Saturday, December 24, 2022

News update

 The World cup was, overall, not a happy one for Valencia players. Gaya was sent home due to a minor injury while other players from the top clubs who had similar injuries stayed on. The only positive is that now that Enrique has gone we may see less favouritism. Musah was the stand-out player though, as usual, pride in seeing him do well is balanced with the realisation that it just makes it more likely this will be his last season here. Guillamon got no minutes and Comert only limited game time. Cavani did play, but it's probably better he didn't. After not having a penalty appeal go in his favour he and other Uruguay players lost the plot a bit, with Cavani kicking over a plinth at the end. I have to say that I think the referee was right, it was a soft call and didn't look a penalty to me. Now, as a result, FIFA are planning disciplinary action with a ban of 10-15 matches for him being discussed. Possibly the only positive is that Valencia players may have enjoyed more rest.

There have been recent developments on the new stadium. The city council finally published the conditions which it should meet. This includes a 70,000 capacity to allow it to be included in a World Cup bid, allowance for an athletics track around the stadium, solar cover to provide shade and an attached sporting complex which would cost 10 million. The club has until 11 January to respond and the issue needs to be legally settled by August.

Valencia extended the contract of Jaume Domenech until 2024.

Domenech broke into the first team in 2015 after the injuries to Alves and Mat Ryan and has played 116 times since then. Some of us do have concerns about his weakness to shots from outside the area, on the other hand, he's been a Valencia loyalist, who's been happy to be a back-up player and numerous managers have spoken positively about his leadership in the dressing room so it's probably a good thing.

The club has also made a contract offer to Diakhaby whose contract ends in the summer but haven't received a reply. He looks gone to me. The club are still looking for a midfielder and a winger in the transfer market, almost certainly on loan. Jesus Vazquez has been linked with Torino and it's unclear if it will be a simple loan, a loan with a purchase option or repurchase option. This seems a huge loss as he's shown potential, but instead we're developing Lino, good as he is, for another team.

Lastly, Valencia learnt their Copa Del Rey last 32 opponents yesterday.

It's La Nucia of the 3rd level. By pure chance, I attended the Copa Del Rey first round game of La Nucia when they won at Hercules Alicante in controversial circumstances. I didn't see anything that we couldn't handle, their defence looks shaky, but we'll find out soon enough when we play them on 3 January.