Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Goodbye Juan Antonio Pizzi

It's official. Valencia CF has sacked Juan Antonio Pizzi along with his coaching staff effective today. He will be replaced by Nuno Espirito Santo of Rio Ave FC in the Portuguese League. This has been rumored for quite some time now and here it is actually happening. Apparently, Pizzi doesn't have the trust of soon-to-be owner Peter Lim after finishing 8th in the league. This is slightly harsh considering Pizzi had to pick up from the ruins left behind by Miroslav Djukic and did quite well with what he had. Pizzi's contract was until June 30, 2015 but will be terminated with the club paying off the rest of his term in office. The club statement said this sacking was for the benefit of "stability" of the future sports project. To me, it seemed like it was doing the opposite.

Anyway, the new coaching staff will be there to start training the club on Monday at the training camp in Germany. This should also mean the arrival of 19-year old Brazilian midfielder Filipe Augusto to the Mestalla B team. The training camp should include all three signings Otamendi (may arrive later), Rodrigo de Paul and Dani Ramirez. With the latter of the three to be judged along with other Mestalla B players Ibanez and Tendillo among others, to see if they are worthy of first-team football. I don't yet if Filipe Augusto will also be part of that. From what I read, the new coach Santo likes to use a core of experienced players with a lot of young players in his line-up. We'll see if that is repeated here in Valencia CF.

This sacking also points to the near completion of the deal between Valencia CF and Peter Lim. Making such a move without knowing for certain if the sale will go through is risky and quite blatantly stupid. The only thing left in the contract was adding the clauses that insured that Peter Lim would not have to deal with Newcoval's claims of about 90 million euros. Since Bankia owns half of Newcoval, if Bankia agrees to that clause, Newcoval's claims are invalid; and indeed Bankia has submitted those guarantees. All that's left now is the OK for Peter Lim which should happen in the next 24-48 hours. With this move, Rodrigo Moreno and Andre Gomes of Benfica both become official Valencia CF players and should arrive at the training camp as well. The signings of Martinez and Perez  (if complete) should be announced soon after Lim's takeover is made official.

As for sponsors and kits, it appears that Jinko Solar will not be continuing as the shirt sponsor and the club is looking for replacements. If you check the official website, under sponsors Adidas is there but Jinko Solar isn't. Coca Cola is also listed under sponsors but I don't know if there is a shirt deal with them. There are also talks of Catalan Bank CaixaBank being the sponsor but it is still very uncertain.

I don't know how the new coach will turn out, but all we can do now is hope he is the best choice for Valencia CF and he can achieve the club's goals.

What do you think of the sacking of Pizzi? Fair or unfair? Any opinion on new coach Nuno Espirito Santo?