Sunday, September 16, 2018

Valencia CF 0-0 Real Betis Match Report

Valencia CF continues its streak of draws and losses as the team is unable to find a victory even in its 4th match of the season, something which would come as a shock to everyone, considering we have an amazing squad on paper, in fact even improved over last season and with more depth.

The few losses we've had have been covered by replacements who should do at the very least the same as the previous players. Unfortunately what's on paper doesn't necessarily translate in practice and this has been the case for Valencia CF.

Last season Simone Zaza and Rodrigo Moreno worked extremely well, they played off of each other and Zaza took the brunt of the opposition defenders on to him due to his physicality, allowing Rodrigo to be freer and have more opportunities. This season Rodrigo Moreno doesn't have such partner, with Mina being a lot smaller and technical, while Gameiro is not a physical player either, so we are left with strikers who have pretty much the same profile. Michy is a physical player and has the build to feature like Zaza was, but he hasn't been given the opportunity yet.

Marcelino also hasn't decided on who to be the starter on the left wing, with him changing it up often, so there is no consistency in the squad and players have been unable to gel together as much as they could have. Last season it was all set, we had pretty much the same starting 10 people, with the more frequent changes in defense with Murillo, Paulista and Garay changing often and rotating. Other than that its been the same 10 man squad and that allowed them to gel really fast and produce results.

This season we've also had a slower integration, as some players arrived late in the transfer season, primarily Goncalo Guedes and we saw when he came in against Betis how much we've missed a player of his caliber. He was far and beyond the most dangerous player on the pitch and caused all sorts of trouble for Real Betis. We've missed that type of chaotic threat. Ferran is still young and inconsistent, Cheryshev is not a flair player, he is rudimentary and solid overall, but doesn't provide that spark.

To me its clear what the issue is, we've not had the best team balance and composition, we need to start Moreno, Michy in the attack, Soler, Parejo, Kondogbia and Guedes in midfield and Garay and whoever in defense. Gaya has been good, the others in defense have been a mixed bag, there needs to be more consistency from whoever is starting in the back.

I think michy and Rodrigo can play off of each other more, Michy will force more defenders on to him with his physicality and dribbling ability, leaving Moreno more space to get better opportunities. We need Guedes on the wing to provide that chaotic threat, bring in some flair to an otherwise straightforward midfield, Soler on the opposite wing to bring in the hard work ethics and provide help in the central midfield as well, Parejo needs to step up his game, while we should hope Kondogbia gets well soon and stays healthy and fit. We need him at his best.

I wasn't impressed with last nights match against Real Betis, we didn't have any sort of serious threats on their goal, some of the bigger threats came in the second half and we caused more trouble for them when Goncalo Guedes came on, otherwise they were sitting stable in defense with no major issues and were comfortable with our ineffective attacks against them.