Monday, November 30, 2015

Coaching options for Valencia CF

After Valencia's last nights defeat against Sevilla, Nuno Santo decided to resign from his position as coach of Valencia CF. He was under immense pressure and had already come under fire from fans and Spanish media, with last night's loss culminating in his resignation.

Now that he is out though Valencia CF turns its attention to find a new coach as quickly as possible, someone who can take this young group of players and build them up into a team.

Frank Rijkaard is one of the options that are being mentioned in the Spanish media, Barcelona FC  coach, he basically transformed Barcelona into the modern style that was later perfected by Pep. He became famous for his Barcelona coaching career, though he hasn't had any success since, though hasn't had any good options either, going to Turkey to coach Galatasaray and then just a year later joining Saudi Arabia national team.

David Moyes is another option for Valencia CF, he's an English manager who spent most of his coaching career at Everton before being appointed as the successor to Alex Ferguson, only to be quickly sacked after a not so great start to his career at Manchester United. He was then appointed to Spanish team Real Sociedad with whom he has had a decent first season, but was not so long ago sacked due to poor results this season. He will definitely be a big unknown for us, though not that bigger than Rijkaard who hasn't coached for almost 3 years.

Michael Laudrup is another option that is going around the press, he is extremely experienced as a coach, had a very successful playing career, but he hasn't celebrated himself as a coach and has often changed clubs or being forced out due to poor results. His most recent success was with Swansea City 2012-1-24, though he was sacked in 2014 due to a run of poor results. He is going to be another unknown if we appoint him as Valencia's coach, though no more than the other two I've already wrote about.

Brendan Rodgers is another coach that is a potential option, he was just recently sacked from Liverpool after a string of poor results and overall unsatisfactory play from Liverpoo after a second season of big summer spending. He because famous in Swansea City, leading them to the Premier league and keeping them there. His success with Swansea didn't go unnoticed and Liverpool came calling for his services in 2012. In his first season at Liverpool he led them to 7th place finish, his second season was his most successful one as he led Liverpool to 2nd place, just barely losing out the Premier league title to City.

Alejandro Sabella is yet another option for Valencia CF, he's an Argentinian coach who started his coaching career in 2009 at Estudiantes, before becoming Argentina's coach from 2011 to 2014. In his last year coaching the Argentinian national team he reached the final with them, losing out on the championship to Germany. He stepped down as coach even though he reached the final in the world cup and has been without a coaching job since.

Roberto Di Matteo who's been mentioned few times in the past as a potential coach for Valencia CF is available once again. He came to fame as an interim coach to Chelsea FC as he led them to Champions league glory. He was promptly sacked in his second season and just barely 8 months into his tenure at Chelsea after failing to advance the team through the Champions league group stage.
Since then he's worked at Schalke 04 for one season, resigning at the end of the season after failing to lead them to Champions league football.

Joaquín Caparrós is also available and a potential options for Valencia CF. As a long standing coach in Spanish football his name has been mentioned several times when looking at options for Valencia CF coach, but he's never quite entered into that short list for contention. He rose to prominence at Sevilla as he really developed them into a strong competitor team in his five years there. He left in 2005 to join Deportivo La Coruna who he led for two years before jumping board to Atletico Bilbao where he spend 4 relatively successful years. Since 2011 when he left Bilbao he hasn't found the same success he enjoyed earlier in his career and he's jumped between 4 teams since. He last coached Granada who were last place on the table when he was sacked.

Carlo Anceloti is the biggest name on this list and boy wouldn't it be amazing if he was to become Valencia's coach, but that is hugely unlikely as he's said he won't join any team in the winter and he's already in high demand as Bayern Munich, Manchester City and other teams are looking at securing his services next summer.

Who would you like to see become the next Valencia CF coach?

Sevilla FC 1-0 Valencia CF Match Report

Valencia CF was unfortunately defeated 1-0 by Sevilla earlier tonight, forcing Valencia CF coach Nuno Santo to resign.

I was going to write that this match can't be blamed on the coach in any big way, since we were left with only 10 players in the pitch early on in the first half, but even before the expulsion of Joao Cancelo the team was struggling to cope with Sevilla's attacks and midfield dominance, basically putting so much pressure on Valencia's defense!

As I said the match was pretty much decided when Joao Cancelo was shown his second yellow card following a careless high hand by Joao hitting the opponent in the face. It wasn't as bad as it sounds, but it was really careless and naive from him and he got punished.

After that it was all Sevilla FC, they kept on attacking and attacking with Valencia CF being unable to do anything about it and unable to even string couple of passes together. Even before the expulsion Valencia CF was playing pretty bad, even though Nuno decided to start with 4 midfielders we still couldn't control the midfield and were still on the back foot trying to defend against a very organized and aggressive Sevilla.

The first half fortunately finished 0-0 and there was a slight glimmer of optimism that we could end up drawing against them, but that was shattered early in the second half as Sergio Escudero latched to a piercing cross by Ever Banega and his show beat the goalkeeper as it went high into the corner of the net.

Even though Sevilla didn't have too much chances after that, well apart from one very dangerous header by Llorente, and few weaker opportunities, it didn't matter as Valencia CF seemed out of sorts and never looked like scoring a goal, we didn't have any counter attacking, we didn't have any midfield control, we didn't have anything.

Ultimately the match ended in a disapointing loss for Valencia CF, leaving the team in the middle of the table 14 points behind the leaders Barcelona and 5 points behind 4th place Celta.

Sevilla: Sergio Rico, Mariano, Rami, Kolodziejczak, Escudero (Krohn Deli, m. 84), Krychowiak, N'Zonzi, Vitolo, Banega, Konoplyanka (Reyes, m. 85), Llorente (Inmobile, m. 68).
Valencia CF: Ryan, Joao Cancelo, Santos, Abdennour, Gayà, Javi Fuego, Danilo, Enzo Pérez (Feghouli, m. 62), Dani Parejo, Santi Mina (Ruben Vezo, m. 46), Paco Alcácer (Bakkali, m. 78).

Sergio Escudero 1-0, 50 min. Assist Ever Banega

Player Ratings:
Ryan 6 - Really hard to get get a hand to the ball for the goal, had two good saves after that to deny Sevilla more goals.
Joao Cancelo 3 - Naive yellow cards, especially for the second one. Let down the team.
Santos 6 - Was decent at the back, had few blocks and interceptions and generally solid positioning.
Aymen 5 - Was clumsy in some of the challenges and was beaten for speed on two occassions, clearly has a lot more to improve.
Gaya 6 - Was good defensively, intercepted few passes and was generally marking the opposition good, could hardly muster up anything going forward at no fault of his.
Fuego 5 - I think he was okay while he was on the field, didn't contribute in the midfield in any way, but helped out defensively and was a nuisance for Sevilla to deal with.
Danilo 4.5 - Mostly a passenger, had few defensive tackles, but other than that didn't contribute much at all. Another disappointing arrival for VCF.
Enzo 5 - Don't think it was a good performance, he's been really disappointing ever since he came to VCF and he still hasn't justified his massive price tag.
Parejo 5 - Similar performance to Enzo, that is to say quite bad overall. Got even worse after we went 1 man down.
Mina 4 - Isolated in the first half and just wasn't engaged in the play in any way, taken off in the second half for a defensive player.
Paco 4 - Alone and isolated at front, he didn't stand any chance to get anything going.
Vezo 4 - Came in to reinforce the defense, but Sevilla scores just 10 minutes into the second half, making this substitution useless.
Feghouli N/A - Seems to be Nuno's "get out of jail card", but it didn't work tonight, he tried his best but couldn't do anything.
Bakkali 4.5 - Definitely ran more than Paco, you got to admire his passion and determination, but all his running was for nothing.

Valencia CF coach Nuno Santo Resigns

Nuno Espirito Santo resigns as Valencia CF coach following the defeat to Sevilla FC earlier tonight! The coach met with Peter Lim about a week ago and he was given few more matches to improve Valencia's standing in the table and tonight was supposed to be one of those matches, where a win would have been very important and a draw prolonging his stay under pressure.

After the loss though the coach has decided to resign amidst growing pressure from fans and club officials. Peter Lim now needs to find a replacement for him really quickly with limited options at this time!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sevilla FC vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Sevilla FC vs Valencia CF Match Preview
Stadium: Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
Date: 29.11.2015 2030 CET
Match 13 - Liga BBVA
Coaches: Unai Emery and Nuno Santo

Coming from a bad game against FC Zenit, the morale of the players and the coach looks weak. In the last game we could see that a good Champions League team dominated us, though we had good amount of possession, we couldn't make much out of it. 

Now we are back to one of the toughest and most intense games Valencia CF will play this season. Back in the mid 90s, Villareal were seen as a direct rival and the derbies used to be a pleasure to watch, however, over the last several years Valencia CF's rivalry has shifted towards Sevilla. After being knocked out in the Europa League's Semi Final in 2014, the rivalry has gone up to the next level. Former Valencia CF players E. Banega, A. Rami play for Sevilla. Not to forget, Unai Emery manages Sevilla. The man who was pretty successful at Valencia, however, couldn't beat the Real Madrid, Barcelona duopoly. 

Sevilla, themselves haven't had a great start to the season with securing just 15 points out of the twelve games played. They have lost to rather weak opponents, however, they have performed well against Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively winning against both teams. Their UCL performance too has been terrible, standing at the bottom of the group and most likely to be eliminated from the group stages. Sevilla's team confidence is pretty low currently after losing to Monchengladbach in the UCL and to Las Palmas in their previous league game. 

Valencia CF too have had a shaky start to the season, with the last game ending up in a draw against a weak team on paper like Las Palmas. Valencia CF have always faced difficulties at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, they haven't won a single game in the last fifteen games played there. Eleven loses and four draws. So this will be a tricky fixture, where both the teams will try to clinch three very important points to stay in the hunt for that fourth UCL spot. 

Negredo and Mustafi have been left out of the squad due to injuries. Most likely Santos will take Mustafi's position teaming up with Abdennour. Abdennour still hasn't come to full form, which he showed with AS Monaco. He hasn't really got the time to pair up with a regular defensive partner, the way Otamendi did with Mustafi. Parejo has been inconsistent as always, he put up a great performance against Celta Vigo but again was lost in the midfield with Las Palmas and Zenit, he really needs to play well if we need to control the ball in the midfield. Paco Alcácer is regaining his form, if we need to win against Sevilla, his part is the most crucial. It would be interesting to see who Nuno selects to start on the left wing, Valencia CF haven't had a regular starter for this position, Santi Mina, Bakkali and Piatti, all being rotated for this position. 

Sevilla Players to look out for - Vitolo, Gameiro, Llorente and Konoplyanka

Valencia CF Squad:
Goalkeepers: Doménech, Ryan
Defenders: Cancelo, Barragan, Abdennour, Santos, Vezo, Gaya, Orban
Midfielders: Javi Fuego, Danilo, Enzo Perez, Parejo, Andre Gomes, Feghouli, De Paul, Bakkali
Forwards: Piatti, Paco Alcácer, Santi Mina 

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Jaume; Cancelo, Santos, Abdennour, Gaya; Perez, Parejo, Gomes; Feghouli, Paco, Bakkali.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, mixed passing, counter attacks
Prediction: 1-1

Interview I did and blog news

Hey there. So some news on various fronts. I've had quite a bit of emails sent to me with offers to help around the blog and I've already accepted few, you've all read the latest match preview by our newest writer Adi Sids. I've also finally updated the player ratings and they are completely up to date, after missing 6 matches of ratings. I've also updated the fixtures list with the latest results.

I was interviewed by Daniel Owen over at about Valencia CF and that article is up if anyone wants to read what I had to say:

I'll be updating the goals and assists stats next and bringing those up to speed, before I have to seriously sit down and spend a lot of time updating the overall stat for the players.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Possible Winter Transfers

Alvaro Negredo  Bought for 28 million euros from Man City August 2014.
In my opinion at the time it was an exciting purchase even though the price seemed high for a player of that age, however, if he was going to start getting goals for us it may have turned into a wise investment. Unfortunately as we all now know it has been a disastrous waste of money.  Now he is out of favour and looking to be offloaded in the winter, the worst possible thing  has to happen is that he has had to go to hospital for an operation and is now sidelined for a couple of months. Will anybody shell out any decent money for him in January ?  It remains to be seen.  Anyhow, I see the club losing a lot of money over this deal but in the long term good for both sides if he goes as I feel that at the moment he has no future here with the current set up.  Of course in the event of Nuno himself going that could all change and who would bet against that at the moment. The latest is that Olympic Marseille may be interested in him and that a possible move for us to take Michy Batshuayi, although there would be a big payment for us as apparently they are looking for a ridiculous 50 million for him and I don't think we will get that for Negredo.

Rodrigo De Paul  Bought from Racing Club for 4.5 million euros in July 2014.
A player who, in my opinion, and I know many others, has just not been given enough time in the team. We are a team devoid of strong powerful players who are willing to go and do the unexpected and here is a player who can do that. How Piatti is being chosen before De Paul has left many of us perplexed.  What is the reason for his exclusion ?  We have to appreciate that even though we all want to know, the manager cannot go to the press and criticize the players and say why they are not playing.  That would be the easy way out but it is a thing that managers are often reluctant to do.  The latest is that Villareal and Marseille are interested in his purchase so we will have to wait and see on that one.  I really hope he is given time and stays.

Nicolas Orban  signed from Bordeaux for 3.5 million euros August 2014.
A player I have always liked despite being error prone on occasions. He is a player who wants to win and who gives his all on the pitch. Versatile, in that he could be used as left back or central defence if needed and I am sure would also be comfortable as a defensive midfield player.  It is no surprise that teams like Celta Vigo, River Plate, Boca Juniors and Borussia Monchengladbach have taken an interest in signing him.  I wonder if Nuno has stopped to think that he might have missed something. Of course if he does go he will need to be replaced by another quality left back to cover for Gaya.  I do not understand why Gaya has not been given a rest recently and Orban used, I foresee Gaya getting another injury soon by being overplayed.

If it was down to me, players that would be leaving in the winter providing we could find somebody to buy them, would be  Piatti and Barragan.  I think we need a replacement right back to cover or replace Cancello and maybe another left midfield player.

Many players have been mentioned as possible signings but I think that is all just down to paper talk. Of course there will be new faces but I think they may be surprise purchases and may depend on us getting into the next round of the Champions League as to how much we spend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Zenit St Petersburg 2 - 0 Valencia CF Champions League

Another disappointing night for Valencia in a freezing St Petersburg.  The big story of the night was the surprising inclusion of youngster Rafa Mir making his debut first the first team. Was this going to be a master move or a reckless gamble, well, although he tried hard and was willing, he failed to score or make any impact on the game therefore we can all make our own minds up on that one.

With Vezo stepping in for the injured Mustafi Valencia were enjoying slightly more of the possession without causing the home side any real problems. After his late inclusion on Saturday for the injured Vezo I was expecting good things from the young Portuguese however it was going to be one of those nights he and the rest of the team will want to soon forget, twice being at fault for failing to clear the ball gave Zenit the lead after 15 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse in the second half when Zenit got their second goal after 74 minutes waltzing through the Valencia defence to put the game out of reach. Despite the dominance of the home team Valencia had more of the ball possession but were unable to make many chances of note with Hulk again running the show with his strength and power.

Just to cap a bad night Vezo gets himself a red card for ploughing into Shatov, who the ref adjudged was through on goal when he had his legs taken away on the edge of the penalty box in the 80th minute.  To be fair Zenit deserved the win which gives them 5 out of 5 now.

Conclusion    We were well beaten by a far better side on the night. Zenit had the experience with age and they also had Hulk, who made all the difference.  The Valencia side are a team for the future and it showed tonight up against the big boys. There will need to be changes in the playing staff and probably the manager. With Gent winning tonight it puts our chance of proceeding in the competition on a knife edge now.  It also means we have only two central defenders for the next game against Lyon which we must win and hope that Zenit beat Gent.

Jaume 6.5   Not at fault with either goal and had a reasonably quiet night although made a couple of good saves
Cancello 6.5  Had a decent performance but the whole defence looked a bit like strangers for the goals.
Vezo  4  Really disappointing evening after his good late performance on Saturday. A night to forget for him.
Abdenour 6.5  Looks a bit off the pace after his long lay off but still a class player in my opinion. We need him back to speed soon.
Gaya 6.0  The guy needs a break, he is looking off the pace and not up to his old high standard. Have we given up on Orban, I thought he might have played tonight.
Perez  7  I thought he had a good game and was busy all over the pitch and failed to get a yellow card so that is a huge plus.
Parejo 7  Was busy and a major improvement on his dismal performance against Las Palmas but no telling shots or decent through balls
Gomez 6.5  Is really grafting hard to try to get the team going but failed to make much impact tonight.
Feghouli 6  I am sure he should not be playing with his injury. I think the problem is lack of quality depth in the squad. Tried hard but with little impact
Alcacer  6  Not his fault but looked isolated yet again but tried to link up with new boy Mir but it didn't really work.
Mir  6  I guess this one is a player for the future. Tonights game would have been a great experience for him as not many players debut in the Champions League, for obvious reasons.
Santi Mina 6.5 for Mir 56 mins     Had a good game for the short time he was on
Barbosa for Perez  73 mins   N/A
De Paul  for Cancello 78 mins   N/A

We need writers and people who can contribute!

Hi there ladies and gentleman, I've read the comments and I understand we are slacking a lot lately, but the facts are that we need more man power. Its just me and Mick for 99% of the time currently, with Amunt.Valencia focusing on his studies and we just can't do everything.

I wish I could write more and be more active, but I have like 20 things to do on the back end, but I can't just never write anything, so I decide to juggle the work and I end up failing on both ends. There is so much work that needs to be done for the statistics, player ratings, goals/assists, I was working on new design for the New Year, but ultimately everything overwhelmed me.

So we need people to help us, writers, people to help me with social media and contribute on our twitter and facebook(which Shakhawathas been doing a good job) and also back end stuff with updating a lot of the stats for the blog.

We can't do it all with just two people, if you want to contribute, if you want to write for your favorite team and help us this is your chance! I've been continuously doing this for over 5 years, I can't be active all the time and if you want a place to read and discuss about VCF you are going to have to step up and help us.

I know we lose a lot of readers when the blog is not constantly active and the discussions get lost, but I'm afraid there is nothing I can do. Its up to you guys and gals to volunteer and become a writer for this blog or help me with the statistics or social media.

If you are interested in contributing to this blog email me at: slickr12345@yahoo[dot]com