in their career. So whether directly or indirectly I'd say Valencia CF has actually benefited more, than they have lost in this regard.

It goes beyond saying of course that youth talent should be protected, but this has more to do with a stupid Spanish rule that kids bellow 16 years old can't sign professional contracts and less to do with Valencia CF or any other team. If teams are to protect their youth players the Spanish government needs to get rid of this ridiculous rule.

The bigger picture here though is that Valencia CF was in a situation where it had to sell in order to survive. If you need to blame someone its going to be previous Valencia CF presidents, but even more than that the Spanish football rush, where teams didn't care about their finances, until they found themselves bankrupt and fighting to survive. Thing is the sales of David Villa and David Silva as bad as they seemed, did bring in 70 million euros to Valencia CF coffers and actually strengthened the team. I know it sounds strange, but I actually explained it in the preseason report from 2010/11 season and if you search it you can read about it. I wrote then that by having these big names leave, the team feels more like a team, rather than a collection of individuals and this is especially the case when the team is not winning any silverware, the stars become liabilities and start to become reckless and egoistical.

The sale of Mata brought in another 30 million euros, so for only 3 players Valencia CF racked up 100 million euros and saved the club from financial disaster, while at the same time keeping the strength level of the team intact, or at least quite equal with smart new purchases of cheap yet talented and skillful players.

But even bigger than that is the "stars" label. David Villa and David Silva were certainly stars, but either way they were only known in Spain and within the football world ranks, a casual follower of football, or even a strong follower from England or France didn't know about Villa and Silva, so they were stars, but "small" stars for a lack of better term.
Most stars are actually created in bigger clubs when they start playing there, before that even if they were considered stars it was only those who are ardent followers and read up on an array of news from different leagues.

This was actually the case with Villa and Silva as even though they were stars in their own right, they were not boosting global sales, they were not boosting the image of the club, they were not boosting support numbers. In fact I remember the day when Villa signed for Barcelona and read about it on soccernet, goal and few other sites of those kind and half and more of the people in the comments have never heard of David Villa before, some have heard, but only from the World Cup and didn't even know for which club he played. So not only did these stars not bring in anything to Valencia CF is terms of passage, but the fact that they were playing for us at a time where we weren't winning any trophy's was actually rather detrimental.

In fact the sales of Villa to Barcelona and Silva to Manchester City and then later Mata to Chelsea boosted the numbers of visitors to my blog tremendously and before that I've written every day about them and no where even close have the blog visits been.

So I'd say not only were the sales of our star players needed, they were absolutely necessary for the survival of the club and the consequential third consecutive third place finishes. Having said that I do agree that in the future Valencia CF needs to be more careful with its finances and I have high beliefs as long as Manuel Llorente and Braulio Vasquez stay we will be just fine in that regard. Furthermore due to our sales of star players in the past, we are now is a position to be able to not sell our new currents or rising star players and this was demonstrated by the rejection of the 30 million bid from Tottenham for Soldado.