Saturday, July 4, 2015

New Signing


New Signing for Valencia is Santi Mina from Celta Vigo.  He is aged 19yrs and signed today for his buyout clause of 10 million euros.
He can play left or right attacking midfield and last season scored 9 goals in cup and league.
Despite his young age he is relatively experienced and hopefully will be a good future prospect. He is Spanish and fits the type of player we need, i.e. young with quick feet any very composed for his age. It is good to see the squad being increased even though our new man is a bit of an unknown I look forward to seeing what he can offer. You may remember him scoring 4 against Rayo Vallecano in April and also scoring against Real Madrid and Seville in April and May.        



      More good news is that at long last Dani Parejo has put pen to paper and signed until 2020.  The negotiations have been long but I am glad it has finally been sorted and he will remain our player now.
The clubs top scorer in La Liga last season is the second signing of Lay Hoon So in her first week in her new post she has been very busy and may she continue to be busy signing some more promising players.


Other news is that a squad containing many of the  second string will be travelling to Austria for the first of the pre season warm up games while some of the more regular players are given more time off.  I think it will be great to see if we have any up coming stars amongst them,  another Gaya or Alcacer.  The first game is on Wednesday against Wiener SK from Austria.

  I really think we should all chill a little and not be too worried at this stage about the lack of top signings.  We have to see what happens to Otamendi.  We should not buy cheap now and then find we have the extra 50 million to spend later.  I am sure there are many enquiries going on that we don't know about and that is how it should be.  We must not listen to all the rubbish we read in the press about possible signings, they have to sell papers and do not worry whether there is any substance in their stories.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Amadeo Salvo and Rufete Resign

Let us take a step back, look at, and analyse what has gone on in the past year. 2 years ago we were on the brink of  being bankrupt.  A half built stadium, an embarrassment really to the city and to the club. We had players ( who I won't mention here because we all have our own views ) who were, let's say, below the quality that this club deserves.... So what was needed ?   Somebody with money to come in and inject big bucks.  Not just anybody, we needed to get in the right man or group who could be trusted. It was always going to be a gamble but there was no choice at the time.
So how do we choose the right people to take over ?   The offer was sent out and I believe their were 5 or 6 potential offers made from different groups.  It was rightly believed that these offers should be looked at by experts and therefore a group was set up and to cut a very long story short after a long time of deliberations it was unanimously decided that Peter Lim was the man to take us forward.  So far so good I would suggest, despite the obvious differing opinions at the time.

One of the stipulations of the man taking over was that he would put in his own manager Nuno Espirito Santos an unknown from Rio Ave in the Portuguese League.  So an unknown man from a relatively unknown team.  Eyebrows were raised but he was put forward as the next Mourinho so not a bad comparison if it is true.  Unfortunately Juan Antonio Pizzi , the then manager and very popular was needed to step aside for the new project. I thought it tough on him at the time but the owner, having invested his money was entitled to put his own man in place.

New players were bought in and a lot of the old guard were moved on and a new era begins. Everybody has their own opinions on the players coming in and the ones that left and that is for another day or should I say has all been covered in previous blogs on here.  What has to be said though that with these news players and the new manager results started coming in. Of course the odd blip on the way where silly games were lost but all in all a really good season.  The aim was Champions League and despite the challenges of the much stronger top 3 teams and Seville we achieved the goal.  Whatever criticism anybody can make of the manager, and there has been a lot, It was a remarkable achievement with a new, exciting young team and La Liga virgin manager.

All clubs have internal politics with egos and differing opinions and we are certainly no different. All has come to a head this last week with Salvo and Rufete together with others resigning over the way the club is run. I think not just the debacle of the unfortunate Caoi from Brazil but the responsibilities of the people in the club.  It appears to me that Nuno wants to have the final say in who the club buys but  Salvo and Rufete want to carry on in the old way and bring in who they think should come in. Different clubs around Europe seem to have different methods. In the Premier Division in UK The team manager decides who comes in and who he wants, To me that is the way it should be because he decides who plays and he is the one to lose his job if they lose.  This is obviously what Mr Lim wants.

It appears that all came to a head and Mr Lim was put in a situation where he had to decide to back the manager who he brought in or support the Chairman and Rufete.  Not an easy decision perhaps but there was obviously going to be no compromise, much like the Greek debt.  Of course another actor in the drama Jorge Mendes keeps popping up and cannot be ignored.  What is his role in Valencia. The answer should be, he has no role in Valencia. However it cannot be ignored the influence he seems to have in the club politics. All I will say is that if he can get us top players at fair prices and get fair prices for anybody we sell well fine.  It just has to be made clear to him just where he stands with Valencia CF because the club is and always will be bigger than Mendes, Rufete, Salvo and all the other actors in this play and will still be here long after they have all gone.

Let's just hope that this is all sorted quick, we start getting a few new exciting payers and sort out the Otamendi saga either way.  I believe there is no big panic on signings.  We have 2 good keepers for the early warm up games and who knows we may have already got a decent keeper on the books. Also we need to give the fringe players an opportunity to shine. There is so much doom and gloom around, let's look forward to the new era and new successes.

We need to be patient with the new signings until we know what is happening to Otamendi ?  Do we have another 50 mil, do we need another central defender ?


Monday, June 29, 2015

Rodrigo Caio fails medical tests

Brazilian footballer Rodrigo Caio who Valencia CF surprisingly signed out of nowhere for 12.5 million euros has failed the medial tests. This means Valencia CF would not go through with the transfer and Rodrigo Caio will return to Sao Paulo and continue being their player!

It seems that the knee injury he's suffered has done permanent damage and the medical doctors worry that he will not be able to give 100% percent.

That is the official story, but we know there were a lot of politics for the arrival of this player, we know Salvo and the sporting director weren't pleased that they weren't consulted about it and this could simply be another political move to get rid of the player and calm the tensions at the club.

At this point this is speculation on my part, but I'm 99% sure this is a political move to save face. I don't think the decision is medical, I think he probably had some minor health issue, but I think that is used as an excuse not to sign him, similar in the way AC Milan didn't sign a player due to his teeth, like how do teeth have to do with his ability to play football?

I think its a similar situation, where it was decided that he was a mistake and the medical decision is just an excuse to get rid of him!

Phil Neville appointed as Valencia CF's assistant coach!

I had mentioned in one of my recent posts that Ian Cathro, Nuno's assistant coach at the time, had resigned for personal reasons. He was homesick and wanted to coach in England, and is now close to Newcastle United. Valencia CF has made official today that his replacement is former Manchester United and Everton player Phil Neville. He had partaken in BBC's Match of the Day segment, for those who watch that. Apparently, he's a good friend of Lim's and Nuno has said that his experience will benefit the club a lot. Keep an eye out to see him on the bench beside Nuno this year!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Barcelona and Real Madrid want Mustafi

Shkodran Mustafi's agent has revealed that Real Madrid and Barcelona are interested in the player, but also insisted that his client is very happy at Valencia CF and isn't thinking about it.

Mustafi has impressed with his performances from last season and had formed a great defensive partnership with Nicolas Otamendi, so its no surprise that other top clubs are interested in the player!

"There has been an inquiry from Real Madrid," he told Bild. "But there have not been any further talks."

Friday, June 26, 2015

Valencia CF 2015-16 Preseason Schedule!

Yes, it is already almost time for preseason. Lots of chances to try out new tactics, get the new players and those return from loan a chance to adapt to team, and test out the squad before the Champions League play-offs. This pre-season consists of tours to Austria, China and finally Germany before returning to Spain for the annual Orange Trophy. The schedule for the pre-season games is below.

July 1st -- Transfer Window officially opens 

Austria Tour:
July 8th -- Wiener SK (Austria) -- Sportclub-Platz Stadium in Vienna
July 11th -- Red Bull Salzburg Tournament begins, opponents: Red Bull Salzburg (Austria), Southampton (England) and Werder Bremen (Germany) -- Red Bull Arena in Salzburg

China Tour:
July 18th -- Bayern Munich (Germany) -- National Stadium of China in Beijing

July 23rd -- Spanish FA announce La Liga 2015-16 fixtures

Germany Tour:
August 1-2 -- Colonia Cup 2015, opponents: FC Porto (Portugal), Stoke City (England) and FC Koln (Germany) -- RhienEnergieStadion in Cologne

Oranje Trophy and Team Presentation
August 8th -- AS Roma (Italy) -- Mestalla Stadium in Spain

August 15th -- La Liga 2015-16 begins

Champions League Play-offs
August 18/19 -- first leg, opponent: unknown
August 25/26 -- second leg, opponent: unknown

September 1st -- Transfer Window Officially closes

Alright guys/gals, that's all the important dates you need to know for this summer. Let us know what fixtures you look forward to and which teams you think would be a challenge or interesting to play against. Also, we can discuss what formations/tactics, player positions you would like to see tested in the preseason.

Amunt Valencia!

Transfer Market Update

Alright there are a lot of transfer market happenings to discuss in this update. Incoming long text:

First off, Brazilian youngster Vinicius Araujo has been returned back to Brazilian club Cruzeiro after an unconvincing loan spell at Standard Liege where he failed to make an impression and secure a first team sport. Cruzeiro still owns 50% of his rights and were more than happy to take him back.

In other news, Valencia CF captain Dani Parejo is very close to agreeing a contract renewal with the club till 2020. The negotiations have hit a stumbling block for a period of time and there were many rumours that he would leave. Regardless of how he performed this past season, it's good to see the captain renew as he is one of the cores of the team and a leader in the dressing room. His reported release clause is about 50 million euros.

Then we have this issue with Otamendi. I don't know about you guys but I'm not going to believe any of the rumours until he himself says the words "I want to leave" and I see him in another jersey. So far, he's dodged the issue and said things along the lines of "Valencia know what I want" and "my agent doesn't speak without my authorization". But every time I remember that a few months ago the news said that Gaya was already signed for Madrid and that it was all over, I start to doubt all of this. Then Gaya signs an extension and says that he can't believe all the lies the media said was completely shocked that they had said that he had signed elsewhere. So far, Valencia's stance has been 50 million euros or no deal, same approach that was taken with Mathieu last year. It's nice to see that the club doesn't back down, but then you get other reports saying Mendes is trying to lower the price. You never know what to believe anymore. Now apparently, both Manchester clubs and Real Madrid all want Otamendi. Not surprising to say the least, considering his outstanding form this past year. Other reports say Manchester United is willing to offer Chicarito or another player, I think Nani, to lower the price. So many different rumours around Otamendi but he says he wants to remian focused on Copa America, that's fair, let's see what happens after.

As for the goalkeeping issue, the reports have been saying Mandana, Weidenfeller, Navas, Casilla, Casillas and some even Valdes for a while. Yet now, Valencia CF have opted for a prodigy in the goalkeeping world in Real Sociedad's Geronimo Rulli. Quite a young goalkeeper but will lots of promise and being an Argentine, Ayala has had him scouted for a while. His signature is apparently really close and some reports say to expect it very soon. I know experience is one factor that comes into question here, can this young goalkeeper really hold the weight of a Champions League team along with Yoel or is he just one of two goalkeepers that could be signed. The other issue here is that he doesn't want to leave Real Sociedad but is being forced to move. His ownership is a third party ownership and the third party wants him to play at a bigger club - a Champions League club - but he insists on Real Sociedad. The profile for any player that the management said they wanted to bring was one who really wanted to be in Valencia CF. This goes against that and while I think Rulli is a real talent, I question how that will affect this move. Some reports even say that Manchester City is buying him and is loaning him to Valencia CF. What do you guys think of Rulli? Which deal do you guys think is better?

Another player who's signing is soon to come is 19 year old Belgian youngster Zakaria Bakkali of PSV. He has apparently fallen out with the management there and has been branded a rebel and has not partaken in team activities for a while. He's really a great talent and the best part is he comes at 0, yes zero, cost since his contract has come to an end. Both Valencia CF and Sevilla are interested in him and the choice is still up but it seems Belgian media see him going to Valencia. Reports also say that he will be tried out by Nuno and if he deems it fit he will be immediately loaned to another club for experience.

The first new player Valencia CF have added to thier ranks this transfer window, is CDM/CB Rodrigo Caio. He will be officially signed and presented tomorrow (Friday). His agent, you guessed it, Jorge Mendes. As for Gian Imbula, Valencia CF seems to have lost interest in the player.

A lot of us here in the blog criticized the over-imposing role of Mendes in the clubs transfers. We've ended up with a lot of players from Benfica and are continuously linked with Benfica players and other players in the Portugeuse Liga. Now we are linked with the supposedly talented youngster in Danilo Barbosa of Sporting. Apparently another high skilled Brazilian prodigee but with all these youngsters being signed can we really afford to play them all? Or are they going to be loaned out in the end. We'll see.

One thing that we haven't really talked about is that Nuno's assistant coach, Ian Cathro has resigned due to a personal reasons. Nuno has often praised the Scot and branded him as a genius. We don't really know the degree of influence he had in training and coaching or how this will affect Nuno but I felt it should be mentioned. It happened a while back but I didn't get to mentioning it until I saw him being linked with Newcastle United as thier assistant manager.

Finally, I'm sure many of you have heard of the supposed conflict between Nuno, Rufete and Salvo as to who has the say in transfer dealings. The three met earlier at a date close to opening date of the transfer window to discuss signings and they had all agreed on Imbula. Then, reports say Nuno went and requested Rodrigo Caio behind their backs and caused them to get upset. Lim's assistant, Lay Hoon, was in Valencia CF, to sort out the issue and communicate to them what Lim says their role in the club is. From what I understood, he wants Rufete to focus more on the youth aspect - that's the academy and the promising youth while Nuno is ultimately in charge of signings as he is the coach and sees what the team really need. I'm not really too sure of further details of or the truth behind the conflict as there wasn't too much written on it.

Anyways, lots to talk about, I look forward to seeing a great discussion below.