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 rules 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 are so fat 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 forum 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 this unfortunately 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.

Monday, July 20, 2015

New Goalkeeper Signed

Mathew Ryan

Valencia today signed our new goalkeeper Mathew Ryan from Club Bruge of Belgium  aged 23yrs he is the Australia national goalkeeper.  He represented Australia in the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Asian Cup where his country won and he was voted best keeper, which can't be bad.  He succeeded Mark Schwarzer which again has to be a big plus.  He moved to Club Bruge from Central Coast Mariners, Australia in May 2013 and has been voted best keeper in Belgium for the last 2 years.  He is not the tallest of keepers at 1.84  compared to Diego Alves at 1.88 but is a very muscular guy and very agile.  So at long last the keeper situation is sorted but I guess we now have to see whether Jaume or Yoel is his backup keeper.  I personally think it is a good signing but of course only time will tell.  It is of course too early to judge the guy but I would say welcome to Valencia and good luck. Also as a matter of interest he is the first Australian to play La Liga since John Aloisi of Osasuna in 2006.

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.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Deportivo interested in Fede Cartabia

With Valencia CF looking to offload Fede Cartabia several clubs have shown interest to bring the player to their ranks either on a full transfer or a loan deal. Valencia CF would prefer to send him out on a loan deal once again, but Deportivo La Coruna is said to want to purchase the player, though with their financial situation being poor and Fede being valued at several million euros by Valencia CF its most likely that he will be sent on loan at this point.

Another interested club in him seems to be Las Palmas who would want to take him on a 1 year loan deal, its is now up to Valencia CF to decide what to do with the player. Nuno has all but confirmed he does not count of Fede for the next season as he has been frozen out of the squad traveling to China and with basically 3 different players that can play at right wing beside Fede, he is deemed surplus to requirements.

Valencia CF contemplating selling Fede Cartabia

Valencia CF coach Nuno has left out Fede from the squad traveling to China and facing Bayern Munich, suggesting that the player will be sold or loaned out to another club. This is reinforced with the arrival of Bakkali who plays on the right wing, while the other new arrival Mina plays on the left wing, meaning Fede who primarily plays as right wing, though occasionally left wing as well has been pushed out of slots to fit in.

Considering that Valencia CF slashed out money on some of these players they are likely to get the nod ahead of him. Fede impressed last season while on loan, but within 3 matches so far it seems he's failed to impress the coach, which is a shame.

With some of the Valencianista staff, former players and key figures in the club gone, how much importance is going to be put on the Valencia CF youth players? While Peter Lim has taken over and brought financial stability, how much will he and the people he appoints value the academy of young Valencia players?