Sunday, August 17, 2014

Valencia CF 2-1 AC Milan

Valencia CF wins yet another title in the preseason, that is two titles so far in just two weeks actually, though unfortunately its two quite worthless titles. Yeah, its nice to win over lose, but its only friendlies and teams are experimenting with formations, tactics, players and just getting into form, so its nice, but ultimately meaningless.

The Orange trophy is Valencia's annual tournament if you can call it that and the team won its own tournament over a weak and disorganized Milan side.

The play didn't impress me at all, Valencia CF were on the back foot, always defending, always chasing around and unable to keep the ball for more than 10 seconds. The team won, but it was ultimately due to how bad Milan are and their individual mistakes, rather than some dominating or at least impressive Valencia performance.

The good thing is that our defense is really solid, I mean I didn't feel like there was huge threat on goal, usually in past seasons there would be a looming feel of doom and gloom with the defense, but so far in the preseason the defense has been solid, apart from Diego Alves who's been terrible. Tonight he failed again as he allowed a goal from a free kick that shouldn't have happened, had he better positioning.

Valencia's equalizer came through Paco as he lobbed Milan's new goalkeeper Lopez from about 35 meters away.

Valencia's second goal came through Moreno who dribbled past two player and released a powerful low shot that beat Lopez and made it 2-1. Impressive skill from Moreno, but it was two individual strengths that gave Valencia CF the goals, rather than good chances or great build-up play.

Overall the midfield failed miserably, Parejo was losing the ball all over the pitch, Gomes was always on the periphery and rarely receiving the ball, Fuego once again just sat deep and never made himself available for passing. He literally plays in a bubble, this is why we need a more effective passing DM who isn't just good at defending, but can actually play and pass and create stuff.

Moreno was once again on the right wing and he is clearly not very effective there, Paco is also on the periphery, he doesn't seem to get the kind of passes he likes and Valencia CF aren't creating many opportunities for him to be in.

This is also the first time Piatti has been quite ineffective, he struggled against Milan's strong and powerful defenders, though he still made few dangerous runs when given a bit of free space. This is the type of stuff though I would expect the coach to realize and start the appropriate player, De Paul would have been the better started against this Milan defense and then bring on Piatti who can just out-sprint with his freshness and pace the tiring Milan defenders.

I was once again impressed with Gaya, very good defending and his confidence is so high for such a young player, went forward to a good extent, major future great if he keeps it up.

I was also impressed with Vezo, he seems to have formed a good partnership with Ottamendi and it would be hard for Mustafi to break into the team, I just hope Nuno doesn't pick Mustafi over Vezo just because he was in the German squad that won the world cup, he needs to give Vezo the place based on the preseason performances.

I got to say Parejo needs to improve, he is the biggest disappointment, misses way too many passes, gives the ball away too often, gets caught in possession, doesn't spread the ball well enough, he falls down too easy, you name it. Everything bad, he's got it. He needs to improve at least 10x times or be benched. Plus the whole two midfielders with him and Gomes clearly isn't working at all. If you lose in possession to a terrible AC Milan side, you can't expect to have possession against decent teams and I don't mean 70% Barcelona type possession, but 55% to 60% possession where you generally control the game.

Player Ratings:
Alves 4 - Don't remember any positives, he failed to save the free kick goal and should have been able to.
Barragan 6 - Solid defensively, but unfortunately with literally no one in front of him to combine with he was useless going forward, not his fault though.
Vezo 6.5 - Overall impressive performance, even covered for Barragan often, won most of his tackles. Few mishaps here and there.
Ottamendi 6.5 - Same as Vezo, solid defending overall, confident in bringing the ball forward, organizing the defense very well.
Gaya 7 - Once again impressive performance from the youngster who has a very bring future if he keeps it up. Obviously the real judgement is La Liga, but from what I've seen a major talent for the future, I'm talking 10/10 talent, and way better than Bernat.
Fuego 7 - Very solid defensively, enormous defensive contributions, great marking, but once again he is playing in a bubble, never available for a pass.
Parejo 3 - Crappy performance, lost the ball too many times in possession, had bad passes, run with the ball for too long, went down too easy, just a terrible performance.
Gomes 5 - Not active at all, when he got the ball he linked very well with Moreno, you can clearly see they know each other very well, but didn't have the same understanding with the other players.
Piatti 6 - His small size showed tonight as he had trouble beating the big and strong Milan defenders, he sort of bounced right off of them. When given more space he used it very well and caused some problems, but clearly his weakest performance yet.
Paco 6 - Scored an amazing goal, lobbing Lopez from some 35 meters away from goal, but was otherwise ineffective.
Moreno 6.5 - Great individual skill, amazing dribbling and positional awareness and that is how he scored his goal, was more effective than Paco as he went to the wing and dropped deeper to take the ball, but also very limited on what he did.
Feghouli 5 -
 Had at least 3 good chances after coming on, he always found himself in these good positions, but much like in the previous game against Man U. he doesn't deliver the end goods. His first chance he was basically alone with only the goalkeeper to beat and he literally shot  the ball very close to being a throw in. Terrible miss. Had two of those situations.
De Paul 5 - Delivered one quality pass, apart from that I can't say he was very effective.
Yoel 6 - Had one terrible missed punch when he rushed forward to punch, but missed the ball, but made one amazing reflex save from an Essien(i think) header.
Mustafi 6 - Had about 30 minutes to show his skill and it was a fairly good and stable defending, I can't say I was either impressed or disappointed from it.
Orban 5.5 - It was a weak performance from the latest Valencian signing, had had few mishaps and lost the ball few times as well, wasn't as effective as Gaya when going forward.
Guardado 1 - Nuno needs to stop pretending and living in a fantasy world where Guardado is a CM, he is clearly not even close to being a CM. He is absolutely garbage as CM.
Robert 6 - Impressive performance for the short time that he had, I like how pacey and fast he is and just creates all sorts of trouble for the opposition with his explosive running.
Gil N/A - Didn't see much of him and he didn't have time to show off.

Man of the match: Gaya
Worst man of the match: Daniel Parejo
Best offense: Rodrigo Moreno
Worst offense: De Paul
Best defense: Gaya
Worst defense: Diego Alves
Best possession: Nicolas Ottamendi
Worst possession: Daniel Parejo and Andres Guardado