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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Hollidays

Hello ladies and gentlemen, I want to wish you all a merry Christmas and happy holidays. I hope you are enjoying the holiday week and the last weeks of 2014.

This blog would reach its 5th year of existence in 2015, I still think technically it would be 5 years somewhere in summer, but year on year we would be reaching the fifth year.

I want to tank all of you who visit and read the blog, writing articles for no one would be pretty boring and meaningless, so thank you all for sticking with this blog.

I especially want to thank Amunt.Valencia the second author for this blog, he has been helping me for two years now and at times carrying this blog on his own. I want to thank Shakhawat Hossain our facebook manager for his hard work and dedication, managing the facebook page and I want to welcome our newest blog writer Mick Hunter who's just started and who will hopefully stick around for a long time.

This post is the 1050th post on this blog, so we've passed the 1000th post milestone a while ago. Here is I believe the first league match report I wrote:

Match Report Eibar 0-1 Valencia La Liga 20th December 2014

        I think we all knew that newly promoted Eibar would give us a very difficult game and it proved right. A fairly uneventful first half saw the new look Valencia with a 3-5-2 formation battle in midfield with few opportunities at either end.  Paco showed his worth again after 30 minutes  steering in a loose ball after a long pass from De Paul put Piatti through on goal. The keeper rushed out to smother but Piatti managed to get to the ball first and get in a cross for Paco to scramble it home.

The second period followed much the same pattern with the sticky water soaked pitch and pouring rain playing a major role in the quality of the football which was not great.  It obviously suited the Eibar style of play more than ours. They are a team with few frills and like to play a high pressure game quickly getting the ball forward without too much tiki taka.

Valencia, at times managed to play some decent football with the new look team with Barragan and Gaya left out of the defence and the system seemed to be working well. Fresh legs were needed and after 59 minutes Feghouili was replaced by Barragan to stiffen the defence and after 70 minutes Gaya came on for Piatti in a straight swap.  We managed to keep the one goal lead and a welcome three points were achieved going into the Christmas break putting us back into the Champions League place as the game between R. Madrid and Seville was put back to a later date.

Most of he crowd of under 5000 would have gone home disappointed but the 100 or so Valencia supporters who had made the long journey would have been more than happy with the three points that keeps us up with the leaders for the 2 week break

Performance Ratings

Alves  7   Faultless performance in very difficult conditions for a keeper. We pray that he stays fit and available.

Mustafi  7  The BMW just keeps putting in a top notch performance each week.

Otamendi 7  The rock, apart from one crazy loose ball was as good as ever. Probably the only player we would really miss if he was injured.

Orban  7  Had another great game and can he do the job of Fuego against Real Madrid. I think so.

Fuego  7  Pity about the booking which will prevent him playing against Real Madrid.

Parejo  6  Again, I think he is not at his best at the moment not doing enough for me. He needs to get more involved and be stronger in the tackle

De Paul 7  Showed again that he should be a regular now and not before time. His height and strength are needed in the middle

Feghuili 6   Not his normal high standard but worked hard as ever.

Alcacer 6  Worked hard at times but went missing for periods.  He will be pleased though with his  goal after a barren spell in the league.

Negredo  6  Can do better and we need some goals from him but puts in a good work rate. His first full game with Paco and I think they should play closer together as a partnership

Piatti  6  Made the goal and worked hard before being substituted.

Barragan  6   Shored up the defence for the final minutes
Gaya  6   Did what was needed

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Valencia CF latest transfer news

Well at last Joao Pereira has found himself another club, which is great for him as he will be returning to Portugal to join Porto.  I think that is what he was holding out for if he couldn't get back into the Valencia team.  A good move for him and Valencia as it must have been really difficult for everybody when he was around and training but not really part of the future.  I am sure we will all wish him the best of luck for the future, as a player who never gave anything less than 100% in every game for us.

The Enzo Perez saga seems to be nearing an end at last with the reported 25 million euro move plus add ons I guess if we make it into the Champions League or appearances. Final arrangements are being made but signs are that he will be with us soon.

News in some crappy English newspapers of Man Utd making a bid for Otamendi for 40 million pounds if they cannot get Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund.  I don't think we should give much credibility to these stories that they bring out to sell a few more of their rubbish newspapers.

What about Zuculini,  is he going back to Man City or staying ?  Surely if  they are not willing to sell at the end of the season, do we really want to keep him ?

Brazilian Matheus Dorias 20yrs. of Marseille also in the news as coming to Valencia as a back up or replacement for Javi Fuego.  The problem is he is not rated highly for his passing, strength in the air or tackling so should be quite a catch for us. Seville are also interested so maybe he should go there instead..

SD Eibar vs Valencia CF Match Preview

SD Eibar vs Valencia CF Match Preview
Stadium: Ipurua Municipal Stadium
Date: 20.12.2014, 20:00 CET
16th matchday, La Liga
Coaches: Gaizka Garitano and Nuno Santos

Valencia CF is coming to this match after a very interesting and  nerve racking match in the copa del rey against Rayo Vallecano that finished 4-4, after Rayo had the lead for most of the match, at one point looking like Valencia CF is going to drop out of the cup in the teams first round. Luckily for Valencia CF Paco Alcacer was on point with two amazing goals and with the help of some of the substitutions Nuno brought in, the team managed to change the game and ultimately achieve a draw, moving forward in the cup on goal scoring difference. 

This is going to be another interesting match I feel, since Eibar are playing a high pressure football and they are not afraid to chase the ball in midfield, an area in which Valencia CF have struggled. Fuego is obviously going to come back to the midfield, the team struggled so much without him in the cup match, so we see how important he is to our defensive game, the important thing is that he was given a rest and will be coming fresh to this match, so hopefully that improves his level of play a little. 

Otamendi is also returning after being gives a rest in the cup, much needed rest for him as well, having played all of the matches before the last one of course, so now he will come in a little bit refreshed as well, so hopefully impeccable performance from him as he's done when the season began. 

We might even see a Paco and Negredo combination this time, Paco has shown he can score goals and that he is needed to the team, though having rested Moreno in the last match, he seems like the likelier candidate to start.

Valencia CF Squad:
Goalkeepers: Alves, Yoel
Defenders: Barragan, Cancelo, Vezo, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya, Orban
Midfielders: Fuego, Parejo, Felipe, Gil, Feghouli, Piatti, De Paul
Forwards: Negredo, Paco, Moreno

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-2-2-2
Line-up: Diego; Barragan, Mustafi, Otamendi, Gaya; Fuego, Parejo, Feghouli, Piatti; Moreno, Negredo.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own half pressure, mixed passing, deep laying defensive midfielder, counter attacks.

Match Result:
SD Eibar 0-1 Valencia CF
I think we are going to see an interesting match, but in terms of possession, midfield battle and some chances, I think its going to be relatively low on goals. Valencia CF will have a more stable defense this time around, while Eibar are good at pressuring mid, so we are likely to see mostly fight over who controls the middle and few chances in between. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Valencia 4 - 4 (6-5) Rayo Vallecano Match Report

There will be a lot of people criticize the tactics of Nuno, however players needed to be tested and others, rested. The fact that he changed so many defenders at one time though is open to question. Also the criticism of him not making bold changes has been dispelled by the three substitutions at half time leaving us with no chance of taking off an injured player which almost amounts to recklessness.

Man of The Match Paco Alcacer

The fact is though we are through to the next round, players were  rested and others given an opportunity.

It all looked to be going well when in the first minute Parejo bought a good save from the keeper with a well hit shot and after 8 minutes after a great run from Rodrigo  Paco opened the scoring from a rebound after Rodrigo hit the post.

Vallecano equalised after 20 minutes with a header after some slack marking in the defence. After 21 minutes Paco had another good chance but his chip was easilly saved by the keeper . More drama a minute later when a good turn and shot by Pozuelo put them back in front and equal over 2 games.
On 37 minutes everything went wrong when the defense just totally messed up and Pereira put the visitors in front leaving Yoel with no chance.

For the second half changes were desperately needed and that is  what we got.  Off went Gil, Augusto and Cancello. On came Negredo, De Paul and Piatti. You could feel the atmosphere change in the ground and within a minute we were back in it.  Negredo played some great wing play and put the ball over from the right. Piatti missed  hit it as it and as it was going wide, but Paco Alcacer who else, was there to steer it home. 

Now all we needed was to go on and get to get a pot full of goals and win the game. However this is football and soon It had all changed when Rayo scored yet another goal to make it 2.4  where we could surely now be out and concentrate on the La Liga battle. But things have a habit of changing and Rodrigo after another great run, De Paul slammed the ball Against a post Paco and our man was there as usual to put the finishing touch for his third..... Game on. At this stage we are still out if the score stays the same because of the away goals rule, however drama it over and after a challenge by Mustafi on the keeper Rodrigo slams home the loose ball to make it 4.4. The keeper seemed a little upset that a free kick was not given  and was so lucky to stay on after his protestations in the face of the referee. The usual frantic last minutes were punctuated only by a stupid sending off of Rodrigo who kicked out in anger for no reason and was rightly dismissed by the referee. 

Player  Ratings:
Yoel  5  Could do nothing with The goals but just unfortunate to have been in goal again on a bad day for the defense.
Vezo 5    Had a good game and needed playing time
Cancelo 6    Played really well and looks very good prospect and explains the absence of Jao Perreira
Mustafi 6   His usual German efficiency and reliability, our BMW
Orban 8  Has to be my second man of the match and good to know we have any able replacement for Gaya. Just pipped as M.O.M.
Parejo 4 Had a poor game and did not seem to get involved enough for me and gave the ball away too many time
Gil 4    Same as Parejo very ineffective and rightly taken off, I is not a wide man for sure.
Augusto 5   I would still like to see more of him because I think he will be a good player for us given the chance
Gomez  7  Another great game, he was the midfield and involved in all the good moves
Rodrigo 7    Spoiled a great performance by the silly sending off but much improved
Alcacer 8  Man of The Match three goals and could have had another with a little luck.
Negredo 7.  Really hard working and made all the difference when he came on
Piatti  6      Unlucky not to score and did his bit to liven us up
De Paul 7   Another great game, has to be to regular starter now, surely

Monday, December 15, 2014

Valencia CF vs Rayo Vallecano Match Preview

Valencia CF vs Rayo Vallecano Match Preview
Stadium: Mestalla
Date: 16.12.2014, 22:00 CET
5th matchday, Copa del Rey
Coaches: Nuno Santos and Paco Jemez

Valencia CF will host Rayo Vallecano tomorrow at the Mestalla, the third time these two teams have met, once in the cup, last game in La Liga and tomorrow for the second leg of the cup. Valencia CF is coming to this match with one goal advantage, as the first leg between the teams ended in a 2-1 victory for Valencia CF, but Valencia's team will be further emboldened by the fact that they just beat Rayo Vallecano again, this time in the league by three goals to nil.

Coming with with high confidence into this match is coach Nuno Santos as well, who's opted to rest key players like Otamendi, Gaya and Feghouli for this match, feeling that the team can win either way, especially with 1 goal lead already achieved on away terrain.

Paco Alcacer will be available for selection tomorrow and chances are he is going to start the match, having had to sit out the match in the league due to red card suspension, but will be keep to start tomorrow and score a goal, as the battle for starting position has truly begun, with Negredo being slightly favored so far by coach Nuno Santso. Paco will want to prove that he is in top form once again and no better way than to score at least one goal tomorrow against Rayo.

This will be Valencia's second last match for this year, the club still has to play against Eibar this year and after that there is a short 2 week winter break, before the matches start of again on January 4th 2015. Valencia's technical staff are looking to strengthen the squad this winte, with Peter Lim keen to bring Enzo Perez and Nicolas Gaitan from Benfica, though few other names have been mentioned as well, including Juan Mata, Javier Pastore, Arturo Vidal and few other names. 

Valencia CF Squad:
Goalkeepers: Alves, Yoel
Defenders: Barragan, Cancelo, Vezo, Mustafi, Orban
Midfielders: Fuego, Gomes, Parejo, Felipe, Zuculini, Gil, Piatti, De Paul
Forwards: Negredo, Paco, Moreno

Technical Details Valencia CF (probable setups):
Formation: 4-3-3
Line-up: Yoel; Cancelo, Mustafi, Vezo, Orban; Zuculini, Parejo, Felipe, Gil, Paco, De Paul.
Tactics: Medium defensive line, own half pressure, mixed passing, deep laying defensive midfielder, counter attacks.

Match Result:
Valencia CF 1-0 Rayo Vallecano
I'm expecting a small 1-0 victory for Valencia CF. The team just beat Rayo 3-0 in the league, but with a bit weakened squad and possibly quite a bit of changes we are likely to see a more closer match, though I do sure hope the team surprises me and win big.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Match Report Valencia 3-0 Rayo Vallecano

Why do we go to football? Drama, excitement, controversy, entertainment, well it was all there at the Mestalla tonight.

A bright start by both teams and after 10 minutes a good shout for a penalty when Barragan was brought down in the opposing area, but as it was not Ronaldo and so no penalty.

De Paul was taking the place of Parejo and right from the start seemed determined to to make the move permanent. he was involved in the the better moves from the home team linking up well and looking like he had been there all season.

 Feghouli opened the scoring with a great glancing header in the 13th minute from a good cross from Barragan and after 34 minutes forced the ball in from a rebound from the keeper after a header from Negredo to make it two. Right from the restart Piatti picked up the ball and ran through the Rayo defenders before sliding home to make it 3.0 in the 36th minute.

Man of The Match FEGHOULI

We were all looking forward to a few more goals in the second half but it was not to be,  although the pace never eased up with both teams going all out attack but Valencia held on and prevented  the usual late goal against them. It could have been more though had Negredo and Rodrigo, who came on for De Paul near the end finished off good chances.

A strange atmosphere for the first 40 minutes with the Curva Norde seemingly making their point about being banned from singing obscene chants by remaining very quiet.  The team did not seem over affected though and managed the 3 goals which eventually, with the help of the other 3 sides of the ground, brought them back into life, proving that they can support the team vocally without the obscenities

However a 3.0 win is good news and keeps us just behind the leaders with a long way to go before the season end.


Alves 6    Made to host great saves but nearly gave away a silly goal when trying to dribble around Baptistão Instead of clearing it.

Barragan 7   Did his job well tonight and made ​​the first goal. Looking better recently.

Otamendi 7   The usual top rate performance and is going forward more now and improving his passing.

Mustafi 7  Another good performance covering well as usual.

Gaya 6 Another good game but I would like to see him getting a few more crosses over like he did earlier in the season.

Fuego 6  Solid usual at the back but limited action  going forward.

Gomez 6  Good performance spoiled by  two silly yellow cards seeing him sent off in the 70th minute. 

De Paul 7  Great performance in the middle and  surely must be starter from now on and not before time.

Feghouli 8  Man of the match for me. Two goals and a good all round performance, if only he could  find some consistency.

Piatti 7  Another player when on form, like tonight is worth his weight in gold.  Showed great confidence when running through to score and never looked like he was going to pass it to anybody else.

Negredo 7  Missed a few good chances but worked tirelessly for the team and helped out all over the pitch.  The goals will surely come. A silly booking for dissent.

Augusto Needs more playing time, Please I want to see more of him, Must stop getting yellow cards every game.
Orban Needs more playing time, Really deserves to be played more, we don't want to lose him.
Rodrigo Needs a rest. Gone off track a little recently but an amazing talent.

So what do you think: 

Orban to get more play time resting Gaya ?
De Paul to get more time playing ?
How about Piatti,  genius or too lightweight ?
Augusto  Is he good enough ?
What about Vezo, didn't he use to play for us at one time ?