Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Gijon - Valencia Copa del Rey match thread

I'm writing this at half time. If you've missed it, well, you know the story: Valencia have dominated possession but created little and gifted the other team an easy goal. Remember this is Gijon, a midtable side in the second division who have struggled themselves this season, scoring only 19 goals in 20 games. Can't blame Jaume, the defence has been shaky and the goal was a poor one to give away. Wass was caught out of position on the counter, Vezo went across to cover but got sold and when the cross came in, Diakhaby was poor, failing to mark properly. I've rated him so far, but it's not his week. Also we have looked really weak and suspect from corners.

The midfield has been decent, especially Parejo. Kang-in has also had a good game, but his lack of playing time has translated into a lack of understanding with Gaya. Soler and Ferran subdued so far. Up front, Gameiro has at least worked hard and done a lot of running, but it's been mostly for nothing. On a couple of occasions, I've seen him make intelligent runs, but the pass hasn't come. Batshauyi has continued to be poor, doesn't get into any good positions, has a heavy touch and usually holds the ball too long. He had the first Valencia chance when they messed up a back pass, but instead of trying to nutmeg the keeper, he hit a really heavy touch to the side and the chance went. Kang-in had a shot at the keeper in the 11th minute and then there was a double chance in the 24th minute, first Gaya bursting through to be saved and then Soler hitting a curling shot which the keeper saved. Valencia equalised just before half time, Parejo's shot came down off the bar and bounced out then Gameiro headed in the rebound only to be flagged offside. VAR was consulted (for the first time ever in the Copa) and the goal was given and I'm still unclear who scored. Looking at the VAR replay, it's hard to say if the ball was completely over the line, but Gameiro was definitely onside.

It's late here so this is it for me. Win tonight, even unconvincingly, and Marcelino has more time, draw and the vultures are still circling. Lose and there's a very good chance that Voro will be back at the helm. I've backed him so far, but increasingly that's from past negative experience and because I'm sceptical that a replacement would do better. But these Gijon games and Valladolid at the weekend will determine it.

So we ended up losing and at this point Marcelino has to be on thin ice. Again, if we do not get good results in our next few matches I can't see him staying as a coach. The excuses are running thin and ultimately as a coach he is responsible for the results. Remember this is a mid-table second tier club and we made them look good in this match.

The second half we were terrible, so many lost balls, so little ball control, rushed passes that led to nothing, etc.... We couldn't string together more than 2-3 passes before losing the ball, I haven't seen play this bad in a long time. It's one thing to play this bad against a strong Barcelona side or a Real Madrid in their form, but this is absurd to play so badly against such a weak opponent.

I think Marcelino is close to losing his job if he can't get a string of a few wins over the next couple of matches.