Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Thoughts for season 19/20

The summer break has been anything but a break. I am sure everyone cannot wait to see how we would kick off season 19/20, particularly with all the ongoings on and off the field.

Defence wise, Cillessen is a solid buy and Jaume Costa and Mangala gives us good cover.
Midfield wise, we have an excess of players on the right: Soler, Jason, Wass, Ferran, Kang-in. Looks like Wass will stay in right back, Jason might get loaned/sold. Ferran and Kang-in will get limited play time.
Lastly, Maxi brings along potential and physicality. But with Rodrigo´s pending move, will we be able to get an adequate replacement?

I am actually surprisingly optimistic about this. Guedes can potentially play in Rodrigo´s position, especially since he does not provide much defensive cover on the left. That frees up another spot on the left that Ferran or Kang-in could gain some precious minutes from. Alternatively, if we manage to get any of the rumoured replacements and sell Sobrino, I think our squad will still remain very competitive.

The Club Saga
The Mateu saga and our transfer activity point to an important issue that is worth further discussion. Is the Academy and promising VCF youth players still a priority for us?

A move for Rafinha could essentially spell the end for Kang-in. As highlighted earlier, Kang-in and Ferran are already facing stiff competition. I suspect both are actually inclined to move on to get more playing minutes and continue their development. If Marcelino continues to leave them on the bench this season, their development will definitely be curtailed. This has trickle down repercussions on our club´s global marketing, as well as on our youth players aspiring to break into the first team.

Until the day we are financially rich (hopefully), we might need to continue with our proven policy of promoting youths, and investing carefully in other players that can add to the squad. This has been low risk yet high in returns for the club. To do this, there has to be faith in the academy players. VCF fans seem genuinely excited when Kang-in and Ferran are brought on. If the club management is sincere about growing the club academy, it is aligned with the fans, and can only be positive for the club.

On the sporting side, our performance against Inter showed that our team could be slick in attack when they click. There were still moments of concentration lapses and loss in tempo but I remain optimistic.

However, I fear the saga is far from over as both sides will possibly continue to clash over subsequent sporting decisions. Lim is definitely going to stamp his authority given the money he invested while the sporting team will expect more mandate and freedom given their achievements over the past two seasons. In short, we might need to brace ourselves for a rocky season. Hopefully we have a much stronger start this season, which would help to ease the tension between all parties.

Any thoughts?