Monday, May 25, 2015

Cancelo signs

Joao Cancelo officially to become a Valencia player.  It was announced today that he will definitely be signed by Valencia. It is not sure whether Valencia will pay the 15 million euro buy-out clause or whether there will be a reduction.  However I believe he is a good buy and even if we do have to pay the maximum, in a year or two we may look back and say we got him for a good price.  I just don't understand why he hasn't played more or was that in the hope that we got him cheaper.  I look forward to seeing him taking the place of Barragan soon.

The club has also announced today that a new top quality goalkeeper is to be purchased to replace Alves, which is not really a surprise but now we know for sure.  But where does that leave Yoel and Jaume.  Will they both stay on in the same situation or does Jaume get promoted to reserve keeper.

Also announced is the fact that Felipe Augusto will not be retained by the club for the following season and presumably will return to Rio Ave in Portugal from where he has been on loan to us for the season. I wish him luck as he didn't seem to have much in the few part games he played for us,     I am sure if he was going to make the grade they would have seen it in training.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Who was Valencia's best player this season?

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Diego Alves out for 6 months

With the joy of the making the playoffs for the Champions League, we also have a bit of bad news as Diego Alves' injury was a serious one. Reports say he will be out for as long as 6 months. This means that he will miss most if not all of the first half of next season. This is a big loss since he's been one of our top performers this season and we said time and time again that he's saved the team countless times. He also has some of the top statistics in La Liga and broke some records this year for penalty saves and number of minutes without conceding. Of course, this injury means that his well-deserved call-up to the Brazil National Team to particpate in this year's Copa America can't be fulfilled.

What this means now is that one of our transfer targets for next season will most definetly be a goalkeeper and a good one at that. Yoel hasn't really proven himself and Jaume, although promising, is too inexperienced to be given a a chance. Even if Yoel steps up and suddenly proves to be a top goalkeeper, we still need a third goalkeeper to have a complete squad.

We wish Alves the best of luck in his road to recovery. We also wish Andre Gomes luck on his 3 month recovery period for his injury.

Animo Alves! Animo Gomes! Amunt Valencia!

Champions league here we come!

I don't even know how I have a hearth anymore, that was just torture of a match. I was like siting in one position and couldn't even move in the last 10 minutes of the match and then the referee decides to add 5 minutes added time like its nothing and if that isn't enough to sabotage Valencia CF and appease his corrupt masters he is getting paid by he gave Parejo a dubious red card which clearly there was no intention to catch the ball.

Oh and not to forget, but Alves got injured and had to be replaced and so at 2-2 we are substituting a goalkeeper, instead of having an option for another player. So talk about terrible luck, this was it.

Thankfully all of that is over and Valencia CF have qualified for the champions league. The team will have to qualify for the group stages, so a bit of work to do there, but the team does have the quality to go through that and I'd say with one or two more crucial reinforcements in the summer we should be competitive in the group stages as well.

Andre Gomes is injured for 3 to 4 months, but good news is that he is going to have all of the summer to recuperate and can start playing fairly soon when the next season starts.

Almeria vs Valencia CF Match Preview

Tonight is going to be the last match of the season and Valencia CF needs to beat UD Almeria to secure a champions league spot. The team has added pressure this time around as they failed to secure the 4th spot last week, which not only would have guaranteed the 4th spot, but it would have made it possible to achieve 3rd place as well.

Now now though its possible to get 3rd place if Atletico Madrid loses and Valencia CF wins, then due to having same points, but better head to head Valencia CF would take over the 3rd spot from Atletico Madrid.

The bigger issue here is that 4th place is not secured. Valencia CF could get 4th place even with a draw, but Sevilla would have to draw as well. In fact if Sevilla loses then Valencia CF can lose too and still maintain 4th place. So suffice to say the future, the destiny is in Valencia's hands.

The team is playing away from home, something that has been problematic for the team as winning away from home has been very difficult. Good thing is that Sevilla is also playing away from home and they are facing Malaga who are a very strong team.

I had hoped that Sevilla would fizzle out as the season gets into the latter stages, since they are playing in the Europe league as well, so I thought more tired legs and more focus there would hurt them, but it turned out that their squad has depth and rose to the occasion. Hopefully Valencia CF would rise to the occasion tonight as well and win this match as the team has only had the league to focus on and has had full 6 days of training every week for over 4 months now.

All but the injured Gomes are available for selection and Nuno has even included the midfielder Tropi from the B team.

Since the premise is on a win tonight and Gomes is injured, Nuno might start with two attackers this time around and hope to score some early goals.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Diego; Barragan, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya; Fuego, Enzo, Parejo; Paco, Negredo, Piatti.
Tactics: High defensive line, own half pressure, mixed passing, counter attacks.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Valencia CF 1-1 Celta Vigo La Liga 17th May 2015

This was supposed to be the last meaningful game of the season but it now means we will have to wait another week to know our fate for next season.
It all started so well with Valencia on the attack and looking good in possession taking the game to Celta.
But as we all know football can be a cruel game and in the 7th  minute Celta won a corner.  Nolito puts in a dangerous cross for Pablo Hernandez to out jump and out wit the home defence to power a header past Alves in off a post. This was a major blow to Valencia and suddenly Champions League football seemed a little bit further away.  The goal boosted Celta and understandably rattled the Valencia players.  We seemed to ease off the pressure with the concern that if they got another goal it would be a mountain to climb to get the 3 goals we would have required for a win.  It really was nail biting stuff  and the atmosphere in the stadium was electric.  With Celta having nothing to play for other than their pride and win bonus they seemed far more relaxed than us.
There were chances at both ends with Feghouli, Fuego and Gomes having chances to put us back on the level but they were unable to finish. Otamendi was unlucky when his header crashed against the crossbar from a freekick. It wasn't all one way either as Celta could have made it even harder for us on a number of occasions.  Gomes had to retire before the break with a thigh muscle injury to be replaced by Enzo Perez and the teams went in at the break with the solitary goal separating them.
The news was filtering through that Sevilla were also losing at home, to Almeria but it was scant consolation really as we needed the win. De Paul replaced Piatti on 58 minutes and not before time and then Mustafi went off for Negredo for us to revert to 3 at the back. This gave an immediate boost to the team and it was not long before we were back in the game.  A free kick a long way out by Parejo was fumbled by the keeper and that man Otamendi was there to stab it home. Game on.
So all we need to do now is get another goal and Champions League is secured. Unfortunately this is the real world and news from Seville of them getting 2 goals back and our inability to finish chances mean the we have to sweat it out now for 6 more days for our trip to Almeria.

Conclusion.   Their early goal really unnerved us tonight but we played well to try to fight back for the equaliser.  I still believe we will win next week to secure our place in the Champions League. It should be an amazing tense game with Almeria needing to win to remain in the La Liga but we should prove too strong for them. Football is about tension and drama and Valencia are certainly giving us our fair share this season.  It has been a great season for us and with all the new young players still gaining experience and the new manager we have done amazing.  Lets just hope we can finish off on a high with a good win.

Player Ratings

Alves 6.5   Not much to do and unlucky with the goal coming off the post but made some good saves when called upon.
Barragan 6.0  Too many mistakes but saved the day on one occasion getting back to prevent a good scoring opportunity.
Mustafi 6.5 Did his usual job without fuss but was replaced to make way for Negredo to add more punch up front.
Otamendi 8.0  M.O.M   Another outstanding performance, scoring one goal and could have had 2 more with a bit more luck. The real star of the show today.
Gaya 7.0  Got forward well and got some good crosses in but nobody in the right places to finish them off.
Fuego  6.5  Has a chance in the first half and apart from that played his usual average game.
Parejo  6.5.  Frustrating player sometimes.  At times he looks world class and other times gives away too many silly balls and gets caught in possession too much. Is he our main man next season or is he replaced. When he plays well we play well but when not, neither do we.
Gomes  6.0  Very skillful player but still lacks the killer final ball and the finishing instincts that we need
Piatti  5.5   We didn't see too much of him and it was no surprise when he was withdrawn for De Paul. The only surprise was it took so long. Definitely not one of his better games.
Feghouli 6.0  Flashes of brilliance but missed good chances and put over some poor crosses at times.
Alcacer 6.0   A player who needs the early ball put in to him but is not making his own chances at all. Also wins nothing much in the air from our goal kicks and when Gomes and Negredo are not there the ball just keeps coming back.


De Paul  7.0   Really livened things up when he came on and always links well with Negredo. Surely he and Negredo have to start against Almeria. Come on Nuno be brave.
 Perez  7.0    Also looked more lively when he came on and put some bite into the play but just needs to curb his aggression a little bit as he always looks like he is going to foul.
Negredo 7.0   Has to start next week.  He gets too much criticism  for his mistakes and misses but I would rather he play for us than against us.

  Valencia:  Alves, Barragán, Mustafi (Negredo, m.69), Otamendi, Gayà, Javi Fuego, Parejo, André Gomes (Enzo Pérez, m.34), Feghouli, Piatti (De Paul, m.58) y Paco Alcácer.
Celta Vigo: Sergio, Hugo Mallo, Cabral, Fontás, Jonny, Álex López (Sergi Gómez, m.80), Krohn-Dehli, Orellana, Hernández (Borja Fernández, m.60), Nolito y Larrivey (Charles, m.86).
Goals  Pablo Hernadez 7 mins                                                                                                                               Otamendi         71 mins 


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia CF Match Report

Wow what a match. This was an extremely exciting and nerve racking match at the same time, with both teams coming close to winning, but ultimately ending in a 2-2 draw.

Valencia CF had the first big chance of the match, Paco Alcacer was released by a through pass alone on goal, but unfortunately he missed the shot and headed the ball wide off goal, this could have easily been 1-0 for Valencia CF had he had a little bit more composure and perhaps a bit more experience.

After some battle in the midfield Valencia CF would go on to score the first goal of the game, with Gaya running down the left flank, going past his marker and heading a cross towards the oncoming Paco who jumped to the ball and headed it past Cassilas and into the net. Valencia CF had taken the lead in what was a solid performance all the way building up to the goal.

Real Madrid would try to stage a comeback, but an injury to Toni Kroos would have him leave the field, with Valencia CF winning a free kick on the left side. Parejo took the free kick and crossed deep into the penalty area with Javi Fuego finding himself at the right place and heading the ball into the net, making the score 2-0 for Valencia CF.

After the two goals Real Madrid tried to come into the game, managing to hit the post and bar once and getting a few saves off of Diego Alves. Just before the final whistle though, Gaya brought down Bale into the penalty area and the referee immidiately called to the spot, giving Real Madrid an easy way in to get them going.

Ronaldo took to take the penalty, but he stutter stepped before taking the shot and heading his shot in the direction Diego Alves jumped, Diego punched the ball away, but the rebound felt to Ronaldo again, but once again he missed the shot.

The second half was really bad for Valencia CF, Carlo Anceloti made two changes with replacement of the two full backs, opting for more offensive power and it worked. Valencia CF were shut down on the flank, mostly due to Real Madrid constant attacks and Gaya and Barragan having to sit most of the time deep in defense.

Real Madrid would have several big chances, but fortunately Diego Alves had one of his best matches in a Valencia CF shirt and was able to save Valencia CF several times with astounding goalkeeping.

Unfortunately the good luck and amazing skill of Diego Alves wouldn't be enough and after a barrage of constant attacks by the Madrid side they scored a goal in the 56th minute, with Pepe outjumping the Valencia CF defense and heading the ball into the net, giving Real Madrid a lifeline.

I think Nuno needed to make a change about this time, I think Piatti was quite ineffective, Feghouli wasn't doing much better either, remove one of those and bring in Enzo Perez, establish more control in the midfield as Real Madrid were dominating possession and were able to use and abuse their possession dominance to create constant chances.

Unfortunately he waited until the 70th minute to bring in Negredo for Paco, which made sense, but didn't change the dynamic of the match. Before that though, Paco had one more chance to score, again on a cross from Gaya, Parejo and Gaya both had a shot on goal as well and Mustafi did come close as well from corners to scoring.

Real Madrid would score again unfortunately in the 84th minute as Isco was dribbling around the 25th meter mark, he escaped Barragan for a second there and decided to shoot, releasing a powerful shot that went into the top corner of the net, with Diego Alves having no chance of reaching it.

Until the end Negredo actually had two wonderful chances to score, both times alone against the keeper, one was a failed shot and the other a failed header, he really seems terrible, lacks confidence, lacks practice, he should have scored twice, possibly even scoring a hat-trick.

He had one more good chance, but he decided to pass to De Paul, who was in a good position as well, but his shot was terrible and basically just passed the ball to Casillas who had no problems scooping it in easily.

Exciting match, both teams could have won it, for Valencia CF Diego Alves was man of the match and the reason why Real Madrid didn't win, but Negredo, Paco and De Paul will be kicking themselves for their huge missed opportunities.

Technical Details:
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa (Carvajal, m.46), Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Coentrao (Marcelon, m.46); Kroos (Illarramendi, m.26), Isco, James; Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale y 'Chicharito'.

Valencia: Diego Alves, Barragán, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gayà, Javi Fuego, Parejo, André Gomes (De Paul, m.77), Feghouli, Piatti (Orbán, m.89) y Alcácer (Negredo, m.69).

Paco Alcacer 1-0, 20 min. Assist Jose Luis Gaya
Javi Fuego 2-0, 26 min. Assist Daniel Parejo
Pepe 2-1, 56 min. Assist James Rodriguez
Isco 2-2, 84 min.

Player Ratings:
Diego Alves 10 - One of the best games in a Valencia CF shirt, made couple dozen astounding saves. Goalkeeping of the year.
Barragan 6 - Was okay in defense, its expected to lose some battles, but he gave the ball away one too many times and his forward contribution was severely lacking.
Mustafi 7 - Solid defending, good headed clearances, was a threat going forward on set pieces and one of the better players tonight for Valencia.
Otamendi 6 - Some good defending, some not so good. Went down way too easily in few challenges, leaving the Valencia defense vulnerable,  was not that strong in the air as he was beaten by Pepe and Ramos several times.
Gaya 7 - Average defending, had way easier time in the first half against Arbeloam found it way more challenging in the second half. Provided an assist though and was dangerous going forward.
Fuego 6 - Did well enough defensively, organized the midfield pretty good and tracked back fine, but was lacking when going forward, missing several passes under pressure.
Parejo 6.5 - Overrun in midfield, had some decent passed in midfield and involved in one or two chance, but overall didn't contribute too much in midfield and mostly relegated to defending. Did provide the assist to the second goal though.
Gomes 5.5 - Ran a lot and covered defensively, had some counter attacking moves initiated, but his final ball was lacking.
Feghouli 6 - Non threatening in attack, slow on the ball and his major contribution is his defensive cover. He needed to do more though and provide some threat going forward.
Piatti 5.5 - Again mostly defensive play, the few times he did get forward his final ball was lacking and he wasn't his usual speedy, fighting self.
Paco 6 - Scored the first goal, was generally in decent positions, had several opportunities, unfortunately he missed two great chances to score.
Negredo 3 - Wat a miserable performance. He could have had a hat-trick if he wasn't afraid to shoot, but he seems to lack confidence and doesn't seem sharp at all in front of goal. On this performance he is worth more like 2.5 million, rather than 25 million.
De Paul N/A - Didn't have enough time to influence the match, though he did have an amazing miss to give Valencia the victory.
Lucas Orban N/A - Not enough time.