Showing posts with label preseason coverage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preseason coverage. Show all posts

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Valencia CF 3-0 Sporting CP

Valencia CF trashed Sporting CP in yet another great preseason showing, giving us all hope that we can do much better than last season. Before I get carried away though this is still a friendly match early in the preseason, but the confidence, gameplay, fluidity in the play is there for everyone to see and this team is definitely playing differently than it used to with our last 3-4 coaches.

We are so early in the preseason, but I can already see an identity to this club, a certain style of play and hopefully the squad continues to grow, continues to improve and doesn't stumble at the first roadblock. So far so good and I'm really impressed by the work Marcelino is doing.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Mathew Ryan leaves Valencia

Mathew Ryan is the third confirmed exit of the late season. He joins newly promoted Brighton on a fee rumoured to be in the €5.5 million range. Ryan seemed a reasonable signing at the time, covering for the long term injury of Diego Alves. Luck, however, would intervene. His time at Valencia was fatally undermined by a knee injury a fee weeks into the season which sidelined him for a month. In that time, Jaume took his opportunity, and Ryan's 1-month absence became 3 months, returning in late November 2015 to play in Nuno's last game against Sevilla. With Alves returning and regaining the number one spot, Ryan's chances would be limited. He played in 21 games in 2015/16 and the first two games of 2016/17, leaving, coincedentally, at the same time as Alcacer and Mustafi.

It has to be said, there were many bad signings of the Lim era, but, while he was never a Buffon, he wasn't a bad signing either. The killer is that he seemed to be third in line and was insisting on being first choice. An understandable request for someone who wants to maintain his position as number 1 for the Australia national team, but not a realistic one for the current Valencia squad. He will likely not be the first goalkeeping casuality. Marcelino apparently doesn't count on Alves and it's not hard to see why. While Alves still proved himself to be the penalty king last season, his overall performances weren't top class and the club is now said to be trying to get his wages off the books. Speaking of Buffon, his deputy, Neto, is rumoured to be joining Valencia on loan with a buy option.

In other news, Valencia have confirmed another pre-season friendly playing Werder Bremen on 5 August. As with Bournemouth, this is an unspiring match-up against a familiar foe. Valencia played friendlies against Werder in July 2015 and July 2009 and played them in Europe in March 2010 and late 2004.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Valencia CF 2-1 Fiorentina

Valencia CF wins the last match of the preseason friendlies against Italian side Fiorentina in the Orange trophy cup. It was once again a hard fought victory and much like last game won in the last minutes of the match. All that said it was clearly an improvement over the previous results, but its clear that Valencia CF still has major issues.

One is that we keep on conceding goals in all matches, against all sorts of opposition, weak and strong, so we really need to improve DRASTICALLY in defense. Then in attack we still can't find reliable goals, we still struggle to score goals and most of the goals come through individual skill, rather than smart build up play or clever chance. So we need to improve our systematic attack, we need a more dynamic formation, with players changing positions, rotating around, mixing it up and new style of play.
We can't rely on the decades old static formation, rigid positioning, pure roles, etc... we need to step into the 21st century and we need dynamic formation, dynamic tactics, positional changes, etc...Teams like Bayern, Juventus and others change 10 different formations in a single match, each field of play brings in a different formation, each positioning of the players a new one, etc... this makes them unpredictable and hard to counter, also harder to study on how to counter them.

Good news is that the boring counter attacking football seems behind us and Valencia CF are playing a much more direct and possession based game, the team is pressuring much higher, something which was a huge issue last season as the team dropped really deep to defend, rather than pressuring immediately in the opposition half.

Once again Lato impressed, Rodrigo Moreno impressed and Alvaro Medran proves to be a quality asset for now, though things can change rapidly in actual real and meaningful matches when La Liga starts, so we'll have to wait and see.

I don't know if Nani is injured, but he hasn't played in the past 2 matches, so maybe fitness issues, maybe the coach is certain of his value and doesn't need to test him out, but its weird how he has barely featured.

Its also weird that Mustafi didn't feature either, even though he's been training with the team for a while now, maybe he has an injury as well I don't know about, or maybe he is already half way through the door at Arsenal and no point to play him when he won't play for us anymore. We'll have to wait and see, but with Peter Lim being seen in England it doesn't look good for the prospect of Mustafi staying.

What are your thoughts about the match, who you thought did the best and who did the worst?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Valencia CF 2-1 Nigeria All Stars

Valencia CF won 2-1 against Nigeria all Stars, but it was a hard fought victory, amidst a very poor first half, lack of chances of goal and once again defensive frailties.

Nigeria's all stars didn't have much possession throughout the whole match and their attacks very rare and far between, but that didn't stop them from scoring a goal from I think it might have been their first sort of real chance. This just goes to show that Valencia CF can easily lose to any team from just 1 attack from the opposition.

Valencia CF had the possession in the first half and although the team wasn't threatening at all apart from the first goal, it still gave the team the initiative, but just one attack of the Nigerian team and it was back to square one, these types of games are so easy to draw or lose in the Spanish league and this is how you lose points, this is how you end up with 1 or 0 points, rather than 3.

Good news is that Alvaro Medran seems like a very good purchase, a steal for 1 million euros and can contribute to the team immediately. Paco Alcacer is quite reliable and with overall good performance every game, though this match he was mostly on the periphery, but not at fault of his own and Rodrigo Moreno has had a terrific preseason, scored an amazing goal late into the game to give Valencia CF the win, a rather deserved win on the basis on what we saw in the second half.

I got to say I disliked the performance in the first half, it was too slow, too static, too predictable, too safe and it didn't bring us a positive result, the second half performance I like much more, especially when all of the changes came in at around 60 minutes. Immediately we had a faster paced play, more dynamic play, more attacking play, a lot more people forward and pressuring in Nigeria's final third, the wings were a lot more active and dangerous, so overall great play from the substitutes and the team as a whole in the second half, especially the last half of the second half.

We also continue to have the left back factory, Lato is turning out to be an amazing left back, his introduction gave so much more attacking presence to the left side and he was constantly buzzing on that left wing, always causing problems and always looking to get in on the action.

Overall I'd say we need to play with the second half team from now on, Fede, Santi Mina haven't convinced too much, I had higher expectations for both, maybe they need more time, especially Fede who might be trying too hard, trying to impress too hard, when you have that feeling you do too much, you start overthinking and doing mistakes and end up being poorer. He needs to just focus on his own game and play his style without pressure.

I thought Parejo was average this match, I couldn't really see his contribution, he slowed down most of our attacks, he still dribbles in dangerous positions, flirting with fire basically and just isn't doing too much, a little bit of possession football, but apart from that I fail to see what he brings to the table. I think we need to sell him to a club other than Sevilla, somewhere abroad, we can get around 15 million for him and for those money bring in another play maker.

What did you guys think of the match, who are the players you think did good and who did poorly and where do you think our strengths and weaknesses are?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Cryatal Palace 3-1 Valencia CF

Yes it is a terrible loss, 3-1, especially going down 3-0 first is always bad, but its still preseason and even though their is only 3 weeks left, its still enough time to a address the issues. Good news is that we don't have a terrible squad, most of the Europe's top teams also have a lot of younger and unproven players, their advantage is that they do have some experienced and established players to guide the rest.

That said Valencia CF need a proper defensive midfielder, I've been reading that they are chasing an attacking midfielder, but we need a defensive midfielder who can also play with the ball at his feet, a technically skilled defensive midfielder, we need proper defensive cover.

If you watched the goals we conceded against Crystal Palace you'll see that its all individual mistakes, we have terrible defense and there is not much more to it. Terrible timing tackles, out of position players, terrible reading of the game, its all there. We need to step up our interest in Raul Albiol is we are serious about challenging for Champion league this season, otherwise its going to quite possibly be another poor year.

Bring in a defender and a defensive midfielder, those are the two reinforcement we need, we have the money from the Gomes sale, so use them now.

This loss shouldn't worry us too much, but it isn't helping alleviate fears either, but again considering Barcelona lost 4-0 to Liverpool today in a friendly, considering Real Madrid had terrible preseasons for the past 2 years, losing to almost every team they played, it shouldn't matter too much this loss, especially considering there we some positives. The attack is good, though every player needs to work on their finishing and final ball. The coach should focus a lot on those two fields.

The midfield also needs to be more dynamic, every time Parejo plays we are too static, too predictable, we need a dynamic midfield that changes formation 4-5 times per minute, we can't be playing with the decades old tactics of static midfield, static formation, the sole striker in attack, etc...

Cinte's Juventus showed us that dynamic formations work, attacking with 3-4 "strikers" when in advanced positions, having 5-6 midfield players when in those positions, and having 9-10 player defending when defending, etc... Every successful club in the past few years has played with a dynamic formation, dynamic team composition, being really unpredictable for the opposition.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Transfer updates and rumours

Firstly, Valencia welcomes its fourth new arrival of the summer window. Right back Martín Montoya has signed from Barcelona. It's a bit of an underwhelming signing as he couldn't even hold down a regular spot at Betis last season and doesn't seem like much of an upgrade on Barragan, who he effectively replaces. On the plus sides, he can also fill in it left back if needed and he comes for free.

Balanced with that are some departures. The most prominent of them is Danilo (Barbosa.) His year's loan had expired. Valencia had the option to buy him for 15 million. While he clearly has some potential, 3 or 4 million would have been the maximum that the club probably would have paid for him and with Braga refusing Valencia's request to take him on loan for another season, he has gone on loan at Benfica instead.

From the B team, Tropi has gone on loan at Alcorcon of Segunda Division for 2 seasons. Like the recently departed Zahibo and Diallo, he's been largely restricted to the occasional sub appearance for the first team in the Copa Del Rey. This will provide him with higher level opponents than he'd face at Valencia Mestalla and, at the end of that period, the club can then see if he's ready for more first team action, or sell him for a higher price. Similarly, Nando, a player who has done well in pre-season has gone on loan for a season at Real Oviedo, also of Segunda Division.

As always, in the summer pre-season, there continue to be rumours of varying degrees of plausibility about players that Valencia may buy or sell. On the buying front, Raul Albiol remains a key target for the club, though we have also been linked with Sidnei, who had a good season for Deportivo. Some clubs have expressed interest in buying Mustafi, but, after giving mixed signals, the club recently declared their resolve to keep the player. The plan still seems to be to try to sell Abdennour and possibly Santos as well and replace with Albiol or another central defender.

The other main issue recently has been the Parejo case. I'll admit, I've always been a fan of the player but he is frustrating. He clearly has quality and is one of the best free kick takers in La Liga, but, for every good game he has, he has at least one where he is anonymous, strolling about the pitch as though he's taking his dog for a walk and, as he's one of the highest paid players in the squad, we are entitled to expect a lot more from him. That said, the club's handling of the situation does raise concerns. Pako publicly humiliated him, by having him train separately from the rest of the squad, whil Suso demanded he apologise to Valencia supporters. While that might be the shot in the arm he needs, it can also be counter-productive. It also seems stupid to wash our dirty clothes in public this way, because, if we do decide to sell him, clubs will hope that they can get away with paying less for a player that is unwanted/out of favour. Sevilla have already been sniffing round. If we do sell him, it also sends a message to players in future that, if they want out, all they have to do is play and train badly and then they can move on. There is no easy solution to the Parejo problem.

Valencia are away at Bournemouth tomorrow, the game is on the usual streaming networks like and

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ilves 1-4 Valencia CF Match Report

Valencia CF played their third preseason friendly yesterday against Finnish football club Ilves. Its worth mentioning that Ilves are playing through their season and therefore are a lot more in form and shaped up.

Anyways Pako started with a mix of youth players and established first teamers, at goal it was Diego Alves, the defense consisted of Cancelo, Santos, Orban and Lato, the midfield had the trio of Enzo, Eugeni and Carlos Soler while the attack consisted of Moreno, Paco and Aridal.

The action started early as Valencia CF took the lead in the 4th minute through Rodrigo Moreno, then barely 10 minutes had passed and Valencia CF scored a second this time through Paco Alcacer, a great goal and the third goal would come in the 22nd minute courtesy of Rodrigo Moreno.

I liked what I saw in the first half, the team was compact, pacey, good interplay, fast wing play and most of all threatening. I had the feeling like they are going to score in every attack and that is something that Valencia CF lacked all of last season. We'd have to see how the team copes against better opposition later on, but I liked the play the team showed in the first half, all of the players had a mark of 6.5 and upward.

Second half brought a lot of changes including Daniel Parejo and Aymen, but the play slowed down and Valencia CF seemed more off balance than in the first half. In fact a lot of waster balls, lost possession and silly mistakes in defense was hallmark of the second half.

We'll have to wait and see how things shape up, but so far I'm more pleased with some of the youth players than our first team regulars.

The two players that performed admirably yesterday were Lato and Eugeni Valderrama, especially coming from the B team and Paco and Moreno also impressed, but I expect that from those players especially against weaker opposition.

Overall pleased with some of the stuff I'm seeing, especially from the B team players, a bit disappointed from some of the first teamers, Parejo seems really clumsy and slow paced, I expected to see a lot more from Santi Mina and I'm not seeing it, Aymen has shows to be a weak link in defense and is still making too many mistakes, etc...

I'm looking forward to the next match which is going to be against AFC Bournemoth on 3rd of August.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ibrahim Diallo leaves Valencia, other news

Ibrahim Diallo has left Valencia, rejoining his previous club Eupen of Belgium. Diallo made 4 appearances last season in the Copa Del Rey, but has understandably decided that he's more likely to get regular football in Belgium.

There are a couple of other Mestalla players who may leave soon. Tropi is close to a move to Alcorcón in Segunda. Like Diallo, he's been a bit player at Valencia, making a few appearances as a late substitute. Meanwhile, Zaragoza are interested in signing Nando García, who has never featured in Valencia's first team.

Speaking of the first team, even with the cash from the Gomes transfer, which could ultimately net us 70 million euros, it looks like we'll miss out on Filip Kostić, who looks set to stay in Germany and join Hamburg.

Valencia's second pre-season friendly takes place tonight away to Feyenoord, who should provide a tougher test than Munster did. The game will be available to watch on streaming networks like vipleague and rojadirecta.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rodrigo De Paul sold to Udinese ; Valencia beat Munster in first preseason friendly

Rodrigo de Paul is the latest casualty of "Operación salida" (clear out operation) which aims to reduce the wage bill and free up cash for new players to revamp the squad. The winger has been sold to Udinese for €3million. He was the last signing of Pizzi, who signed him in May 2014 for €4.7 million on a 5-year contract to replace the departing Eduardo Vargas, who had been on loan with us, but we lacked the cash to sign. The relatively high release clause (40 million) was a sign that Valencia were hoping for good things, but ultimately it didn't happen.

In Valencia's first game of the 2014/15 season, with Valencia losing 0-1 to Sevilla, DePaul came on as a 66th minute sub to replace Alcacer, a sign that he was intended to fill the Vargas role of secondary striker. The omens were already bad, as he was sent off after being on just a minute. He scored the winner for Valencia in the 2-1 win in the CopaDelRey over Rayo and scored his only other goal in La Liga for the club in a 1-1 draw at Bilbao in which we were robbed of three points by awful refereeing.

In 2015/16 De Paul was frozen out by Nuno, with the rumour being that it was because he had sided with Negredo against the coach. He made a return under Neville but failed to convince and was loaned out to Argentina where he had a poor spell. DeP was a fan favourite, so a lot of people will be disappointed. Ultimately, though, he had his chance under 3 Valencia coaches and also on loan and failed to make the cut and 2 goals in 42 games is not that impressive. So with Valencia already being well covered on the wings, maybe it's for the best.

In other news today, Negredo's loan to Middlesbrough is finally confirmed. Boro will pay all of his 7 million a year salary, but the option to buy doesn't seem to be there.

Lastly, Valencia kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 4-2 win at Preussen Munster. With no live feed available, Superdeporte's text commentary gives a rundown of the game. The highlights are available on Valencia's official YouTube channel (link here and here.) Valencia basically went for a mix of first team and Valencia Mestalla players, with a starting line up of Ryan, Lato-Vezo-Orban-Cancelo, Fuego-Parejo-Valdemarra, Nando-Alcacer-Rodrigo. 19 (!) subs were named with 13 used. Scorers for us were Paco, Rodrigo and Mestalla player Aridai Cabrera. With so many changes and the game interrupted by poor weather, it's hard to know what to make of the result, but conceding 2 goals against a German third level team is a bit worrying and a sign that Pako still has a lot of work to do with Valencia's defence.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Valencia CF 1- 3 AS Roma

Don't panic is the message I would say.  A very disappointing result on a night at an almost full Mestalla hoping for a good show against Roma in the final rehearsal before the opening show against Monaco.  With a starting lineup which will be not too far removed from the team that will be competing in the Champions League.  Valencia began encouragingly and it was end to end football providing plenty of entertainment. However, against the run of play Gervinho hits both posts in a goalmouth scramble before new signing Salah taps it in.  Valencia were making chances and Cancelo should have scored when he made space for himself but screwed the ball wide, wasting a good opportunity. Roma went further ahead though when that man Gervinho again broke through and after some inter passing in front of goal Totti slotted home to make it 0.2  The goal was a major blow to the home side and was not really a true reflection on the overall play. On the half hour Feghouli made amends for an earlier bad miss by making the score 1.2 with a well taken goal.  He really deserved the goal for his efforts as he was having one of those games where we all know he is capable of.
Then it was Otamendi's turn to test Szczesny in the Roma goal with a blistering half volley but the keeper made a  great stop. De Paul also hits the crossbar as he so often does to show that it was not over yet.
The second half pace slowed and we should have been back in the game after Feghouli scores but the goal was ruled as offside.  To make things worse Roma went further ahead when Gervinho scored from a tight angle after a good run.  I have to say that Gervinho's performance on the night was the best individual display that I have seen at the Mestalla for years.  It was he who won the game for Roma almost on his own. Another late disallowed goal for Valencia did nothing to lighten the mood and with the many changes near the end the score remained the same.  Some good things to look back on were the number of chances we created and with more luck the score could have been different.
I have to say though that Roma looked a very big and strong team, very confident with the ball and that goes with the level of experience that runs through the team

My Conclusion:   Still lots of work to be done.  Maybe the return of Gomez will help the midfield but it may be too late for the Champions League by then.  Otamendi proves again his importance and I hope we do not have a situation with him leaving at the last minute when his clause is met. That is totally unfair, we need the squad sorted out now.  Even Man Utds manager Van Gaal this week has stated that players being able to leave after the season has begun is totally wrong and the transfer deadline should end before the seasons start.
As I said before, in my opinion this match was won by the power and strength of Gervinho, he was absolutely amazing on the night. Can we buy him.

Ryan 6  maybe could have done a bit better on some of the goals but we will have to see how he does during the season. He is not Alves and it is a little unfair maybe to expect too much too soon.
Cancello 4  I have always spoken up for him in the past but tonight he was awful. He was getting stick from Mustafi and Fuego for just making the wrong decisions each time he had the ball. Definitely a night to forget from him.
Mustafi 7   Another solid performance even though the whole defence looked like they had just got back from their holidays, I am sure they will get it right soon.
Otamendi  7  Did what he does week in week out, always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Looked a little preoccupied though after all that has gone on recently and made a couple of errors that could have cost a goal but one player we have to keep at the club for sure.
Gaya  6   Not up to his usual high standard and had a quiet game.  Was forced back a lot by the Roma players.
Parejo 4  A really dreadful performance from the captain he did nothing and the game seemed to go on around him.  I hardly noticed him on the pitch for the first half hour.  He really needs to get himself involved and take command like he does when he is on form.
Feghouli 8  My man of the match for his efforts, his goal and his all round performance. One of the few bright spots of the team.  Could and should have had more goals.
De Paul  7  Has to be a starter each week now after at last being given a run in the team. Was unlucky when he hit the bar and had a really good game.
Perez  6.5  Really got involved tonight and made some telling tackles. I worry though each game about his aggression and liability to pick up cards.  I think he will be spending a lot of time in the stands watching this season unfortunately.
Rodrigo Moreno  6.5  had a lively game causing Roma a number of problems,  still seems to make bad decisions though at times.
Alcacer  5.5  Not one of his better night in the Valencia shirt.  He really has to make things happen more for himself rather than always waiting for the final pass that doesn't always come.
Not on long enough to really comment on their performances.

VALENCIA: Ryan, Cancelo, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya, Parejo (Mina), Feghouli (Bakkali), De Paul (Piatti), Perez (Danilo Barbosa), Rodrigo (Javi Fuego), Alcacer (Negredo).

ROMA: Szczesny, Florenzi (Maicon), Yanga-Mbiwa, Manolas (Castan), Torosidis (Cole), Pjanic (Ucan), De Rossi (Keita), Nainggolan, Salah (Ibarbo), Totti (Iturbe), Gervinho (Falque).

Sunday, August 2, 2015

FC Koln 3-2 Valencia CF Match Report

Valencia CF just finished the match against FC Koln in what was a disappointing 3-2 loss. Valencia CF coach Nuno fielded a completely different starting eleven from last day in a bid to rest the players from the Porto match and of course give the substitutes and several B team players chance to prove themselves.

The one weird omission was Yoel from the goalkeeping post, with Nuno giving the nod to B team goalkeeper Jaume over Yoel. I don't know if this means Nuno doesn't count on Yoel at all and if Jaume will play in the first team, but it doesn't bode well for Yoel that is for sure.

The first goal came only after 19 minutes of play in the first half with FC Koln starting a chance and Philipp Hosiner scoring the first goal. That stunned Valencia CF and just moments later Koln scored again, this time Kevin Vogt with the goal and making it 2-0 in favor of FC Koln.

Even though Valencia CF looked lively throughout the first half, serious chances were hard to come by with only one serious chance by Alvaro Negredo in the 30th minute, and ultimately it would take Valencia CF 40 minutes to score a goal through Javi Fuego no less.

The second half wouldn't improve Valencia CF play, especially in defense and Milos Jojic would score the third goal for FC Koln. Fortunately Valencia CF would bounce back quickly with De Paul assisting Negredo in a good position and this one putting the ball into the net to make it 3-2.

There wasn't too much action after that with both teams kind of prodding and probing in weak attacks, eventually Paco Alcacer who came on as a substitute would come close on two occasions, but once he will shoot straight at the goalkeeper and the second chance would be ruled offside.  

Once again a disappointing result, this time by the second team. Sure there were few B team players, but there were first team players as well, players like Vezo, Orban, Feghouli, Bakkali the new player, Mina also a new player, Negredo, etc... 

I mean if we compare last preseason and this one the results so far are actually a bit better and against better opposition, but still one would expect more, especially in the play, not just the results. I want to see a spark, to see team play that oozes quality that with just more practice and more fitness is going to be able to stand up to Real Madrid and Barcelona, but so far I'm not seeing it.

Technical Details:
Valencia CF: Juame; Diallo, Vezo, Orban, Zahibo; Fuego, Bakkali; Feghouli, Mina, De Paul; Negredo.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Valencia CF 0-0(4-5p) FC Porto Match Report

Valencia CF just played against FC Porto in the latest preseason match and it was a complete borefest!

Valencia CF coach Nuno fielded a strong starting eleven, one of our strongest from last season, with the small changes of Cancelo playing for Barragan and Danilo for Fuego. Nuno also fielded new goalkeeper Ryan over Yoel and this shows how little trust Nuno has in Yoel. His days seem numbered at Valencia CF and once Diego Alves is fit I won't be surprised one bit if the club decided to sell him.

The whole first half literally nothing happened, chances on both sides were at a premium, with Porto showing more initiative and forward drive, managing to make the new Valencia CF goalkeeper Ryan feel uncomfortable at times.

Apart from few shots here and there mostly on Porto's side it was a complete snooze fest of a match. For the Valencia CF squad no one really impressed. I felt the returning Nicolas Otamendi made a few mistakes in defense as he had just returned from his vacation and is yet to get back in form and full fitness. The rest of the defense was good, but not great. Cancelo was average, Mustafi was pretty good and Gaya was quite average as well.

Valencia CF sported a midfield trio of Danilo, Enzo Perez and Daniel Parejo, but unfortunately this didn't give Valencia CF any sort of advantage in midfield or any sort of control of possession. I felt that Enzo Parez was once again too defensive, just like in the last match against PSV and Danilo kind of popped up sporadically here and there, but nothing of substance, nothing or real quality. Daniel Parejo also wasn't up to the task, he felt really slow, sluggish and tired. Its like he played 90 minutes before hand and then was playing in this match. There was no freshness in him and played like someone with no energy.

The forward trio of Pablo Piatti, Paco Alcacer and Rodrigo Moreno felt completely isolated from the rest of the players. Paco Alcacer barely even touched the ball, Moreno was a bit better in that department as he did drop further down, but his contribution was extremely limited as well. The only real contribution was Piatti and even his was too small and too weak.

Overall we couldn't connect the midfield and attack, the defense also sat too deep and couldn't move the playing field forward, the midfield was playing too isolated from everyone else, with only the usual backward passes when pressured even a little bit.

I felt like the full backs weren't positioning well, I felt like the only player who took the ball to bring it forward was Parejo and Enzo and Danilo just didn't want to receive the ball at the back, with the forward flanks with Moreno and Piatti sitting too forward to be able to receive the ball.

I just think the whole positioning of the team was terrible, I think all of the players were too static, I think the fight for some of the neutral balls were too soft by the Valencia CF players and it was generally a weak, weak showing.

The second half was pretty much as the first, I guess you could say Valencia CF were a tad bit more dangerous on occasions, but it was just the same story from the first half all over again. Nuno brought Negredo for Paco thinking Negredo's physicality can add something and that that was the team's problem, but it wasn't and Negredo didn't add anything over Paco.

Rodrigo De Paul also came on for Danilo Barbosa in order to add some attacking prowess, but it didn't quite work. De Paul did make few decent runs on the left wing, but it wasn't something that threatened Porto.

Anyways the 90 minutes ended in a 0-0 draw and the game was resulted in penalties in which Porto won 5-4.

I know its technically another preseason match, but I haven't been impressed at all from our preseason. I haven't seen the type of play and energy and skill that will show me that this team can compete with Real Madrid and Barcelona. I don't feel like this team is stronger than that of last season, I feel that the team is on the same level as last season, rather than on another additional level. The team is supposed to improve in the second season and so far judging from the friendlies I'd say it hasn't.

Hopefully all will work out, there is still a lot of time before the season begins and of course the play can improve, but I'm hoping to see it in at least our final preseason match against Roma.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Valencia CF 1-0 PSV Match Report

Valencia CF won against PSV Eindhoven 1-0 thanks to a 2nd minute goal by Paco Alcacer on the assist of Jose Gaya. This sole goal would prove crucial as Valencia CF would secure a minimal win over Dutch champion PSV.

While I couldn't find a live stream for the match, the highlights show that Valencia CF had few chances in the first half, with PSV also having few chances and the second half seemed more dominated by Valencia CF as the team had more chances, with few long range shots by various players.

Nuno played pretty much most of the players, changing all of the team in the second half. The only ones that didn't play were Feghouli, Yoel and Negredo.

Valencia CF: Ryan, Vezo, Mustafi, Alcácer, Parejo, Danilo Barbosa, Enzo Pérez, Rodrigo, Javi Fuego, Barragán and Gayá.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bayern Munich 4-1 Valencia CF Match Report

The first big test in the preseason and Valencia CF failed miserably. Bayern Munich are a strong team and it was never going to be easy going against them, but I don't think anyone expected a 4-1 trashing.

What we learned from match is that our defense sucks, I mean we are talking about huge mistakes, bad tracking, bad covering, bad positions, etc... Everything went bad in this match.

The midfield lacked any sort of control or power, Bayern Munich always seemed in control, I didn't get the feeling that Valencia CF could muster up any serious chance at any point. The one goal we got was decent, but it wasn't some intricate play that led to it, it was a sort of scrappy cross finding Moreno at the right place.

Okay so lets start from the beginning of the match. Right off the game Bayern Munich had control of the match and more possession, Xabi Alonso and Tiago Alcantra completely dominated our midfield of Javi Fuego and Daniel Parejo. Valencia CF coach started with a weird line-up, Enzo Perez was in defense and Gaya and Barragan as wingers. Depending on who you ask its either a 5-3-2 or a 3-5-2.

The main defense was Vezo, Enzo and Orban, while Gaya and Barragan were on the wings much further, though they did track back a lot. Even with this formation it didn't take Bayern Munich long to score, with Lahm running on the side and finding Muller completely alone, he shoots and scores.

Bayern Munich would still keep on dominating in midfield and have control, but Valencia CF would be able to muster up few attacks, one of which resulted in a goal. Pablo Piatti cross from the wing found Rodrigo who headed the ball into the net.

Unfortunately apart from those few chances and that sole goal Valencia CF was completely lacking. The players couldn't muster up even several passes in a row, they lost the ball constantly, the midfield was unable to move the ball forward, the forwards were too static and separated from the rest, and it just didn't work at all.

Just before half time whistle though Bayern Munich would score one more goal, it was Thomas Muller again with a precise finish.

Nuno made few changes in the second half, bringing in Mustafi, Feghouli and Negredo, but this actually resulted in a worse play. Alvaro Negredo was so static that he might as well not been there, he was losing passes, his anticipation was lacking completely it was just a terrible match from him.

Mustafi wasn't an improvement in defense over Enzo Perez, but Enzo's move to midfield didn't help out midfield at all. Enzo Perez was completely lost in midfield, the few times Valencia CF moved forward he has so deep back that there were no players to pass the ball in midfield. It was either try a chancy pass forward that is 95% not going to work or pass straight back to defense.

I don't understand why he was basically in our own third when VCF were attacking. He was completely useless in midfield. 30 million euros for him it seems down the drain, same with Negredo.

The other unfortunate things was that Gaya was injured really really in the first half, so that is a huge blow to the team, hopefully its nothing serious, because we lack so much in defense and Orban is not on the same level as Gaya, he can't move forward and isn't amazing in defense to compensate either.

Anyways Bayern would go on to score two more times, once again by Muller so he can complete a hattrick and one goal by Lewanowski who just played games with our defense. He was pretty much alone in the penalty box and he played games with Mustafi, tricked him twice, making space for himself to shot.

Yoel wasn't helping things either, I'm thinking that if it was Diego Alves on goal he would prevented at least one of those goals. I didn't like Yoel's positioning, it was really predictable and Bayern strikers knew how to exploit it.

No one impressed from Valencia CF, but Parejo played on a high level, he was consistently trying to do stuff, trying to organize play, when he left the pitch Valencia CF completely lost control, I don't think the team had the ball for more than 10 seconds and that is sad truth.

Apart from him Piatti was really active, I thought he was the biggest threat for Bayern, his final ball is lacking, we all know this its not something knew, but overall his high energy, pacey runs did bother Bayern a bit when we had the ball.

Overall its just a preseason match, yeah it was a terrible loss, the team played terrible, but the purpose of these preseason matches is to expose weaknesses like this and fix them. Hopefully you lose and play badly in the preseason when it doesn't matter, so that you fix these and play good when it matters.

Another thing to mention is that we desperately need Nicolas Otamendi, I hope we don't lose him, I hope he stays, because finding a viable alternative to him would be extremely hard. Garay is similar defender and is very good, but not on the same level.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Preseason Coverage: Weiner SK 0 - 4 Valencia CF

Valencia CF finished off its first match of pre-season with an almost effortless win over the Austrian home side. In training a few days before the match, Phil Neville apparently focused heavily on shooting and creating chances. We can't really judge the affect of that on this game, since there is a gulf in class between the sides, but we did get 4 goals in. The first was from  Rodrigo on the right who cut inside the box, like he usually does, but slotted it past a frozen keeper. The second, was a rather simple effort as Negredo received a cross, handball is questionable, and tapped it again past a frozen keeper. The third effort came from a cross from Parejo who found Gaya on the edge of the box and he volleyed it straight to the top corner. All these three goals came in the first half with complete dominance from Valencia CF and little to no retaliation from the homeside. As usual, during half time the team was substituted to an entirely different 11, among which was new signing Santi Mina joined by Fede, Robert and 8 of the Valencia CF Mestalla youth team. Santi Mina scored in the second half in a very cool and precise finish as he was let through by a great through ball from Fede. Later that half, Fede, Roberto and Santi Mina all came off for three more youth team players.

0-1 Rodrigo (7')
0-2 Negredo (15')
0-3 Gaya (23')
0-4 Santi Mina (53')

Starting: Yoel, Antonio Barragán, Ruben Vezo, Lucas Orban, José Gayà, Enzo Pérez, Javi Fuego, Dani Parejo, Rodrigo Moreno, Rodrigo de Paul, Álvaro Negredo.
Substitutes: Jaume, Akapo, Diallo, Ayala, Salva Ruiz, Tropi, Zahibo, Fede, Robert, Fran Villalba and Santi Mina

Friday, June 26, 2015

Valencia CF 2015-16 Preseason Schedule!

Yes, it is already almost time for preseason. Lots of chances to try out new tactics, get the new players and those return from loan a chance to adapt to team, and test out the squad before the Champions League play-offs. This pre-season consists of tours to Austria, China and finally Germany before returning to Spain for the annual Orange Trophy. The schedule for the pre-season games is below.

July 1st -- Transfer Window officially opens 

Austria Tour:
July 8th -- Wiener SK (Austria) -- Sportclub-Platz Stadium in Vienna
July 11th -- Red Bull Salzburg Tournament begins, opponents: Red Bull Salzburg (Austria), Southampton (England) and Werder Bremen (Germany) -- Red Bull Arena in Salzburg

China Tour:
July 18th -- Bayern Munich (Germany) -- National Stadium of China in Beijing

July 23rd -- Spanish FA announce La Liga 2015-16 fixtures

Germany Tour:
August 1-2 -- Colonia Cup 2015, opponents: FC Porto (Portugal), Stoke City (England) and FC Koln (Germany) -- RhienEnergieStadion in Cologne

Oranje Trophy and Team Presentation
August 8th -- AS Roma (Italy) -- Mestalla Stadium in Spain

August 15th -- La Liga 2015-16 begins

Champions League Play-offs
August 18/19 -- first leg, opponent: unknown
August 25/26 -- second leg, opponent: unknown

September 1st -- Transfer Window Officially closes

Alright guys/gals, that's all the important dates you need to know for this summer. Let us know what fixtures you look forward to and which teams you think would be a challenge or interesting to play against. Also, we can discuss what formations/tactics, player positions you would like to see tested in the preseason.

Amunt Valencia!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Preseason Coverage: S.L.Benfica 1-3 Valencia CF

Valencia CF cap off their Emirates Cup with a convincing win over Portuguese champions Benfica and thus Valencia CF win the cup. The point system for this cup is 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss, plus a point for each goal. It finishes Valencia CF lead with 9 points, Arsenal are on 8 points, Monaco on 7 points and Benfica on 2.

Valencia CF started this game playing 4-3-2-1 with Alcacer heading the attack, supported by Piatti and Feghouli on the wings, and a three man midfield composed of Guardado, Parejo and Carles Gil. The defense was the same as the past few games with Barragan as right-back, Otamendi and Vezo partnering in the middle, but Gaya started over Cissokho. In goal, Yoel Rodriguez featured for the first time.

While Valencia CF were clearly the side with more energy and presence, Benfica took the lead due to a rather unfortunate error. Guardado gave possession away in midfield and an unfortunate deflection set up a Benfica counter attack which Yoel could do nothing about.
With the exception of that error, Valencia CF were by far the superior side. Alcacer found himself in good positions in the first half and gave the Benfica defense something to think about.

At half time, Nuno brought on Andre Gomes, Rodrigo and Javi Fuego replacing Gil, Feghouli and Parejo. Rodrigo played on the right wing while Fuego and Gomes took their regular positions in the middle of the pitch. Almost instantly, Valencia CF had went to yet another gear. Another example of a Nuno substitution and half time talk that changed the dynamic of the team. Rodrigo wrecked havoc on the left side of the Benfica defense, they simply couldn't deal with his quick feet and trickery. He is a real viable alternative to Feghouli on the right. It's nice to have such versatile players. Also, the addition of Fuego the midfield gave Guardado the freedom to move forwards and cause real danger. I think we found ourselves a midfielder. Guardado had a better time playing further forward than he did in the first half. It was the same position he played for Mexico this World Cup with a CDM to cover his tracks. And it paid off.

What was really impressive this game, was the entire left flank. Piatti and Gaya partnered up quite well with each of them grabbing a goal. Gaya was the first to strike for Valencia CF after he made an overlapping run which was picked out by Guardado and he shot it between the keeper's legs from a wide position. Again, Piatti's work ethic was simply amazing this game. He was fighting for every ball and helped out Gaya in defense several times. Piatti grabbed his goal when Otamendi picked out Gaya's run on the wing who then crosses to Alcacer who had his shot saved by the keeper only to finished off by Piatti who had drifted towards the center.

The third goal was a Guardado solo effort where he drove in from midfield and shot it from outside the box but despite the keeper getting a hand to it, it found its way into the net.

Rodrigo de Paul, Dani Ramirez and Roberto also had time to play but not enough to show anything significant. Andre Gomes kept possession much better than Parejo. Parejo did great today, smooth passes, good dribbling but he did seem a bit off on some passes.

In defense, Otamendi did decently well but it was Vezo who stepped up this time. On many occasion he was the one that took charge and made the decisive tackles and clearances. Really impressive by him.

On the right wing, Feghouli was a menace to the defense during the time he was on but the fatigue from the World Cup does show on him still. Gil was invisible and didn't provide too much for the team other than being a passing option. Barragan had a so-so day, his offensive work was great but defensively was lacking. Barragan and Gaya had loads of space to work with thanks to the great work from the wingers drifting inside and freeing up space. Also, credit to Guardado's runs for drawing defenders to him and then picking out a pass to the wings.

In goal, Jaume came on later in the game and made a fantastic save almost right away. He looked confident again and you could see the fight in him, trying to win the goalkeeping position from Yoel.

Valencia CF could have made it four goals after Rodrigo cut the ball back to three Valencia CF players who were in loads of space but a lack of communicated saw all three of them miss the ball.

 All in all, a very good game against a rather drained Benfica team. For Valencia CF, mostly everyone was at ease and comfortable on the ball. Substitution did not disrupt the rhythm of the team, rather everyone knew their role quite well. The passing was seamless, smooth and effortless. Pretty great game. It's difficult to chose a man of the match with Gaya, Guardado, Piatti, and Rodrigo all doing so well. I'm going to go with Gaya and Guardado since they aren't regularly used recently but stepped up to the occasion today.

Next up is Manchester United, an even bigger step up. They are unbeaten so far in the preseason and have sent people to watch Valencia CF's games. Look forward to that, it will be a great game.


Yoel Rodriguez, Barragan, Otamendi, Vezo, Gaya, Parejo, Guardado, Carles Gil, Piatti, Feghouli, Alcacer

Subs: Jaume, Javi Fuego, Andre Gomes, Rodrigo, Dani Ramirez, Rodrigo de Paul, Roberto Ibanez


1-0 Derley, min 2'
1-1 Jose Luis Gaya, min 49'
1-2 Pablo Piatti, min 54'
1-3 Andres Guardado, min 60'

Any thoughts on the game? Best or worst performers?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Preseason Coverage: Valencia CF 2-2 AS Monaco

Much better game from Valencia CF than the previous two friendlies, but work still needs to be done. There is another game tomorrow against Benfica and it will be interesting to see if anything will change.

Nuno started things off with a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Rodrigo starting as the spearhead of the attack and Paco on the bench. Behind him directly was Andre Gomes while Parejo and Fuego formed the midfield partnership. Piatti didn't start and the left wing was given to Rodrigo de Paul instead, while Feghouli featured for the first time in this preseason playing on the right wing. Cissokho, Vezo and Otamendi got to start again while Barragan's horrendous performance in the last friendly wasn't enough to stop him from starting ahead of Joao Pereira.

Rodrigo is finally starting to establish himself within the team. With Paco on the bench, he seemed to have loads of space and often drifted wide causing lots of trouble for the Monaco defense; not just as an offensive threat but also had some really dangerous passes. His vision at times was outstanding.

Despite rumors that the club plans to offload Barragan, he did put in a good showing today. He had good overlapping runs and caused plenty of trouble on the left side of the Monaco defense in the first half. His counterpart Cissokho, also had a good day and his defensive performance was finally complemented with a great offensive threat. He set up Alcacer's goal and could've done one more if Carles Gil had finished off that chance, which really should've been a goal.

Feghouli's technical ability and pace wasn't lacking today despite it being his first appearance following his World Cup campaign with Algeria. However, it was interesting that Nuno replaced him in the second half for Piatti to test him out on the right wing. That didn't last long as few minutes later he took off de Paul, who had some sparks of brilliance but nothing more, put Roberto Ibanez on the right wing and returning Piatti to the left.

The defense seemed to be shaky at times. The first goal conceded was a Ruben Vezo own goal which caused Valencia CF to go a goal down against the run of play having dominated for the majority of the first half. The second goal had Ocampos cut inside Vezo and beat Alves out from range. While that was poor defending, Alves should've really saved that (maybe his injury is still affecting him). Alves just wasn't looking all too great in goal today. If he wasn't ready to come back from injury, Nuno should've given Jaume the start. Vezo had some good tackles but his positioning and anticipation still aren't up to par. Valencia CF need to really work on getting those center backs (two more could come in considering Ruiz might leave). Otamendi had a solid performance barring a few silly moments.

Andre Gomes wasn't at his best today and was for the most part quiet. Parejo on the other hand was a maestro in midfield and seems to be well on his way to regaining his form. Along with Fuego, they had complete possession of the midfield, shutting out Moutinho. Great passes from Parejo and some really clean footwork.

At the front, Paco, who had come on for Rodrigo, took very little time to find the net. His positioning for his age always impresses me.

Anyways, tomorrow's game against Benfica is something to look forward to, especially since we signed two of their best players and are on the way to signing the third. Let's see what happens.

0-1 Ruben Vezo (o.g.)
1-1 Ricardo Carvalho (o.g.)
2-1 Paco Alcacer
2-2 Ocampos

Any thoughts on today's game? Best or worst performers?        

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Preseason Coverage: Unversidad Catolica 1-0 Valencia CF

Valencia CF cap off their South American journey with a loss against the local Chilean team. So far in this competition, the score is European Teams 4-2 South American Teams, with Valencia CF providing both losses for Europe.

The game featured Rodrigo and Alcacer paired up again in attack but neither getting close to goal. They were generally isolated and there was no connection between the two. Nuno Santo chose to start Andre Gomes as a right midfielder again despite it being very ineffective in the previous game against Alianza Lima. Yet again, Piatti was easily the best player on the field when he was on, creating some chances and terrorizing the opposing defense. He had a really high work rate, just like the previous game, he really wants to impress Nuno this preseason. Jaume also put in some great saves but was helpless for the goal which won the game.

Let me get to the point everyone is probably thinking. What is wrong with the right-back position? For both games, it was by far the weakest link on the team. I don't know what Barragan was doing that first half. In attack, his crosses would travel all the way to the opposite touchline. In defense, he makes really stupid challenges. He got yellow carded early in the game and instead of being cautious, was showing no restraint with his challenges, and after two more silly challenges was shown a second yellow and told to leave the field of play. Alcacer was sacraficed at half time to bring on Joao Pereira and secure the defense. Again, his crosses were misplaced and his defense left a lot to be desired. The goal happened right in front of his eyes and he didn't even move.

As for the other defenders, Otamendi improved from last game showing confidence at times and Vezo despite some good challenges is still not ready to start. Most of the defending was panicky, rushed and mistimed. Hopefully with Balanta now on his way the defense will be more secure. Cissokho secured the left side well but did not provide anything going forward.

A few posts ago, one comment suggested that Guardado should be tried in midfield. Surprisingly, that wish was granted and Guardado came on for Parejo, who was missed two good chances at goal and was generally lackluster, in the second half. He did a good job pressuring the opposing players but didn't give much beyond that. Javi Fuego gave his usual solid performance in midfield, held possession well while the rest of his team mates gave it away quite easily at times.

As for wingers, de Paul had some bright moments when he first came on for Piatti but soon faded out out of the game. Roberto Ibanez was explosive on the right wing causing all kinds of problems and didn't seem to stop running. Feghouli did not feature, neither did Viera nor Gil.

Playing a game with ten-men did serve a good purpose in that it made the team play under pressure and kept them on alert. Too bad they couldn't remain on alert all the way to the very end.

The next game is against AS Monaco who is a big step-up from the teams Valencia CF is playing against now. Nuno has to work on the right-back position and on the defense as a whole. As for offense, I think it just needs time till the players get used to the new additions and the new formation. Until then, we have to trust that Nuno knows what he's doing and that the team will improve. Better make the mistakes now that during the season.


1-0 Munoz, 89'

Any thoughts on the game? Best and Worst players? What was good? What needs improvement?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Preseason Coverage: Alianza Lima 2-2 Valencia CF (Pens:9-8)

The first match of the 2014 Euroamericana Cup ends in a loss on penalties. The game saw new signing Rodrigo partner up with Alcacer at the front for the first half but neither Feghouli or Guardado were given game time as they had just joined the group. The first have featured almost complete dominance from the Peruvian side which saw them score twice, leaving a lackluster Valencia down 2-0 at half time. Diego Alves had some sort of uncomfort and was taken off as a precaution. Nuno then brought on Rodrigo de Paul, Robert Ibanez and Barragan for the second half which saw Valencia CF change 180 degrees. The energy from these players made the game exciting to watch and very fast paced. Valencia tied it up with two goals scored in five minutes but ended up losing the shootout directly after full time.

I am still reserving judgement as the team is still in experimental stage with new teammates but I will point out the good things here. One, Piatti was an engine today, he never stopped running and was fighting for everything. He looks like he really wants a place on the team. Even in the first half when the Peruvian side was dominating he didn't give up. Two, Andre Gomes could prove to be a game-changer this season. In the second half when Parejo was subbed off, he had no trouble taking over his role and he lead the comeback by setting up Alcacer beautifully. If he can carry this skill into the season, he will be great. Three, Rodrigo de Paul is also improving and was a fresh burst of energy in the second half. Four, Jaume might very well be a better option than Guaita. He looks really confident and saved four penalties in the shoot-out, albeit 2 were disallowed as he moved early. Other than that, we really need to get working on the defense, Javi Fuego as a makeshift defender wasn't working out.

EDIT: I got to say Parejo was really terrible in the first half, I know he was our best or one of our best players last season, but so far in the preseason he has been really poor, slow in passing, slow to react, the passes haven't been good either, not creating much with them. It was Rodrigo Moreno first match so we can't judge him based on that, but he was really bad in his first match it has to be said. Its obvious that he will improve and sometimes players need up to 3-4 months to fully come into their own after a transfer, but it has to be said that he played really poorly.

Ultimately everyone played bad in the first half, then in the second half it was like a completely different team, Nuno had made few changes and it seemed to work. The gameplay was now fast and fluid, the players seemed to know what to do and had a goal(no pun intended). This lead Valencia CF to two early goals in the second half, equalizing the match and had opportunities to score more, but unfortunately it wasn't going to be.

Overall we didn't get to see a lot of the players, it seems the coach is testing more seriously and trying to really test the players, so he didn't make many changes. Plus Guardado and Feghouli arrived shortly from their vacations and hadn't had the preparation necessary, but I think we might see them feature at least as a sub in the next game.

I'm curious to see how Guardado plays after a successful World Cup, his performances were very good individually, so lets see if he can translate it in Valencia CF. Our left wing position is very pack either way, with Pablo Piatti, Rodrigo De Paul, Guardado, Viera even technically plays there, even though I've always argued he is being wasted there as he is central attacking midfielder and not a winger.

Overall I think its early to tell about the possible performance in the league, it won't be at least 2-3 more weeks that we will be able to seriously judge the team level of performance.

Alianza Lima (2): Forsyth, R. Guizasola (. Donayre, m 64), Ibanez, Aparicio, Trujillo, Miguez, Molina, Costa (. Israel, 52 m), Landauri (. G. Guizasola, m 64), Guevgozian ( Uribe, m. 76) and Montes (Gonzalez Vigil, m. 52)
Valencia CF (2): Diego Alves (Jaume, 33 m.), Joao Pereira (Barragan, 46 m.), Victor Ruiz, Otamendi, Cissokho, Javi Fuego, Parejo (Robert, 45 m.), André Gomes, Piatti (Gayá , m. 73), Rodrigo (Rodrigo de Paul, m. 45) and Paco Alcácer

1-0 Guevgozian
2-0 Montes
2-1 Alcacer
2-2 Otamendi

Any thoughts on the game?