Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Valencia - Real Sociedad match thread

 I'm going to Mestalla for this one so another short thread.

After the high of the win over Atletico Madrid, Valencia returned to the usual inconsistency with a shaky performance against the league's bottom club, Almeria. We could easily have lost that game. Why do the team always do this?

For tonight, we do at least have Paulista and Yaremchuk available. Baraja has effectively said that Yaremchuk will get at least some minutes, so we should see his debut. Foulquier, Sergi Canos, Jesus Vazquez and Alberto Mari remain injured. 

Tonight's opponents Sociedad have made a solid enough start 2-3-1 with the defeat by 1 goal away to Real Madrid and with a midfield and attack including people like Oyarzabal, Kubo, Brais Mendes and Zubimendi and 12 goals scored so far, our defence will really have to be on their toes. Previous results against them have been all over the place. We beat them when we're weak then throw away points in good seasons, so I won't make any prediction for this, but I'm hoping for a good home win.

Well, I just got back from the stadium and have mixed feelings. For the first 30 minutes I thought we were the better team but then we conceded a dumb goal from a stupid mistake by Diakhaby. He's like Valencia in miniature: has a couple of good games, makes you think he's turned the corner and it will get better from now on and then reverts to business as usual. The second killer was the sending off of Amallah, which seemed harsh from where I was sitting. He'd been looking good up to then and almost playing as a second striker. That killed us off. I thought we'd fold in the second half but we fought well and a draw would have been a fairer result. I thought we were weak on the left, Diego Lopez did little, Gaya not much more. Thierry did well handling their winger and Fran Perez was lively. Duro was active but had very little service. Guerra is obviously a good prospect but his decision making tonight was off and Mamardashvili's distribution could have been better. I liked the little I saw of Yaremchuk's debut. He was active and a physical presence.

Overall, Sociedad clearly had a better squad than us. (Qualifying for Champions League gets you money you can use to buy better players... someone should tell our owner. ) But we mostly held our own. If it hadn't been for the sending off we could have got a draw. The big problem remains the squad depth as evidenced by the fact that our final defence consisted of 4 central defenders. With Vazquez out and Gaya often injured, that's a problem. On to the next game.