Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Valencia sign Castillejo

 It has been hard to write anything about Valencia recently as the team seems stuck in a downward spiral which won't change until the current owner goes.

I was tempted to put up a post saying "Valencia's transfer window so far" and leave the text blank. 😏

Generally, our recent summer transfer windows have followed a predictable pattern.

1) We get linked with every man and his dog. Often it's ex-players.
2) Anyone interesting from those linked gets bought by Sevilla, Villarreal or Sociedad instead.
3) Constant rumours about who's leaving and stories the club won't budge from its asking price.
4) August comes and we do budge and sell people way under value, as news stories about us rarely avoid mentioning "our difficult financial position." Other clubs take notice, wait us out them lowball us.
5) The additions are usually people we hadn't heard of, who emerge very late in the market. Often, we're scrambling around in the last hour or two trying to close signings.
6) The signings are almost always loans with possible buy options.
7) Exceptions to the above are when a Mendes client is involved and then suddenly we do have money.

So finally we can report a first signing. It's Samu Castillejo, formerly of Malaga and Villarreal, who joins us on a free with Milan reserving a percentage of a future sale plus some performance related bonuses (qualification for Europe etc.)

He is, inevitably, a less exciting signing than he would have been a few years ago when Milan bought him for nearly 25 million. Since then his star has fallen. He was seriously out of favour last season and played a grand total of 124 minutes! Let's hope he can recover. He usually plays as a winger but can be used as a second striker. His goalscoring rate is unimpressive, but then again, it's Valencia.

In other transfer news, the club is still trying to get offers for Guedes and Soler, with the fate of others like Gaya, Guillamon and Diakhaby up in the air. Surprisingly, there's been little news about Cillessen moving out.

The club was linked with Edison Cavani (hugely unlikely) and, more realistically with Mario Balotelli. The latter as a "past-it" star in the mould of people like Negredo or Nani seems realistic. It's hard to get exicted about it as his last 2 seasons have been in Serie B and the Turkish league, where he did at least score 18 times last season.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Official: Anil Murthy sacked

Valencia CF confirmed today that Anil Murthy will no longer serve as president of the club. The statement comes after the audio clips that were made public, from which the club is now distancing itself claiming that they do not reflect the opinions of anyone but himself.

Anil Murthy is a top contender for worst president of the club. He has made a habit of disrespecting fans and the club, shirking responsibility, and blaming everyone else for the misfortunes of the club. The sporting aspect of the club often took a backseat to the antics and mishaps brought about under his management. Of course, that's what he's been hired to do, otherwise why would Lim keep him for this long? The club has replaced coaches left and right, yet the president has stayed despite his shortcomings and failures. In the end, it took some leaks to get rid of him, not the consecutive years of poor performance, or the disrespect, or that coaches and players alike had disputes with him. That in itself says something.

Better late than never, yes, but if his behavior was condoned by the owner for this long, the root of the problem still remains. The club is currently in search of a replacement and you can't help but fear that it will be more of the same. Ever since Lim took over, the club has been falling into the same mistakes over and over, with little learned. Why would this be any different?

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Copa del Rey final thread

 It's probably a sign of how poorly Valencia have been doing in recent times and how low morale is that most of our fans expect us to lose this win, with some even hoping we do as they argue it will allow us to get rid of Bordalas quicker. I have strong doubts about that, as Meriton made their contempt for the cup clear.

A win tonight gets us Europa League group stage football, which does at least provide a little bit of funds. 

If I were to guess our line-up I'd expect a 3-man central defence with Paulista, Alderete and Diakhaby. Gaya will be left back, maybe playing a bit further forward. The right back depends on whether we play 5-3-2 or 5-4-1. If it's the first then either Foulquier or Thierry could start. The latter started the season well but has been off the boil in recent games. Soler, Guillamon and Bryan Gil will definitely make up the midfield and Guedes up front. The last spot depends on the formation, Duro is probably most likely but Racic, Musah or Maxi are other options.

Sadly I expect us to lose tonight, I'd predict 2-0 or 3-1 Betis, hopefully I'm wrong. 


We've actually held our own. A scrappy start saw Paulista booked and then they scored. Gaya got overloaded, Paulista missed the cross and Diakhaby, who was marking someone else couldn't get there in time to stop our former youth player Borja Iglesias powering a header past Mamardashvili who  could do nothing about it. The game was getting gritty with lots of fouls and stoppages but when Valencia actually tried to play football it produced results. Great through ball from Ilaix, Duro narrowly onside, could have tried for a pass to Guedes but instead neatly lobbed Bravo. Unfortunately in a later chance he did try to pass to Guedes but the ball got cut out. Betis have been restricted to a shot from Canales which hit the post, though it looked like the keeper had it covered. All to play for in the second half.


End of 105 minutes. While we've held our own  there've been periods of good and bad luck. Guillamon really should have had a second yellow. Duro had a chance but on his weaker foot and Betis have squandered a few chances with Mamaradashvili making an important stop with his legs from Fekir. Please not penalties or a last minute loss.

PENALTIES: Betis win 5-4 with Musah trying to place it in the top corner but putting it over. And there ends another disappointing season with Valencia yet again missing out on European football.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Valencia CF vs Cadiz CF Match Preview

After a short break due to international football, club football returns to action this weekend. Valencia CF will be hosting Cadiz CF at home at the Mestalla in the hopes of securing another win and furthering its position on the table with the slight hope and possibility of maybe reaching a position that will lead them to European football next season.

Of course Cadiz CF might have something to say about that and will be looking for a win themselves against a weak and unpredictable Valencia CF and escape the relegation grip even if only temporarily. Cadiz CF are 17th on the table with 27 points, just one more than RCD Mallorca who are in the relegation zone along with Levante and Deportivo Alaves. They've only scored 25 goals, yet have conceded 41 goals which is in line with what Valencia CF have conceded this season. 

Valencia CF on the other hand are currently sitting at 9th place on the table with 42 goals scored and 43 goals conceded which is one of the highest conceded goals in the league and way more than the top 10 teams currently on the table. Only four teams have conceded more goals than Valencia CF this season and all four are in a relegation battle at the bottom of the table. 

Good thing is that since the return of Gabriel Paulista the defense has been rejuvenated a little bit and Valencia CF has been conceding a lot less goals with several matches resulting in clean sheets. Hopefully this trend will continue till the end of this season and we can hopefully move few position up the table. Of course our midfield is still completely broken and our attack relies on individual brilliances for goals, but somehow we are scoring goals this season. 

Jose Bordalas has had great success with an updated 3-5-2 formation or a 5-3-2 essentially when in defense with three central defenders securing the back and two more wide defenders in midfield to further help in defense when needed. Interestingly this formation was used last season by Voro when he took over the temporary coach role and he also had great success with it.  Essentially a very defensive formation overall designed to soak attacks and then be able to quickly do counter attacks through the wings and try and score goals that way. 

I expect pretty much the same team from previous matches with Giorgi on goal, Paulista, Alderete and Diakhaby in defense with Foulquier and the returning Gaya on the wings, Soler, Hugo and Gil in midfield and then the attacking duo of Guedes and Hugo Duro. Some of the variations he can and has used are Musah, Racic and Maxi Gomez. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022


 A much improved performance to last week and played a bit more football for a change. A good start saw Guillamon score with a header from a Maxi headed cross in the 7th minute but the VAR came in and suggested that Foulquier was in an offside position when he impeded a defender. Harsh decision but we have to accept it. In 39 minutes Guedes gets put through on goal but his shot on the run goes slightly wide. Not much between the 2 teams in the first half but Valencia have more possession.

The second half starts and we see Diakhaby having to go off suffering from severe pain in his wrist straight after the restart. I think Bordalàs was a bit puzzled why he didn't come off at half time. Hugo drops back to replace him.

In minute 49 a pinpoint pass from Soler finds Guedes running in on goal and as he is knocked off balance he somehow manages to fumble the ball over the line to put us bizarrely in front. That will not be featured on goal of the week but very valuable to us.

Soon after Vasquez made a great last minute tackle after Milla was put through all on his own to keep us in the game. Then in minute 65 Elche had a goal disallowed when they were offside from a free kick.

It was now very open with both sides making chances. Cheryshev missed a simple header when all alone in front of goal then Maxi and Racic messed up another easy chance to put us 2 in front. 10 minutes from time and Maxi then had a well worked goal annulled after slipping the ball home from a Guedes pass.

All in all a decent performance with the defence playing especially well with only one goal conceded in the last five games

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Elche CF vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Elche CF are hosting Valencia CF at the Martinez Valero stadium later today in a clash between the midtable combatants and have a chance to jump several positions if they manage to beat Valencia CF. Valencia CF on the other hand sit at 37 points and even a win wouldn't budge them off of the 9th position at the table. Even reaching 8th place would a challenge and everyone from 7th and higher is too many points ahead of us at this point. 

So we know where Valencia CF is going to place this season, its going to be between 8th or 14th place, I'm hoping a victory today would push us towards the upper half of the table, but unfortunately this is our reality as of right now. We have great individual players like Soler, Gaya, Guedes, Paulista who I'm sure will thrive in any other team, but they just aren't leading this team to better results and the rest are all looking to make an individual name for themselves as well to hopefully play at a bigger club. 

I know I've been quite negative on the team this season, more so than the few previous ones, but in the past I just blamed Peter Lim and the management, now I also put a decent amount of the blame on the team as well. I think the coach, the players are also to blame for our results. Bad management is ultimately the key issue, but the team has to look past that and do their thing, play and win games. 

Looking at Elche CF they are of similar quality to Valencia CF, they play various type of football depending on who their opponents are, they have a rather leaky defense, but not the worst in the league, they are only average in terms of goals scored and they have about 50% overall possession rate. So basically average stats, not good, not terrible either and its going to be interesting to see if Valencia CF is going to be able to bring the game to them or will we still defend and only attack on the counter like most of our matches? 

In terms of lineup I expect to see the strongest squad selected, with Guedes and Hugo Duro in attack, Bryal Gil a bit further back behind them, a midfield of 3 with Soler, Racic and Foulquier and a 5 man defense with the wide players acting as wingers when we attack, which is likely to be rarely! 

Jose Luis Gaya, Lato, Thierry Correia and Jasper Cillessen are still out, though the last two should be available next week if everything goes well. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The New cheap Mestalla

We've reported several times on the progress of the new stadium or lack thereof and with each consecutive presentation the project seems to have become worse and worse. 

The latest was Peter Lim going to court against the local government over the ATE and its specifics. Peter Lim latest presentation was one of a stadium with a capacity of 40k seats that is smaller and less feature rich than the current old Mestalla. Just click the above link if you want to see the comparison pictures of the New Mestalla and the new new Mestalla, its night and day. The original design was grandiose and slick and amazing and the new design is cheap, terrible and pathetic. 

Peter Lim has a small club mindset, the way he is running Valencia CF like a small club and doing stuff just to stay afloat and just to barely get by. You don't buy a football club to then run it like a merchandise store, he has no clue how to build a successful club and how to grow Valencia CF. 

Fortunately the government is not buying the Kool-Aid he is selling, the snake oil he is selling and they are demanding the new Mestalla not be under 70k seats and stripped down barebones.