Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Coach change

News are now emerging that Albert Celades will be replacing Marcelino as coach. A very big shock given that we are playing Barcelona and Chelsea in the next few days.

I have a few worries:
1. Morale of team and dressing room. This development is likely to leave many players shocked, especially Marcelino loyalists like Parejo. Given the proximity to the Barcelona game, I am worried that the team might crumble.

2. Pedigree of the new coach. If true, Celades comes in without prior experience as a first team coach. With La Liga and UCL matches coming in fast and furious. I am not sure how he will be able to prepare for the challenge of managing a big club like VCF.

3. Fans. I am sure all fans like me are likely to be rocked by this news. At a time when we have qualified for two consecutive UCL and also won the Copa del Rey, this seems like such a big dent in our team´s trajectory.

However, this is part and parcel of football and I hope I am proven wrong. This development has been brewing for quite awhile. After clashing with the owner, there was no way this could have ended as a fairytale. Sporting wise, his lack of a Plan B and refusal to use our hungry academy players, have left us vulnerable in this season. This probably made it easy for the owner to remove him. After supporting him with players like Guedes and Maxi, the failure to get the best out of them further reduced the confidence in him. Better to address this problem now than let it fester.

I hope this change brings about a few things:
1. Back to basics. Focus on our young players and maximise the potential from our Academy. That has been a steady source of players like Gaya and Soler in recent years. Academy graduates are also naturally more dedicated to the club and fight harder than prima donnas from elsewhere. I think we have one of the youngest squads in La Liga. Maybe Celades´experience in the Spanish youth teams can help to develop our Academy players.

2. Tactical nous. We have players who can play in a variety of tactics. We need someone who can get the best out of our current squad. We have a very strong team as well as squad depth. Hopefully Celades can be a breath of fresh air.

3. X-factor players. Maxi, Guedes and Rodrigo are clearly our most lethal attackers. The coach needs to be able to get them to deliver. It is sad that Guedes and Rodrigo are chipping in goals with their national teams but struggling to play decently for Valencia. Hopefully this is resolved sooner than later.

All the best to the lads for the next few games. Win or lose, we have to continue cheering on our team. Amunt!