Monday, September 11, 2023

9/11 - A sad anniversary

 11th September is a significant event in recent history, in global politics it means the 2001 attacks in New York. With apologies to those affected by that, 11th September 2019 is also a sad anniversary for Valencia fans. After 2 successful seasons, which saw the club secure back-to-back Champions League qualifications, a Europa League semi-final and the first silverware in 12 years by beating Barcelona in our centenary year, the ownership decided to destroy a good thing, pressing the reset button, dismantling a successful sporting structure under Alemany and Longoria and beginning the club's current downwards spiral into mediocrity. 

All of this because Lim couldn't contain his ego and wanted to mess and fool around again in the club's business after years of leaving it to professionals and getting 60 million upwards of Champions League cash a season in return. Marcelino claimed his firing was that he disobeyed Lim's orders to deliberately lose in the Copa. Since Gary Neville said in a later interview that Lim had told him to get out of the Copa as quickly as possible this seems very likely. Marcelino had also given some interviews which were straying into being provocative, but that happens and a compromise could have been reached. 

Bizarrely and depressingly, some of our fans at the time actually applauded this recklessness on the grounds that stability wasn't important, Marcelino's style was boring and some of the young players weren't being given a chance. (Just take a look at some of the comments at the time on the Facebook group or on here.) Mainly KangIn they were thinking of.... what happened there? Some even argued Celades would be a stopgap until we got someone like Pochettino or Ten Hag. I'm sorry, but talk about naive! Instead we got worse in the form of Bordalas and the nothingness of Gracia and finishes of 9th, 13th, 9th and 16th. The current trajectory seems to lead to one place: relegation.

Pretty much everything I predicted back then came true and worse: 
"Under Lim, those youth will never be the future lifeblood of the club anyway. They'll be sold, Alcacer-style, as soon as a richer club puts a chunk of cash down. For me, that's demoralising and seriously makes me question my support. Not for Valencia, but for Lim's Valencia, since his way is to remain a permanent c-list club, an also ran to the elite, who exist primarily as a means for him to profit and for Mendes to make money by showcasing talent.

We will never be at the level of a Bayern, Barcelona, Man City or Juventus but I think an Atletico Madrid style position is possible and is exactly where we were in the 2000s. This week definitively closes the door on that. Lim clearly will never ever accept that success can only be achieved through stability and trusting the club to professionals and has just proved it be pressing the "restore to year 2016 factory settings" button.

You can forget any ideas of Celades just being a stopgap for a serious high level coach. Celades is indeed unlikely to last long, but what serious coach will sign up for a project that sacks them when they achieve everything doable in two seasons? Had this before with Emery and Nuno "we'll be better off with anyone else" and each time we got chaos and regression. Change is NOT always for the better."

Sadly, it should be clear now to virtually everyone that Lim couldn't care less about the club. His mouthpiece Lay Hoon said in a recent interview that the goal now is to avoid relegation. That is the limit of these people's aspirations. I could write a long list of things these people could do better, but it would be a waste of time as I know it wouldn't happen. Until Meriton goes, that's exactly where we'll be at.