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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Champions League fantasy football

I have set up a league in UEFA Fantasy, come and join me! - 1133448-608287

The more people we get the better, as there are no more public leagues.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Valencia CF 3-1 RCD Espanyol Match Report

Valencia CF continued with the good start to this season with another rather big win, but the result is a bit misleading, similar to last game. While Valencia CF won 3-1 over Espanyol, it was a rather lucky win as the linesman ruled a perfectly legitimate goal offside and damaged Espanyol. At the time the results was only 1-0 for Valencia CF, so if the goal stood it could have been a different match.

I think that offside call saved Valencia CF, just as Espanyol were becoming more dangerous and overallValencia CF has to improve rather drastically. Valencia's midfield is just terrible, they all play like individuals, rather than a team and no one is really available to receive a pass. Misplaced passes, lost possession, complete lack of understanding, etc... are just some of the midfield problems.

We are winning these games based on luck and individual strength of the players, rather than good team play or things of that nature and sooner or later the luck will leave and players won't always be in great form, the team play will have to improve if the team is to finish top 4.

I hope Nuno understands that the midfield is terrible and works specifically in that area to try and improve it. Its clear that the team is very good defensively, we also have the talent up front with Paco and Rodrigo able to score goals, Negredo is also a proven goalscorer so we have the canons up front as well, but its the midfield that is holding back our game. Its a major weak spot right now and Nuno needs to change something, before this weakness is exploited by better teams.

I liked what I saw from the defense, its very solid and generally secure, with Otamendi impressive with his blocks and tackles, but then having a blunder later in the game where he kept the ball too long and was fought off of it, that could have easily cost us the game as well, Valencia CF was very lucky.

Vezo was error free though, he didn't make any mistake, Barragan was very solid defensively providing good blocks and interventions and Gaya was very good as well, though this was his weaker performance this season, hopefully he has amazing performance in the next games like before.

I don't think the defense will change anytime soon based on the performances so far and in fact its likely to get even stronger as the understanding between Vezo and Otamendi grows. I know people want to see Mustafi play, so do I, but we shouldn't tinker with a winning formula and Vezo and Otamendi should start as long as we are conceding minimal goals. If that changes, then give Mustafi a chance.

I've already written about the midfield, this is the reason I wanted Enzo Perez or someone of his quality to join in midfield so we could have a more stable game, more organized game. Hopefully our midfield improves though, if not we can bring in some reinforcements in the winter, though I'd like to give the young players we brought in midfield few chances before we make any purchase.

I think the biggest issue is that Parejo and Gomes are too similar, if I was to describe it, its like playing with two Iniesta's at Barcelona. You need a Xavi type player and we don't really have him, we we are playing two players who are the same in play style and they are crowding each other and doing the same thing.

Technical Details:
Valencia: Diego Alves, Barragán, Vezo, Otamendi, Gayá, Javi Fuego, André Gomes, Parejo, Piatti (Carles Gil, m.82), Rodrigo (Feghouli, m.67) and Paco Alcácer (Robert, m.87).
Espanyol: Kiko Casilla, Javi López, Colotto, Álvaro, Arbilla, Víctor Sánchez (Cañas, m.78), Abraham (Lucas, m.46), Salva Sevilla, Stuani (Caicedo, m.65), Montañés and Sergio García.

Pablo Piatti 1-0, 7 min.
Daniel Parejo 2-0, 63 min.
Paco Alcacer 3-0, 73 min.
Sergio Garcia 3-1, 90 min.

Player Ratings:
Diego 6 - Had nothing to do most of the game, but was forced to make few saves and did well. Couldn't save a late game penalty though.
Baragan 6 - Good match for Baragan, defensively solid, making few good tackles and blocks. Didn't provide much going forward though.
Vezo 6.5 - Error free performance and good understanding with Otamendi.
Otamendi 6.5 - Had several crucial interceptions and blocks, though had one huge mistake that could have resulted in a goal had Espanyol finishing been better.
Gaya 6.5 - His "weakest" performance this season, but this was still very good. Solid defensively, went forward as much as possible and provided few crosses, but wasn't very effective in attacking sense.
Fuego 6 - Gave away a last minute penalty with a very nave foul in the penalty area. Provided good defensive cover though, but as always he was invisible in the middle of the park and serves more as a fifth defender than a midfielder.
Parejo 5 - If the linesman wasn't blind his mistake could have costed VCF the game as Espanyol would have equalized to 1-1. Wasn't his only big mistake either. Scored the second goal, but apart from that it was a very poor performance.
Gomes 4 - I swear him and Parejo compete who would be the worst player. Lost the ball so many times I can't even count that much. Apart from the one action he started that lead to the first Valencia goal it was a very poor performance.
Moreno 7 (MOTM) - Lively performance as he provided the assist for Piati's goal and was generally a threat throughout the match.
Paco 6.5 - Scored the third goal to secure the match and was generally good, finding himself in few dangerous positions.
Piatti 6 - Scored the first goal for Valencia CF, but apart from that he was rather invisible on the pitch. Had few runs, but lost the ball all the time.
Feghouli 6.5 - Instant thereat down the right side and provided the assist for Paco's goal. Combined well with Parejo and Barragan in his short time on the field and is close to his best form judging by this performance.
Gil N/A - Not enough time
Robert N/A - Not enough time

Man of the Match: Moreno
Flop of the Match: Gomes
Best offense: Moreno
Worst offense: Gomes
Best defense: Vezo
Worst defense: None
Best possession: Feghouli
Worst possession: Parejo and Gomes

Valencia CF vs RCD Espanyol Match Preview

Valencia CF vs RCD Espanyol Match Preview
Stadium: Mestalla
Date: 14.09.2014; 17:00 CET
3rd matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Nuno Santos and Sergio Gonzalez

Valencia CF had several players who featured for their national teams, making his debut for the Spanish national team was Paco Alcacer who scored a goal on his debut and will be feeling confident and motivated after such a dream like debut.

Joao Pereira featured for Portugal and as always was good, providing good attacking threat and good defending, even though he is still out of the squad against Espanyol, it seems like Nuno won't be counting on him seriously and I wonder why the club didn't sell him in the summer if they are going to waste his talents like this.

Ruben Vezo also was called up for Portugal though he didn't feature, Andre Gomes made his debut though and had an okay game, nothing to brag home about, but it was a fine start for him.

Just after the last match against Malaga CF, Valencia CF brought in Alvaro Negredo from Manchester City, though he is injured and won't be available at least until another 10 or more days. He should come back from injury within two weeks, though he is likely not going to start until he is fully fit, so quite long ways until his full recovery.

The team would be looking to build on its successful start to the season and try to win against RCD Espanyol who've been playing some poor football and find themselves at the bottom at the table, though after only 2 matches I wouldn't count them out and they will be looking to bounce back with a surprise win against Valencia CF.

Valencia CF squad:
Goalkeepers: Alves, Yoel.
Defenders: Barragán, João Cancelo, Vezo, Otamendi, Mustafi, Gayà, Orban.
Midfielders: Javi Fuego, Zuculini, André Gomes, Dani Parejo, Roberto Ibáñez, Feghouli, Filipe Augusto, Carles Gil.
Forwards: Piatti, Rodrigo, Alcácer.

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Alves; Barragan, Vezo, Otamendi, Gaya; Fuego, Gomes, Parejo; Feghouli, Paco, Piatti.
Tactics: Low defensive line, own half pressure, midfield triangle, short passing, offside trap, deep laying defensive midfielder.

Match Predictions:
Valencia CF 2-1 RCD Espanyol
I think its going to be a tough game, even though Espanyol have only 1 point, they haven't been a push over and will be looking to get a win or at least a draw against Valencia CF in order to get their season back on track, while Valencia CF has been very solid at the back, the forward line has also been scoring goals, but the team has had big problems in midfield and in order for VCF to win against Espanyol these problems need to be over and the midfield should be secure and concise.

I think our defense is strong enough to prevent cheap goals, but with the midfield shaky and losing the ball in dangerous positions often I could see Espanyol scoring one goal. I think Valencia CF is going to score more goals though and be able to win the match 2-1.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Juan Mata back to Valencia CF?

Reports from England are increasing that Juan Mata may leave Manchester United at winter and join Valencia CF, as he is seen as surplus to requirements after the arrival of Di Maria, with the other forward positions covered by Rooney, RVP and Falcao.

Reports suggest the new Manchester United coach changed his mind about Juan Mata after the arrival of Falcao and seems to now prefer someone faster and pacier as opposed to Mata's slower style of play.

Valencia CF are currently still not owned by Peter Lim, though things are progressing good and the final ownership change should happen within 10 days, after that is complete Valencia CF will be in a position to bring Juan Mata in the winter transfer market for 30-35 million euros.

As you all know the deal for Enzo Perez fell through and that was a deal worth 30 million euros, so Peter Lim is still looking for potential signings to strengthen the club even more and Mata could fit the bill.

Would you guys like to have Juan Mata back at Valencia CF, or do you prefer another player or strengthening on another position?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Arsenal interested in Paco Alcacer

English Premier league club Arsenal is interested in bringing Paco Alcacer to their ranks, their manager Arsene Wenger is known for finding and bringing young talents to the club and developing them into great players and he's set his eyes on Valencia's Paco Alcacer.

Paco Alcacer had a great debutante season, scoring over 15 goals in all competitions in just half a season, since that is when he was given a chance by Valencia's former coach Pizzi. He has also started this season on a positive note, as well as scoring in his debut for the Spanish national team against Macedonia.

Suffice to say he is seen as one of the best talents in the world and with his current buyout clause at only 20 million euros he is seen as a bargain.

Its not just Arsenal that are interested in him either, other English clubs are interested in Paco, as well as few other clubs from other leagues.

Fortunately though Valencia CF is working on a new contract for Paco that would keep him in Valencia CF till 2019 and even more importantly raise his buyout clause over 50 million euros.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Valencia CF sign Alvaro Negredo

Its official, Valencia CF have signed Alvaro Negredo on a 1 year loan deal, with a purchase clause at the end of the loan deal.

The deal was brokered through just one hour before the transfer deadline and its said that Valencia CF will have to dish out between 25 and 30 million euros for the player at the end of his loan deal.

I personally think this guy is way overpriced and having played for one of our biggest rivals in Sevilla and scored so many goals against Valencia CF, I'm not excited at all for this signing, in fact I wish it didn't happen.

Yeah, he is a great player, but at 29 he isn't becoming any younger and what would this mean for Paco and Rodrigo, two very young and very promising players, at least one of which will have to sit on the bench so that Negredo can play.

So not excited at all for this signing, I think 25 or 30 million euros is way too much and at best he is worth 15 million euros.

Tell me what you think about this weird signing.

Official: Filipe Augusto on loan at Valencia CF

Valencia CF have signed 21 year old Rio Ave FC midfielder Filipe Augusto on a one year loan in the last hours of the transfer market. Both the deals for Enzo Perez and Fredy Guarin fell apart and the club needed a replacement quick. There were rumors that Kuzmanovic and Moutinho were also targeted today but in the end Valencia CF decided to trust Nuno's instinct and stick with Augusto.

Augusto has a Portuguese passport so it won't take up any non-EU spots on the team. Which means now with the departure of Jonas, we have 2 non-EU spots left unoccupied (only Otamendi has one).

With this signing, the transfer market is now closed and it ends the ingoing and outgoing operations.

Arrived (10): Yoel (loan), Cancelo(loan), Mustafi (8 million), Orban (4 million), Filipe Augusto (loan), Andres Gomes (loan), Rodrigo de Paul (4 million), Zuculini (loan), Rodrigo (loan), Negredo (loan)

Total Spent: 16 million euros

Also Gaya and Roberto Ibanez promoted to the first team.

Left (20): Guaita (free), Cissokho (2 million), Senderos (loan end), Ruiz (loan), Rami (4 million), Costa (terminated), Mathieu (20 million), Bernat (11 million), Banega (2 million), Guardado (loan), Romeu, Fede (loan), Keita (contract end), Michel (loan), Viera (2 million), Pabon (5 million), Jonas (terminated), Postiga (free), Araujo (loan), Vargas (loan end)

Total earned: 46 million euros

Dani Ramirez and Carlos Akapo were added to the Mestalla B team

Net: 30 million euros earned

What do you think of this transfer window? Successful or not?