Sunday, March 13, 2016

Levante 1.0 Valencia CF

Just when we thought things were getting better or things could not get any worse depending on your point of view. we get beaten by our neighbors in the local derby. Now I can tell you, as I live here and many of my neighbors are Levante people, this is not Ac Milan v Inter, it is not Liverpool and Everton but it is bloody important in this city. I paid 50 euros to sit  with the Levante fans and watch my team humiliated and I am not a happy man.

Right from the off it was always going to be a hard game.  Levante at home against Valencia is always a battle and it is a game that without 100% effort you will get nothing from it.  I am writing this from memory as I have absolutely no intention of watching it again and therefore leave you to correct my errors.  Valencia should really have gone ahead early on when Feghouli had a golden opportunity but the keeper made a good save to deny him.  He was foiled on 2 later occasions when wasting good opportunities.  Levante struck the post of Valencia also when the guy missed a golden chance to put them in front.

 Parejo was also fortunate not to pick up a second yellow card before the break, committing a late tackle while already cautioned. Levante's best spell came towards the end of the first half, missing three chances in quick succession. Feddal had a header tipped away by  Alves, who also saved from striker Deyverson, who then headed over the bar in the same move.  Valencia offered little at the other end and then failed to track the run of Rossi, who met Juanfran's throw in first time to flick the ball home and heap more pressure on Neville.  Where were the defenders it has to be said.
That is 3 consecutive defeats now and if nothing else it will unite the fans in their views.  This team, or part of it, is just not to the standard expected from Valencia.  Hardly winning anything in the air was a major contribution to the humiliation in my opinion.  We are just not big enough, strong enough or determined enough on high balls from Alves. 
Mustafi and Abdennour were having a good afternoon and Siquiera also looked composed but as for the rest of the team, they all fell short today. The fact is Levante just wanted it more than Valencia and that may have something to do with our important game on Thursday but if so it is no excuse, this was a derby and they are important.
A short blog today because I am not in the mood 
When the new man comes in we need some big strong players who are willing to compete and want to win. Don't blame the manager for this. He didn't miss Feghouli's goals and it wasn't him who pulled out of so many tackles or lost balls in the air, it was the players. That is apart from our two central defenders who cannot be blamed today.   I guess we can ask the question as to whether the energy sapping game on Thursday night had anything to do with the performance and all I will say on that one is that it couldn't have been helpful to us. However we see the 2 Madrid clubs and Barca playing high tensity football twice every week. Does that mean they are super humans I don't think so.

I actually feel for Gary Neville, as a player who never gave anything less than 100%, He must have been in disbelief watching the underperformers out there in a local derby.  We can all say that we would have maybe played another player in another position but he has also to consider the game on Thursday which if we don't win will be the end of the season for us.  We have,   I think 23 players all on top wages who are considered La Liga standard or they would not be here.  Many of them let him, the club and the supporters down on Sunday and nothing will make up for it now.  I only hope they are able to show a bit of grit and get the result we need against Athletic Bilbao on Thursday to restore a bit of pride.

Player Ratings
Alves  6.5  Not to be blamed in any way and did his part in keeping the score down.  He had no real chance to prevent the goal
Barragan 5.0 Replaced Cancelo after 18 mins.  A typical Barragan display as I seem to say every week.  Did mostly OK defending but nothing going forward.
Abdennour 6.5  Made a couple of mistakes but had a decent performance overall. Let down too many times with no protection in front of him.
Mustafi 6.5  Again mostly solid at the back but maybe could have done more to prevent the goal. However, like Abdennour there was no cover and he was left exposed so often by the midfield.
Siquiera 6.5   Had a good game for Valencia and got forward well. He is a reliable deputy for Gaya. It is a pity he is not a right back.
Fuego 5.0  Too many balls going astray and too many times falling over wanting free kicks instead of getting on with it. Looks so clumsy at times giving away free kicks too often.
Parejo 4.0  When he doesn't perform nor do Valencia. Today he was lazy and useless in my opinion and to think he was the captain in the recent past. 
Gomes 5.0  Did nothing before going off in the 61 st minute. I trying to think what he did in all those minutes.
Feghouli 4.0  Missed 3 good chances and just gave the ball away too much.  Maybe he is too distracted by trying to screw as much money out of the club for his new contract. This performance would not have helped his argument.
Alcacer 5.0  What did he do, not a lot really.  I am trying to remember if he had any attempts. To be fair he never stopped trying and working but it just didn't happen for him.
Piatti  4.5   Not big enough and not strong enough and wasted a glorious chance when he could have placed a cross in the goal but instead let it bounce off him.  Has not performed at all this season. You don't need to be big if you are Messi but I am afraid he is not Messi

Cancelo was replaced by Barragan  after 18mins not long enough
Rodrigo 4.5  Replaced Gomes and was as bad as ever not producing anything for the team.
Negredo 6.0  Replaced Piatti on 70 mins  Set up Parejo nicely only for him to miss kick in front of goal
Yellow Cards
Parejo,  Abdennour,  Fuego and Mustafi.
Goal Rossi 65 mins