Showing posts with label feature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label feature. Show all posts

Monday, June 4, 2018

2017-18 Season Review: The Best and the Worst

With the season finished, now is a perfect time to sit down and reflect it.

Starting at the beginning, we had finished in a dismal position on the table last season at 12th. The turbulent coaching story continued with Prandelli resigning last season and Voro stepping in as usual to cover. As if that wasn't enough the players, which so much money was splashed on, did not live up to even fractions of their price tag. 

This season was going to be different. We signed a coach that had a track record, experience and was familiar with the country, it's language and the league. The investment strategy for players was different as well: take the players on loan and only should they perform well do we consider investing in them. Of course, part of this was due to necessity since Financial Fair Play would restrict our buying ability regardless. Some players like Paulista, Murillo, Zaza and Neto joined on permanent deals right away (with payments in installments), while others like Kondogbia and Guedes were considered for the future via the loan deals. In addition, excess baggage that didn't prove it's worth last season: Abdennour, Santos, and Nani, was sent elsewhere. Other young players were loaned out as a chance to prove their worth and either come back or be purchased by the club to which they were loaned. 

This set the stage for what was to be a brilliant season to watch and a great success, especially relative to previous seasons. We returned to the Champions League with a few games to spare, played an attractive brand of football, produced consistent performances and challenged the top teams.

From the beginning, we would go on huge runs of great form and build up a streak of undefeated games and great form for our players. Although we did struggle breaking down teams that would park the bus or aggressively break the flow of the counter attacks, we did punish almost every team that challenged us in an open game. The team would be soaring and then the gravity of injuries would pull us back down at points in the season. Our squad depth would be exposed, having no one on the bench to offer anything different. Then, Zaza would go on goal drought, Neto's feet were frozen solid, we would have a crisis in defense and midfielders were used to cover for injured defenders, and finally our right-back would give an opening for all teams to exploit. Despite all that, we managed to achieve the goal and if we were offered this position at the beginning, most if not all of us would've taken it. We actually did even better, as we could've very well finished 3rd or even 2nd.

So without further ado, here is the best and the worst for me in this season:

Best Player: Geoffery Kondogbia

Huge difference to previous holders of the position in previous seasons (Danilo, Enzo Perez, Javi Fuego). Offers great strength, dominant presence and great work ethic. He facilitated our counter-attacking style by intercepting passes and winning the ball back in midfield to start such a move. He had great driving runs forward taking on defenders confidently and producing a good pass or shot to finish. A great asset to have while defending corners and set pieces as he has won the aerial duels many times. He is well liked by the fans as well as his fellow players. Easily justifies his price tag and is undoubtedly a steal for this amount (25 million euros). The deal to sign him permanently was expected and good to see it go through.


Guedes: for taking our attacking game to the next level with his creativity, dribbling and pace.
Rodrigo: great goal tally, really stepped up in the second part of the season and a well-deserved Spain NT call-up
Gaya: perhaps the only constant in defense, one less for Marcelino to worry about.
Soler: Growing talent, versatile (midfield and wing play) nice to see him with the Spanish NT as well.

Worst Player: Martin Montoya

No doubt this has been our weak point all season. We got him on a free transfer, so it was a good deal in that sense. He wasn't always poor, he had some decent games, a few good. But when he was bad, it was really bad and we were exploited. It didn't help that his competition for the spot was Nacho Vidal who was ostracized by Marcelino from the start. He was then left to compete with Vezo for the spot and lost out to him a few times.


Nacho Vidal: I take it if he wasn't used all this time, then Marcelino doesn't value him highly.

Best Game: Real Betis 3 - Valencia 6

Despite conceding 3 goals and almost throwing away a 4 goal lead, it was very entertaining to watch. Lots of contributors, with 6 different goal scorers. Very open game from both teams, almost a comeback at the end only for the momentum to go back to us in the final minutes. Great away win.


Valencia 4 - 0 Sevilla: It felt so good handing a wide margin loss to a rival that's given us so much trouble. Very convincing win.

Worst game: Valencia 1 - 4 Real Madrid

A lot of factors for this. Losing to rival in a 6 point game. The controversial referee decisions at their worst. Losing at home, etc.


Getafe 1-0 Valencia: although we lost by one goal, this was quite embarrassing. A type of game where the other team played aggressive to break up counters, ended up with 10 men very early (25 min into the game) and still managed to beat us. 

Best Goal: Guedes vs Sevilla (4-0 home game)

Guedes summarized in this goal. Receives the ball in midfield, accelerates quickly taking out 2 players, gets to the edge of the box and fakes two more players before smashing it into the top corner from range. It was 


Guedes vs Betis (3-6 away game): edge of the area, with a wall of defenders in front yet smashes it into top corner.
Rodrigo vs Leganes (0-1 away game): tight game, needed a goal, just substituted in, Kondogbia wins the ball back at the edge of the box, Rodrigo takes possession, runs across the edge of the box and bends it away from the keeper and into the net.
Vietto vs Girona (0-1 away game): struggling on form and getting tons of criticism and whistles but remains focused and produces a great goal. Carried the ball from midfield to the edge of the box, used the defender to block the keeper's vision and curled it to the top corner.
Vietto vs Las Palmas (Copa del Rey 4-0 home game): debut game, saw the keeper of his line and beat him from insane range

That's it from me. Just thought I would discuss this as we haven't had a chance to fully reflect on some of these things. Now I'll pass it to all of you.

Who were your best and worst players of the season? Best and worst games of the season? And Best goal of the season? Other comments or suggestions for improvement?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Don't Forget Us

Alvaro Medran 24yrs

Signed from Real Madrid July 2016 for 1.5 million euros and contract here until June 2020.
Currently on loan at Alaves until June 2018.

Is he playing well ?  Unfortunately no.  Not being used nearly enough and perhaps will be released by them or maybe another loan deal, but unlikely. A promising player who has failed to live up to his expectations so far. Seems to do some good passes but never seems to take command and direct the play.

At an age now where we should be seeing him at his best and therefore decisions have to be made in the summer to keep him or get rid.

Fabian Orellana 32yrs

Signed from Celta Vigo for 3million 2017 and currently on loan at Eibar.

There is an agreement that he would sign for them for 2 million at the end of this season if they remain in La Liga.  It looks like they will be staying with the big boys and as he is playing well it appears his destination is Eibar for next season.

Started off well for us but fell out of favour and is now outside of our plans. 

Zakaria Bakkali  22yrs

Came on a free transfer from PSV Eindhoven and currently on loan at Deportivo La Coruna until June 2018.  He has a contract at Valencia until 2020.

Is he playing well.  New manager Clarence Seedorf seemed to like him and gave him plenty of playing time when he first arrived.  Unfortunately he looks the same as he did at Valencia. Explosive running power and good crossing ability.  However, he is lacking on getting back to defend and gives the ball away too easily. I have seen him play many times and not impressed.

I do not see him changing and I think he is not what our manager is looking for.  Alaves should stay up now and again a decision needs to be made what to do with him. He has to go I think.

Aderllan Santos 29yrs

From Braga 2015 for 7 million euros and contract at Valencia until June 2020 but currently on
loan to Sao Paulo in Brazil until December 2018.

It appears he is not getting any game time at all in Brazil therefore a big problem in December as to what to do with him.  He came with a good reputation but apart from a few occasions failed to live up to it.  Massive mistake paying that sort of money.

Nacho Gill 22yrs.

Local player who came up through the club system. 

Has a contract here until 2020 and currently on loan at Las Palmas until June 2018.

I have seen him play many times for Las Palmas on TV but he always looks too weak too small and easily dispossessed.  He has been given many opportunities but failed miserably to impress.
Las Palmas will go down this season and maybe he will stay and play in the Segunda

Eugini Valderrama 23yrs

Contract here until June 2019 and currently on loan at Cadiz CF in Segunda until June 2018.

Another player not living up to his expectations. Cadiz are in line for possible promotion to La Liga but Eugini is not starring in the team enough. We will have to wait and see what becomes of him.

Summary.   Very disappointing news unfortunately.  Nobody except Cancelo is going to bring in any decent money or looks as if he has a future with the club.

What are your views guys. I hope I can be proved wrong by one or more of theses players ?

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Remember Me ????

Aymen ABDENNOUR aged 28yrs

Cost  22,000,000 Euros  August 2015 from AS Monaco.

Where is he now ?   On loan at Olympic Marseille until 2019 but with an option to cancel in June 20018.

Is he playing well ?  The answer to that is NO.  He had a decent game in the middle of January 2018 against Strasbourg but was only playing regularly up to middle of December 2017.  It seems as though they will cancel his loan in June 2018 but he is still contracted here until June 2020.

So what now ?   So, we hope that maybe Marseille pick up some injuries and he can get back in the team. Maybe that could give him a chance of appearing in the World Cup for Tunisia which might boost his value, or of course he might play badly and nobody will want him.

Summary.   Looks like we will take a big hit on him whatever happens therefore we can just pray that there is somebody out there with loads of money who will take a chance on him, maybe China ??


Information from the club today suggests that the deal with Abdennour is that only if both parties agree he can be returned to Valencia this June.  He has stated he wants to continue with Marseille to prove himself.  So that means that if Valencia don't want to take him back he is obligated to remain in France for another season.
That of course poses the dilema that he will then only have one year left on his contract.  The gamble then is, do we take him back and hope to sell him this summer or do we force his stay in France and risk getting less or nothing back on a transfer in June 2019 which could also sour our relationship with Marseille.

Luis NANI aged 31yrs

Cost 8.5 million euros from Fenerbache July 2016.

Where is he now ?  On loan at Lazio until June 2018.  Contract at Valencia to June 2019.

Is he playing well ?  No not really.  Not playing regularly and doesn't seem to be impressing much.  Getting used for the final minutes perhaps to waste a bit of time when they are winning a bit like Alcacer at Barca.

So what now ?   He had refused an offer of going to China but maybe he will change his mind now as he will know, like Abdennour, that he has no future here. Hopefully gets picked for Portugal and can impress in World Cup but that looks unlikely with young players coming through and impressing.

Summary.   Another waste of money but who knows, maybe we can offload him for a small sum and save on his wages.  Would be very surprised to see him in our shirt again.

Joao CANCELLO 23yrs

Cost 15,000,000 from Benfica July 2015.

Where is he now ?   Inter Milan on loan with buyout clause of 35,000.000.

Is he playing well ?  You bet !   A real success story and it looks as as if Inter will pay the buy out option. He is not only playing regularly but very popular with the fans and management after a slightly troubled start. With Kondogbia and Murillo coming the other way a deal will hopefully be worked out to make everybody happy, including the FFP.

Summary.  At least a bit of good news. I don't think we should criticise too much the bad signings as all clubs take a  gamble when signing players and they don't always work out.

I am sure if I have got any facts wrong somebody will put me right.

So what do we think ?  Is there a place for Nani in the team. Abdennour ?  can we use him anymore ?

Some more faces next week

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Marcelino's training methods

As you all know Valencia CF trashed some Swiss team called Lausanne-Sport, not some great feat, but its always nice to start off on a good footing early in the preseason.

I've watched all of the training videos so far and I've got to say I'm very impressed my Marcelino's training methods. At first I thought it was going to be the same old, as they team only did fitness type training, but since then the training schemes have been amazing, all tactical and technical in nature.

We've seen a lot of training on moves, movement, passing and pressing. Some of the training stuff is something I'm seeing first time ever, so I like that and I think its going to have a positive effect and we are going to see a much better team for it.

With all that said we do need one good defender, we can't rely on the error prone Abdenour, Vezo is a hit and miss and we lack a 4th serious CD either way. Great training can do so much, you also need the players to back up the good training.

So far so good in terms of training though, the focus is on the technical and tactical aspects, with the occasional fitness training to maintain the players weight and stamina. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Valencia CF preparations in France

Valencia CF is holding its preseason preparations in France this week and Valencia's new coach Marcelino has published the squad list of players that will be training there.

Goalkeepers: Neto, Jaume, Sivera
Defenders: Montoya, Nacho Vidal, Vezo, Garay, Abdennour, Javi Jimenez, Lato, Centelles
Midfielders: Parejo, Medran, Maksimović, Orellana, Bakkali, Nacho Gil, Nando, Eugeni Valderrama
Forwards: Rodrigo, Zaza, Mina, Rafa Mir, Negredo

Some players like Gaya, Soler, Nani and Cancelo won't be joining the team as they have an extended vacation period due to their national teams involvement, thus will be joining the rest at a later date.

Diego Alves and Aderlan Santos are not in the team because they are expected to leave, the team has made it clear that they would not be counting on these players for the next season, which is a shame to threat Diego Alves as such, he could have joined the group and trained until he finds a better club to join, so a pity that the club treats its players with such disrespect and contempt.

Right now in Valencia CF squad in France there are only few players that have been with the club for more than 3 years and those are Vezo(yeah, even though he has barely played actually), Parejo, Bakkali, Rodrigo and Negredo.

So that gives you an idea of the team "spirit" or lack thereof. 5 players out of 24 that have been with the club for more than 3 years. If we increase that to 5 years and we are only left with Parejo and when Gaya comes back he will be one of the few as well, counting his time in the B team as well.

So you might be asking why am I so negative again in the preseason, similar to last season, and its because like last season I do not see the strategy, I do not see the careful planing and smart transfer moves, its a scramble to get rid of several players and bring in several players to replace them. There is nothing strategic about it, we are rebuilding once again, just like last season, just like the season before, ust like 3 seasons before, etc...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Peter Lim get lost from this club NOW!

You've destroyed this club, you absolutely ravaged, murdered this club with over 100 years of history and tradition. You parasite, you removed everyone at the helm, including the internal people bellow the highest levels who've been at Valencia CF for 10+ years, some of them 20+ years and you put in garbage new cohorts that would be the yes men to everything you do.

It took you only 3 years to destroy this club, first you fed your friend tens of millions of dollars buying his absurdly overpriced players, then you purchase shares in them, so Valencia CF owns some, you own some and now not even in the third year and you've already sold all of them.

You are not welcomed in Valencia, I urge fans not to use violence, but make your voices heard, post negative reviews about his businesses, use strong words if he makes the mistake to travel to VCF, make sure you are vocal about the issue, but again no need for violence. That won't solve anything, but we need to make sure he leaves our club alone. This parasite has destroyed the club that many of us have supported for almost 20 years, in some cases even more. Spanish fans who've supported the club for 50+ years and now we've been turned into a club fighting to survive relegation.

The parasite that is Peter Lim needs to go right now!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Valencia CF should not sell on the cheap

Valencia CF should not sell their players on the cheap, especially in a market like today, where all the prices are extremely inflated.

I saw several people in the comments section in the last several days on this blog, saying how certain prices for certain players are too high, but look at the market. Claudio Bravo is supposedly to cost City 20 million pounds, that is 25 million euros even with the pound really low historically.

Why isn't Diego Alves worth as much? Diego Alves have played a lot more than Bravo, he's objectively better than him, he's the number one penalty stopper in Spain, possibly even in Europe, so why is he worth 10 million, maximum 15 million, yet someone like Claudio Bravo is worth 20+ million euros?

How can Raul Albiol on his last year of his contract in Napoli worth over 15 million euros, John Stones cost City 55 over million euros, Samuel Umtiti cost FC Barcelona 25 million, yet someone like Shkodran Mustafi is only worth 30 million?

Aymen Abdennour might have had a poor season at Valencia CF, but that doesn't erase his previous good seasons and if we purchased him 25 million euros, he sure as hell is still worth 20 million euros now.

The transfer market is extremely inflated, just 5 years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of a defender costing 30 million euros, maybe the top 3 in the world defenders could warrant such prices, but these days every good defender seems to be over 20 million euros, with the very good ones reaching 40-60 million euros. In such a market selling realistically is not an option, you have to go with it, you have to ride the wave of inflated prices and you have to play hardball.

If Arsenal come knocking on your door because they are desperate for a quality defender, because their CD's are all injured just 2 weens before the end of the transfer window, you play hardball, you ask for 60 million euros, negotiate down to 50 million euros and then sell.
You also don't go around yelling on top of your lungs how we are desperate to sell because of fair play rules, signaling to other clubs that you are willing to let players on the cheap just to lower the squad salary earnings.

Paco Alcacer to me is realistically worth 25-30 million, in this inflated market he is worth at least 50 million euros. If Anthony Martial can reach up to 80 million euros with bonuses added, when strikers like Kevim Gameiro can reach 30 million euros, then Paco Alcacer one of our best players for two seasons is certainly wroth 50 million euros.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The transfer saga continues

The transfer saga at Valencia CF continues, as we are inching closer to the start of the new season, we still don't know what our final team will look like, I think this is the biggest frustration many fans have, just not knowing and unsure if we can replace players we sell so late in the transfer window with players that are equally as good, or preferably better.

There is no point to sell great players to get weaker ones, its just a defeatist policy that can only lead to ruin, such policies are suicide and especially at Valencia CF should not happen.

If we were going to sell Shkodran Mustafi it had to be a month ago, at a huge price of 40 million euros, where we had enough time to find a suitable replacement, purchase them, incorporate them into the team and establish them, not right now where we barely even have time to find an alternative, let alone acquire them and then establish them in the team.

But then again Mustafi could stay and Aymen Abdennour could leave, after all that was the latest and seemed like more precise rumor, something that made much more sense, but the fact that nothing has happened yet, leads me to believe there is more to the Mustafi story that just pure speculation.

As far as Paco Alcacer is concerned, I'm not worried anymore, we have had several public statements that Paco isn't for sale and he's personally said he is not looking to move, unless of course the club want to sell him, which they've publicly stated they don't. So I don't expect Paco to leave at this point, if we sell him it would be devastating, especially this close to the transfer window closing, it would be absurd to sell one of our best players in the last two seasons and basically our only pure striker in the team, Moreno still has a long way to convert back to that striker role after playing on the wing for the past two seasons.

Diego Alves to me is a done deal, he's as good as gone, the question is how much will we get for him, personally I believe he is worth 20 million euros, the least we should get though is 15 million euros, anything bellow and that is just giving him away for free, giving away a top keeper to supposedly our competition(Barcelona) for pennies on the dollar, its just ridiculous.

Hopefully what happens is we sell Aymen Abdennour for 20 million euros, he's also got a big salary so we get a big boost to our coffers, use those 20 million euros to get Raul Albiol, if we can't get him for a reasonable price or say 12-13 million euros when he only has a year left on his contract, then we should turn to another experienced defender who is established and has played good, but is not on a top team to have his price inflated.

Then of course with the money from Aymen's sale, the money saved on his salary, we should keep Shkodran Mustafi, keep Paco, keep Diego Alves and sell Ryan. I know Diego has a big salary, but he is a top keeper, he's worth every penny we pay him, sure he was injured last season for a big part of it, but he is fit now, he is better than the other two, he is a veteran of Valencia CF, he pays off what he's worth.

I'd sell Ryan and keep Jaume as back-up, Ryan likely has a high salary as well, we know Peter Lim is garbage at negotiating salaries, we know he overpaid ALL of the players he signed, Gomes was overpaid, Enzo was overpaid and still is, Cancelo was overpaid, Negredo was severely overpaid, Moreno is overpaid, etc... He overpaid every one of these players as if we are a premier league club, when we aren't, we didn't even have a sponsor, yet he overpaid all of these players and now that we didn't qualify for the Champions league and still don't have sponsors he is selling them left and right to keep the check book balanced.

Its clear that he made mistake after mistake after mistake and he is still doing them. You can't sell like crazy this close to the start of the season and end of the transfer window to try and desperately balance the check book, you had to do it earlier, the team had to be defined at least a month before and you can't sell top players and bring in weaker alternatives, why sell them in the first place?

The only way to earn money in the long run, to be successful, is to keep building a top team with good players that you don't overpay in the first place, you give them realistic Spanish La Liga salaries and you won't have troubles paying their salaries later on. Once your top players keep on qualifying for the Champions league consistently you'll find good sponsors, they want international attention, they don't want Spanish attention, when Spain has been in a deep recession for the past 5 years. They want international exposure, to the whole European market, not just the local Spanish market, especially knowing its mostly the Valencia region that they would penetrate with Valencia CF sponsorship.

Lets hope things turn out good, though with Lim and his management everything bad is possible, there are even rumors that we'll sell Shkodran Mustafi to Liverpool and get Alberto Moreno Luis Alberto the other way, though this seems unlikely as Liverpool don't really need a new central defender and I don't think they'll want to sell or loan Alberto either, plus with all the transfers they've already done this summer I don't think they have the money to acquire any expensive players, they could probably move in for someone at a cheaper 15 million euros or so, but don't think they can afford another 30 million euros or more for a player like Shkodran Mustafi.

Aymen Abdennour has been a liability last season, so selling him for around 20 million would actually be good for us, get a cash injection, get rid of his high salary and end up keeping Mustafi, but once again the management has to be smart about this, but they've showed a tendency to be really stupid and do the wrong things over and over. Use the money from the sale wisely and bring in a good, experienced and reliable defender on the cheap, there are options out there.

Now if we sell Mustafi and Diego Alves will the team be looking at a relegation battle? Personally I know that this team is capable of beating the expectations in a negative manner and fight for relegation last season was the demonstration that we are capable of just that, even with all of the players we had last season, so its possible but less likely to happen, even if we sell Mustafi and Diego Alves.

I think between Vezo, Santos, Aymen and a new and experienced defender we could have decent, not great, but decent defense that isn't going to ruin us. Certainly not relegation level terrible, but I'd forget about Chmapions league or Europa league football without those two. I'm not even counting Paco to leave, I just don't think it will happen, the club and management are not suicidal, Peter Lim doesn't want an "accident" to happen when he arrives in Valencia, so zero chance to sell Paco this summer.

Now if we get to keep Diego Alves, Mustafi and sell Aymen and get a new defender, Albiol would be the best option, but a good experienced alternative would also be okay, I do think the team has a small chance to challenge for Europa league positions. Its going to be very hard and the team would have to click perfectly, Nani would need to instantly contribute, Moreno would need to keep his great form from preseason and play great each week, Paco would have to repeat the previous seasons in terms of contribution and our updated midfield trio would have to do at least mildly better than last season, which is doable. Also our "new" left back Leto would have to be the new Gaya from two seasons ago and contribute the same amount as Gaya did back then. Then we would have a  chance to get top 6 and enter into the Europa league.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Andre should be sold, Enzo should stay

Valencia CF coach and administration were determined to offload some of the "dead wood" and raise some money so they can bring in new reinforcements, but unfortunately no one wants "dead wood". Valencia CF have been unable to sell Pablo Piatti, Enzo Perez and Alvaro Negredo, Negredo had few offers coming his way, but all from clubs he doesn't want to play at.

Since the situation is such as it is, Valencia CF staff should work swiftly to remedy the situation and one solution is to sell Andre Gomes. I know he is a huge potential, I know he is possibly one of the best attacking midfielders if given enough time and build a team around him, but we need to think for the present as well, not just the future.

Chelsea FC, Barcelona, Juventus and other teams are interested in the player, some offers were said to have been in the region of 40 million euros, plus players, so essentially almost 50 million, we should sell him, get the money to bring in our wanted reinforcements and keep Enzo Perez. With a new training plan, new training regiment and better physical care of the player he can avoid injury and if he does so consistently he can give us good performances. He is not a bad player, but frequent injuries can harm him rhythm and form, preventing him from giving 100% percent for us when he plays.

As far as Negredo even a loan deal wouldn't be bad if the other team is willing to fully pay his salary and I believe there are few English teams that could take the player if offered on a loan deal. He can even possibly rediscover his form in England and we could always sell him next year.

We are one month in the summer and no reinforcements have arrived at Valencia CF, with no players being sold either, so we have a huge squad, but with the players that are unwanted. To start moving things forward Valencia CF needs to come to a compromise and that compromise is to keep Enzo Perez, sell Andre Gomes for huge sums, forget about the dream of selling Negredo and recouping some of the wasted money on him, loan him out to a team that can pay his whole salary and if he regains his form they can sell him next year and still recoup some money on him.

We technically just need one left winger if De Paul is to be sold or loaned out again and of course a good defensive midfielder. The year before Javi Fuego did awesome work for us, but this year his years showed and the next season they will show even more, we need a proper and quality player on that position, that will fix most of our defensive problems, proper DM is what the team needs.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Review of the season, part 2: the players

In the previous post, I looked at some of the issues surrounding the club. In the second part of the mid-season review, here's how I think the players have done.

JAUME. Got his chance with the injuries to Ryan and Alves and has seized it with both hands, even saving 2 penalties from 2, Alves-style. Has been let down at times by poor defending. Breakout player of the season without doubt.

RYAN. Unluckiest member of the squad, losing his place to Jaume due to an injury. Has been fine, though at times, looks shaky in the air. I could see him being loaned out in the summer and eventually departing, especially if Alves returns. He’s too good to sit on the bench.

ORBAN. One of three players ostracized by Nuno and has done little to prove him wrong. Has been a major flop this season. His positioning is usually poor and he’s forced to rely on risky tackles around the box. Not good enough for the side.

GAYA. One of the few solid players. Good in tackling and getting forward, however, his crosses have lacked the incisiveness of the previous season and another weakness is that he often gets caught too far forward, something teams have exploited against us. Injuries are another worry. He’s been out twice this season.

MUSTAFI. Has stepped up to the plate after Ota’s departure, but the lack of a reliable partner has meant that he’s often had to do the job of two defenders, creating gaps for other teams to exploit. Needs to work on avoiding bookings.

ABDENNOUR. Supposed to be the big replacement for Otamendi. Big disappointment. Error prone and unimaginative in playing out from the back, while unable to produce offensively at corners.

SANTOS. Had a shaky start but has improved in recent games. Still has a way to go to cement a regular place, but moving in the right direction. May prove to be a better signing than Abdennour.

VEZO. Had a couple of good games at the start of the season, but looks a back-up player at best.

CANCELO. Jekyll and Hyde. As an attacker, can be lethal going forward and scored great goals against Zenit and Barakaldo. As a defender, his positioning and tackling is suspect and leads to unnecessary cards. Better as winger than a defender and Neville seems to realise this.

BARRAGAN. On a good day, can link up well on the right wing, but there have been few of those good days this season and it’s time for a change of scenery at another club.

FUEGO. Was a solid player last season, but this season has frequently been outpaced, caught out of position and has mistimed tackles trying to make up the ground. The fire has gone out of Fuego and it’s time for him to light up another team.

DANILO. Shaky start, but has looked like a decent potential, needs more experience. Has been better at central than defensive midfield.

ENZO. Has had a couple of quality games, but hasn’t lived up to his price tag. Has serious fitness issues, as he has been subbed off in 12 of the 16 games he’s started this season. Needs to do much better.

GOMEZ. Remains one of the best players on the team, but needs to show it more often as he has had a number of average games. Injuries are a worry.

PAREJO. Needs to shape up or ship out. The game against Celta showed what he could do, but just as often he’s gone missing, with sloppy passes and lack of effort, waltzing around looking like he’s out for a walk.

DEPAUL. Great potential for the future. Unfairly excluded under Nuno and a decent crosser, but needs to be better with through balls and improve his discipline, as he’s picked up stupid bookings.

BAKKALI. One of the better summer acquisitions, but needs a lot more experience before he’s granted a regular place.

PIATTI. Only 5 players have played more games than him, but that doesn’t tell the full story, as most of his appearances have been as a sub and usually haven’t improved things. He’s physically weak and can usually be muscled off the ball too easily. There are better players in the same position. Thanks, but time to move on.

RODRIGO MORENO. Clearly has quality, but only shows it in flashes. Needs to start taking his chances, otherwise his career at Valencia will end with him tagged as an overpriced flop.

SANTI MINA. Good potential, but his only good run was a few games from the Barcelona game on, where he showed intelligent running and good link up play. Otherwise, he’s been too static, loses the ball too easily and has a poor first touch.

FEGHOULI. Out since November, and the team has missed his contributions. Hopefully a new contract can be agreed.

NEGREDO. Ostracised under Nuno, he’s now back in the team but missing easy chances like the one against Real is not the way to prove how hard done by he was. Needs to vastly improve otherwise should be sold in the summer.

PACO. Has continued his development this season, especially in the air and his hold-up play, but has been let down by lack of service. However, he has also missed easy chances himself and needs to be more lethal.

RAFA MIR. Surprisingly called up for the Zenit game, but failed to do enough to cement a regular place. May have potential, but not yet ready for the first team.

ZAHIBO. Had a couple of good games in the cup, looks a reliable back-up player.

DIALLO. Has potential, but not enough quality for the first team as yet.

VILLALBA. A real potential future star. Needs to be carefully nurtured and given game time to continue his development.

TROPI. Only played a few minutes. Might be an idea to loan him and other potentials like Diallo out to see how they manage at a higher level than Valencia B.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Review of the first half of the season, part 1: The club

The season’s halfway point finished with Valencia going down 0-2 against a weak Sociedad team which had been heavily affected by injuries. It was the type of frustrating day which will be all too familiar to anyone watching us this season: only marginally better against a team which has much weaker players than us, failing to take our chances, losing to a couple of soft goals from poor defending and losing players to injury. Positive emotions from a good performance in a previous game erased by a poor result. How did we get here?

The seeds were laid in the summer. The civil war over control of the club ended with the departure of Salva and Rufete. Nuno, who found himself the winner of that battle, would ultimately go on to lose the war. Transfer policy at this time also proved highly questionable, with Otamendi sold, Abdennour (and Santos) replacing him and three young “prospects” coming in: Danilo, Mina and Bakkali. Aside from the signing of Ryan to cover the injured Alves, Valencia entered the new season with largely the same squad that had fought the previous campaign, but with the added responsibility of European football. Friendlies rang alarm bells, with Valencia’s games against teams like Porto, Roma and Bayern showing clearly that they were not yet up to the challenge of taking on top clubs.

In Europe, Valencia got the worst possible draw: AS Monaco. Although, the team won 3-1, the problems were clearly there, with the team being outplayed for large periods and being fortunate to come away with a 2-goal advantage. In the league things just didn’t happen. Even though we were handed an easy run of opening fixtures, points were dropped in lacklustre displays against Rayo, Deportivo and Betis, with only a last minute goal against Gijon salvaging something. This would be followed by further weak displays: losses at Bilbao and Espanyol and the team making a meal of home victories against Granada and Levante.

In Europe, things went little better. Having qualified for the group stage, Valencia drew one of the easiest possible groups, avoiding most of the tougher sides in each section. However, a devastating defeat at home to Zenit set the tone for things to come. A win at Lyon, against the run of play, was the exception as the team then struggled to beat Gent at home, before producing one of the worst performances I’ve seen in 13 years following the team in the away leg. This proved the beginning of the end for Nuno, as massive supporter discontent had built up and only a sustained run of wins could have turned things around at this point. It wasn’t to be.

Even though the following game saw Valencia’s best win of the season: 5-1 at Celta, this result flattered Valencia, as we only had 5 chances the whole game and the match fit into the general pattern, as this good result was quickly followed by three poor ones, which resulted in Nuno resigning. While he was, to a large extent, the focus for unhappiness over Mendes influence, Nuno made some questionable decisions. Ostracising DePaul, Negredo and Orban, constantly rotating players and, very often relying on inexperienced line-ups, with the call-up of Rafa Mir to the first team squad for a key champions league game particularly dubious.

After speculation about the replacement, with Rijkaard, Laudrup and Bielsa mentioned as successors, to considerable surprise, Gary Neville was unveiled as the new manager until the summer. The change has made little difference to results, which if anything, have been worse than under Nuno. Fortunate to scrape a draw at Eibar, conceding silly goals to draw at home to Getafe and losing games at Sociedad and Villarreal where we failed to take chances. There have been bright spots: at home to Barcelona and Real Madrid, Valencia displayed more passion and commitment and were probably unlucky not to get a win from one of those. But those have been exceptions rather than the rule. The team is weak in away games and the players only ever seem able to raise their game against the big Spanish clubs.

Where has it gone wrong? In a number of areas:

1)      The political situation clearly affected the team for much of the early months. The negative atmosphere at the Mestalla won’t have helped the players perform and this has resulted in a change of managers, which will also affect things, as players need time to adapt to a new manager and new playing style.

2)      The overall transfer and squad policy has been very dubious. It seems to be focused on having as many young players as possible and hoping that they’ll develop into star players, but often their inexperience shows and we have no old hand players that will make a difference.

3)      A by-product of that is that we seem to be rotating far too much in order to try and develop as many players as possible. The result is that we don’t have a settled team, players have to play with different teammates each game, which can’t help understanding and anticipation. At this point last season, we’d used 18 players, this time we’ve used 28.

4)      Transfer policy needs to be more balanced. Signing the occasional hot prospect is fine, but the team’s focus going forward should be adding more experience, so that we have mentors for all these youngsters, otherwise it’s like having a class of school kids and no teacher.

5)      Mendes. I think we need to take a more balanced view than simply “Mendes bad.” Yes, we overpaid for Rodrigo, however, the fees for Abdennour and Enzo were fair market value for the time. Cancelo seemed expensive, but it’s hard to see us not making a decent profit if we sold him, same with Mina. Gomez for 15m and Bakkali for free are bargains. The sale of Gomez alone would easily recoup any losses on Enzo/Rodrigo/Aymen combined. Obviously, though, we need to cast our net further than Casa Mendes and keep his involvement to a reasonable level.

6)      Injuries have also taken their toll. Every game, there seem to be several players missing, which makes planning ahead difficult. We must work more on fitness, players like Paco often look tired at the end.

7)      Managers. Nuno made questionable decisions and alienated the fans with internal politicking. Any manager succeeding him would therefore have a big reservoir of good will to draw on. It’s far too early to draw conclusions on Gary Neville, but, unless the team starts winning, fans will turn against him (and Lim.) If that happens, a more experienced manager will be needed.

8)      Tactics have often been too predictable, allowing teams to counter us easily. The team almost always plays 4-3-3, getting overrun in midfield. At least the team has moved on tactically from some of the early games, where the sole tactic seemed to be to endlessly cross to a lone striker.

9)      The defence, the bedrock of our previous successful season, has looked especially suspect. It’s very clear now what a world-class player we had in Otamendi. Without him, goals have been conceded which wouldn’t have been last season. Suarez’ goal, at least one of the Zenit goals, the Gent goal, Martinez’ goal for Atletico are just some which spring to mind. Poor passing out of defence and mistimed tackling has allowed weaker teams to get results.

10)   Most of all, the biggest problem has been the players, who, talented as they may be, have often disappointed on the pitch. In the second part here’s I’ll look at how the players have done so far.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Few key points from Real Sociedad match

Lucas Orban is not good enough for this team even as a reserve player and deputizing for Gaya. He almost cost us a goal here if it weren't for Jaume heroics. He is slow, cumbersome, heavy moving and lacks the technical skills needed for high level play. We should be looking to offload him, either in the winter or most certainly in the summer.

Aymen Abbdenous has been really terrible for us, he looks lost and without purpose in the team. Wthether its lack of communications due to the language barrier, maybe he is still not yet settled, some players do actually need a full year to settle well, the country, city, climate, club, language, team, gameplay, etc... so he might be one of those people that need long term stability overall in their life to perform good on the pitch.
Either way he's been disappointing to say the least for us and I think Gary should be playing Santos together with Mustafi.

Gary Neville rushed Mustafi too soon to action and it showed. He was lacking fitness, form and coordination against Real Sociedad and was nowhere to be found for both their goals. Won't say he was the primary cause for the goals, Orban did let many dangerous crosses from his side to fly to the penalty area and our midfield was getting dominated in the 2nd half, so we were under constant pressure, but still, his lack of playing time showed today. He should have been introduced slowly to playing, rather than thrown into action.

Daniel Parejo was terrible in the second half, didn't catch the first half and from the stats it seems as Valencia CF actually enjoyed a good first half, but after Enzo Perez was forced out due to injury, Parejo was nowhere to be found. Completely outplayed in midfield and his nonchalant passes cost us so much trouble. He was literally walking all of the second half, did not see him run even once. I mentioned in my match preview that he's played pretty much all of our matches this season and would be getting fatigued and I think it showed against Real Sociedad.
I think he needs to be rested more, sign a new player if you must in the winter transfer who can play at that playmaking position, we have major problems with injuries this season, especially in midfield with Enzo and Gomes getting injured all the time, so another proper backup would be nice, especially to rest Parejo.

There is still a ton of work for this team to perform better, I think Peter's Lim naivete in his buying decisions has cost us, sure we have a ton of talented young players for the future, but zero proven players for the present. So while our young talented players are "brewing" for the future, we are lacking results now. It would be mistake to overbuy in the winter anyways, it won't solve anything, but I think bringing in one proven and older player would be really good for the team. Some proven player at the highest levels who maybe doesn't have the age to compete for titles, but can offer a lot to a team like Valencia CF.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Time To Step It Up

                                                                   RAFA MIR

I think like most other people we will be glad to be back to La Liga football after the international break.
I think what is on my mind is that the time has come for the players to forget about all the hype about 'Nuno Out' and all that stuff and get on with doing what they do best and that is play some good football, give maximum effort and get 3 more points.

We proved last time out with the 5.1 win against Celta Vigo, that we can give anybody a good game but now it is time for the players to up their game tonight and give us the maximum points.

It looks like Barragan and Piatti are out so that is a positive in my opinion and maybe the new boy Rafa Mir will get a runout.  Also Orban should get a run to give Gaya a rest so he is fit for the trip to Zenit on Tuesday.  Also Adbenour will return to partner Mustafi in defence which I am looking forward to seeing again as they are by far our best 2 central defenders.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

3 things we learned from last match

Valencia CF suffered its first defeat in La Liga this season and while that doesn't sound too bad, the fact that the team only has 1 win is really worrying.

1: The new arrivals don't really improve the squad. I've mentioned this from the start, some of the additions to the team like Santi Mina, Bakkali, Danilo while talented and possibly future stars, they are  not ready to help this team right now. These are players that need to be developed and groomed and in 5 years time to have results with them, so why did we purchase these very young players when our team already had the youngest squad last season. Why make it even younger? There is barely any experience and barely any real reinforcements to boost the squad instantly.

So we are in a situation where we literally have no real replacement for Fuego, no replacement for Parejo, no replacement for Feghouli, no replacement for Piatti and with some of the players on a bad form like Pablo Piatti who hasn't contributed anything this season, unlike last season when he was scoring goals, providing assists and having big impact in games.

2: Nuno Santo doesn't really have a different style than counter attacking football. Last season it was counter attacking football most of the time and like or hate that style it worked, the team wasn't built to dominate games, the players were new and starting over and that style worked perfectly, allowing for the players to win games on their own individual talents.

This season though with some of the players misfiring a bit and having bad form and we see how hard it is to score goals, especially from open play. So I'm thinking the way Valencia CF goes back to winning ways is to start playing counter attacking football once again. Just sit deep in their own half, defend and when an opportunity presents itself do quick counter attacks and try and score from those.

3: The big money reinforcements at Valencia CF have been big disappointments. I'm talking about Alvaro Negredo, I'm talking about Rodrigo Moreno, I'm talking about Enzo Perez, all these expensive signatures have been big disappointments. I wouldn't call them failures, they've contributed their fair share and have had good games, but overall their contributions are not at the level of their price tag, meaning we overpaid for them by a significant margin.

Alvargo Negredo is not worth more than 10 million euros on his play from this and last season, Rodrigo Moreno is not worth the 35 million euros, again maybe 12 million worth for him, a bit more than Negredo as a potential future star and Enzo Perez somewhere in the region of 15 million, possibly even less.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Valencia 1-1 Deportivo, 3 things we learned

Valencia CF haven't had the greatest start to the season with two of its opening games ending in draws. Last night's 1-1 draw against Deportivo was disappointing to say the least, here's a few takeaways from the match.

1. Some of the summer transfers don't improve upon the squad. Quite obvious really, but it has to be said and reiterated, players like Santi Mina, Bakkali and Danilo are good to give depth to the squad and deputize for injured players, but are not good enough to compete with the established first team players. We saw this again tonight as Danilo was lost in midfield, albeit played out of position and not truly representative of his skills, with Santi Mina being completely out of his depth and Nuno not even bothering to put on Bakkali, who was quite weak in the first match of La Liga.

2. Alvaro Negredo is slowly but surely improving. Last season the capture of coveted striker Alvaro Negredo was hailed as "the bomb", a big signing that is going to take the club to the next level, but Negredo didn't really recover from his injury, he was physically fine, but just didn't seem to have the same ability as before. In fact he finished the season on a bit of a sour note, but this season he is slowly, but surely showing that he is indeed a quality striker and can make the difference for Valencia CF.

3. Sofiane Feghouli is a beast when in top form and at his best. We all know what Sofiane Feghouli can do and how he can play when he is at his best, but he's been historically very inconsistent, having a spell of few matches in top form and then having a spell of few matches in poor form and the difference is like night and day in his play. Right now he seems to be in his top form and contributing a lot to the team and the coach has to use him and use the best team around him to win until he is playing at a high level. Question is will he be consistent, can he play game in, game out on the same level or will he fizzle out?

Tell us your takeaways from last night's match against Deportivo in the comments section!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Who was Valencia's best player this season?

Now that the season is over lets take a look back and discuss who the best player is for this season.

I've set up a poll with couple dozen of choices and of course an 'other' option where you can write someone else who isn't on the poll.

Also post in the comments who you think is the best player and explain why.

Who was Valencia CF best player for the 2014/15 season?

Diego Alves
Skhodran Mustafi
Nicolas Otamendi
Jose Luis Gaya
Daniel Parejo
Andre Gomes
Sofiane Feghouli
Pablo Piatti
Paco Alcacer
Please Specify:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Where Are They Now and Are They Coming Back?

Vinicius Araujo 
On loan at Standard Liege in Belgium until June 2015 having signed for them on a 12 month load period.  He was bought by Valencia from Cruziero in Brazil for a reputed 3.5 million euros, with Valencia owning half the rights but was not used  very often and was only seen few a few minutes at the end of games.
To me he looked very slow and heavy footed having come with very high hopes from Brazil.  He failed to score for us and is having a tough time now at Standard Liege having the same problems of not being played and coming on late.  At one time he was top scorer for the Brazil U/20s  but his career seems to have stalled at the moment.  he is on contract with us until the summer 2019 so it remains to be seen where he will go next season.  I think the chances of him coming back right now and being part of the squad are very slim.

Robert Ibanez
Currently on loan at Granada. Has scored 4 goals for them this season since he went there in January of this year. He seems to be fulfilling his expectations and looks a great prospect. He is due to return to Valencia in the summer and is contracted to us until 2018. A decision has to be taken then as to whether his loan will be extended which is unlikely as it looks as if Granada could well be playing in Segunda B next season unless they can improve their form. Alternatively in the event of them dropping down he could go elsewhere for a loan period and I am sure there would be no shortage of takers for him. However we cannot discount the fact that it may be felt that he has proved himself in the top league and could return to be part of the squad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fede Cartabria
  On loan at Cordoba until the end of the season 2015.  Contracted to Valencia until 2017.  Seems to be revitalised getting away from Valencia and playing more regularly.  His game certainly seems to have improved with the added responsibility of being their main playmaker at times. Great at taking free kicks and drawing fouls with his mazy runs.  Still seems to have a temperament problem though and seems to attract too many yellow cards from the referee. Although who are we to critcise that as we have enough players who seem to be doing the same thing. I think his decision making has improved somewhat but can still see some of the old bad things creeping in at times.

The season away will have been really good for him and the club and again a decision needs to be made on his future.  We have  the same dilemma with Fede as Cordoba appear to be doomed to relegation and he certainly will not be staying with them after the summer.  So what happens,  we sell,  we loan out again ?  We will wait and see.

Victor Ruiz
On loan at Villareal until the end of this season with an option to buy for 4 million euros. he is on contract to Valencia until summer 2016.
He has had a really good season with Villareal and it remains to be seen as to whether they will buy him.  I think the chances are that they will take up the offer considering the number of games he has played this term with a team that has until recently been challenging us near the top end of the table.  I don't see him coming back to play for us despite his improvement in form due to the opportunities he has had to prove his capabilities.  Is he a player we have let slip away ?  Time will tell but with our increased finances now maybe it is best for both parties.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Valencia CF winter transfers 2015

The winter transfer window is over and Valencia CF have reinforced with the acquisition of Enzo Perez from Benfica FC for 26 million euros. This was Valencia's only purchase, with 4 players leaving the club.

Carles Gil was sold to Aston Villa for 5 million euros, some say too cheap, some say we should have kept the player, but it is what it is and 5 million euros is not little for an unproven footballer who's only played several times for Valencia CF.

Robert Ibanez was loaned out to Granada CF in order to get some more playing time, as he wasn't given too much playing time in Valencia CF apart from few minutes here and there in substitutions.

Bruno Zuculini who was here on loan from Manchester City was given back to City as he only featured once under Nuno and wasn't even in the squad for most of the matches.

Finally Joao Pereira contract was rescinded and he went on to join Hannover 96 as a free agent, after being shut out of the squad for 6 months, due to a technical decision by the coach. A bit unfair towards the player, but hopefully he can find his form and manage to perform well to continue being invited to the Portugal national team.

Overall quite an uneventful winter transfer market for Valencia CF, there were quite a bit of reports with players coming or leaving, but ultimately just one player arrived and few players who didn't play left, leaving the core of the team intact and pretty much the same.

With Pablo Piatti coming back from a 4 week injury and being able to play next week, as well as Feghouli arriving back in 3 weeks the team will gain back on some of the depth it lost with these two players being unavailable.

What do you think about the winter transfer window, what did you expect and how do you think Valencia CF did, tell us in the comments.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Get ready for the new season

The new 2014/15 season is about to begin, Valencia CF has been overhauled with new players, new coach and new ownership to top it off.

Check out the fixtures page to learn all the preseason results and read the match reports, as well as see the new fixture list for 2014/15.

Valencia's first opponent is non other than Sevilla who are managed by former Valencia CF coach Unai Emery, who have also just recently strengthened with Ever Banega from Valencia CF for 2.5 million euros.

What do you guys think about all the new players, coach, ownership and overall about the club, tell us in the comments. Also please comment on what you'd like to see more of in terms of do you want interviews with people from other fansites about their clubs, would you like more editorials, maybe some new things you'd like to see, please post in the comments.

Also this is your last chance to join my premier league fantasy league, there are already 21 players in the league, but the more and merrier. So please come join us.

And finally VCF music video to pump you up for the new season!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Transfer Market update

1) Enzo Perez will reportedly arrive in Valencia tomorrow (Monday) to finalize his transfer. The deal is said to be in the range of 20-25 million euros. He will be the third player from Benfica to join Valencia CF this transfer window.

2) Valencia CF have 24 hours to complete Juanfran Moreno signing due to interest from Italian club Genoa. Thus if Juanfran is to be signed, it will also be tomorrow.

3) Jackson Martinez has renewed with FC Porto till 2017 but dropped his buyout clause from 40 million to 35 million euros. This could be understood as a sign that he's staying but the buyout clause is now easier to meet for Valencia CF which has now been interested in him for a while.

4) Valencia CF have increased the bid for Shkodran Mustafi to 10 million euros while Sampadoria value the player at 15 million euros. The negotiation today went well between the club and Ayala, and there was confidence that this deal will be completed.

5) Valencia CF is interested in CD Numancia right-back/center-back Carlos Akapo (he is Equatoguinean) to reinforce the Mestalla B team. The manager Curro Torres wants an alternate to Sergio Leuko as he is reportedly unimpressed by him. Carlos Akapo will also be given a chance at the first team should Nuno's evaluation of him be a positive one.

Any thoughts?