Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Valencia CF 2-1 Nigeria All Stars

Valencia CF won 2-1 against Nigeria all Stars, but it was a hard fought victory, amidst a very poor first half, lack of chances of goal and once again defensive frailties.

Nigeria's all stars didn't have much possession throughout the whole match and their attacks very rare and far between, but that didn't stop them from scoring a goal from I think it might have been their first sort of real chance. This just goes to show that Valencia CF can easily lose to any team from just 1 attack from the opposition.

Valencia CF had the possession in the first half and although the team wasn't threatening at all apart from the first goal, it still gave the team the initiative, but just one attack of the Nigerian team and it was back to square one, these types of games are so easy to draw or lose in the Spanish league and this is how you lose points, this is how you end up with 1 or 0 points, rather than 3.

Good news is that Alvaro Medran seems like a very good purchase, a steal for 1 million euros and can contribute to the team immediately. Paco Alcacer is quite reliable and with overall good performance every game, though this match he was mostly on the periphery, but not at fault of his own and Rodrigo Moreno has had a terrific preseason, scored an amazing goal late into the game to give Valencia CF the win, a rather deserved win on the basis on what we saw in the second half.

I got to say I disliked the performance in the first half, it was too slow, too static, too predictable, too safe and it didn't bring us a positive result, the second half performance I like much more, especially when all of the changes came in at around 60 minutes. Immediately we had a faster paced play, more dynamic play, more attacking play, a lot more people forward and pressuring in Nigeria's final third, the wings were a lot more active and dangerous, so overall great play from the substitutes and the team as a whole in the second half, especially the last half of the second half.

We also continue to have the left back factory, Lato is turning out to be an amazing left back, his introduction gave so much more attacking presence to the left side and he was constantly buzzing on that left wing, always causing problems and always looking to get in on the action.

Overall I'd say we need to play with the second half team from now on, Fede, Santi Mina haven't convinced too much, I had higher expectations for both, maybe they need more time, especially Fede who might be trying too hard, trying to impress too hard, when you have that feeling you do too much, you start overthinking and doing mistakes and end up being poorer. He needs to just focus on his own game and play his style without pressure.

I thought Parejo was average this match, I couldn't really see his contribution, he slowed down most of our attacks, he still dribbles in dangerous positions, flirting with fire basically and just isn't doing too much, a little bit of possession football, but apart from that I fail to see what he brings to the table. I think we need to sell him to a club other than Sevilla, somewhere abroad, we can get around 15 million for him and for those money bring in another play maker.

What did you guys think of the match, who are the players you think did good and who did poorly and where do you think our strengths and weaknesses are?