Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Peter Lim inadequate leadership strikes again

Peter Lim - Valencia CF
Javi Gracia was a defeated man as early as his arrival, he was promised several reinforcements, but all he got was a mass giveaway of established and core players. It wasn't even a sellout, few players actually got sold for decent sums, most of them were literally given away or released from their contracts, Valencia CF barely got any money out of big exodus. 

So as soon as Javi Gracia arrived, as soon as Meriton's promises were broken. In fact he did come out at the start of the season to talk about the lack of signings and that he was informed there would be signings to cover for some of the players that left, but there weren't any. He downplayed it all and talked about how great some of the younger players are, how the team can build a team from scratch with youth players, but he was clearly downplaying the severity of the situation and trying to appease his new employer.

As he continued with his coaching and the results were becoming worse and worse he offered his resignation in October of 2020. Valencia CF were 14th on the table as early as October, matchday 7th and 8th Valencia CF was 14th place on the table. I think the end of October is where he offered his resignation after a loss in the 7th matchday and a draw in the 8th. If Peter Lim and Valencia's management had any intelligence and foresight they would have seen a defeated manager who doesn't want to continue leading his team and would have accepted his resignation. Yes they would have had to pay out damages, but likely only for the season and considering he was one of the cheapest coaches Lim could find, it would have been too much to manage. Meriton and company in all their wisdom decided that they would continue with a coach who doesn't want to coach anymore and who's results even just 7 or 8 matches into the championship were worrisome. 

Maybe they thought he'd improve the team over time, but considering they were planning on selling Kondogbia as he was public about wanting to leave and public against Meriton and Lim, they were going to sell him in the winter transfer window, so knowing that how did they consider weakening the team even more and expecting better results? To make matters worse sometime towards the end of December they tried to extend Kang-In Lee's contract and after few rounds of negotiations they couldn't reach an agreement. Kang-In Lee wanted promises of more playing time, they decided against that and communicated to Javi Gracia to limit Kang-In Lee's appearances as a punishment's for him not agreeing to a contract extension and that essentially sealed the fate of Kang-In Lee. 

In fact considering the situation with Covid19 and still closed down stadiums, Meriton knew that they wouldn't be able to bring in winter reinforcements, but they still promised the coach that they would try and bring some new players. Of course once the winter transfer window started there was nothing for the longest time, everyone though they wouldn't bring in anyone, but they did, but it was all loan deals with players they didn't consult Javi Gracia about. They basically made a quick list of players they can bring for free on a loan deal to try and appease the coach and hope everything works out for the best. Well when you don't consult the coach you are trying to appease what positions and players he wants, when you don't inform his at the players you are considering, there are chances he might not like reinforcements you brought. This ended up being the case as Javi Gracia barely played any of the new arrivals. He did try to play them at the beginning, but soon after opted against it and played players that were available to him before. Personally I think he could have used Cutrone a lot more, he seems like a good player with good potential, especially over the misfiring Maxi Gomez who's literally been worthless the whole season, but another mistake over a long line of mistakes by Gracia. 

I think the coach just lift his hands up at some point and didn't care too much anymore, maybe he did care somewhat, but was on autopilot if you will, what else can you take away from continuing to play the worthless Maxi Gomzes game after game with no results. He kept playing Diakhaby even though he was making big mistakes very often and giving away needless penalties. He even played Guedes on that left wing in a strict position for most of the season as well, rendering his completely ineffective. I think he made the change to Guedes position out of necessity for just that match and once it worked and produced results he did stick to it, but it was too little too late.

So they keep a failing coach for such a long time to avoid paying out damages, they can sack him in the summer without paying damages, but they decide to sack him anyways with 4 games to play. So now they still have to pay damages and the damage sporting wise has already been done. They could have sacked him 2 months ago, they could have accepted his resignation in October, but they sack him at the worst time possible. Again if they had a bit of wisdom and foresight they could have avoided all of this and Valencia CF would have probably been better off, not fighting relegation with just 4 matches to go and still having to pay the coach damages that you tried so desperately to avoid doing! 

Makes me really wonder how did Meriton acquire all of that wealth? It must have been incredible luck and timing, once the business takes off it just keeps on growing and growing, probably little to no competition in that sphere of the market. 

Sacking Javi Gracia is the right decision, but at the wrong time. Best time would have been last year in October to accept his resignation. They could have negotiated with him for a reduction in damages since he is offering his resignation, I'm sure Javi Gracia would have accepted that at that time. They would have put Voro in charge for several matches until they found a new coach, the new coach would have had time to establish himself and have the whole second half of the season to establish his tactics and play style on the team. Other option would have been to wait it out until the season ends, yeah we are in danger of relegation, but I think even without a coach the team could get 4 points out of 4 matches, its not like Voro guarantees points, I think Gracia would have managed to avoid relegation barely. Again all of it could have been avoided by having more foresight and making the decision a lot sooner.