Forget Duo Madrid, Valencia Can Be a Barca Challenger This Season
Sorry for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. So far Valencia has a great potential to compete in the top flight, being opposed to Barcelona’s equivalent.
Valencia are still faithfully stalking Barcelona at the top of the standings after a 2-0 win over Espanyol at the weekend. Goals scored by Geoffrey Kondogbia and Santi Mina make El Che collect 30 points, just behind four of Barca.
Valencia’s glorious performance is good news for the La Liga race, given Barcelona is now far behind two main rivals: Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. The giant Spanish capital’s duo are 10 points adrift.
Back to Valencia, the Mestalla-based club is undergoing a revival. The win at home to Espanyol was their eighth successive streak. Valencia also became one of the clubs, apart from Barca and Atletico, who are unbeaten.
Season to Forget Valencia
What experienced Valencia this season is very different than last season. From the first 13 weeks of 2016/2017, the club bathed the black logo that only got 3 wins, two draws and eight defeats. Valencia when it was in position 17 of the standings.
Valencia’s condition is very bad. Cesare Prandelli, their fifth manager of the year, decided to resign in December. A month ago Sports Director, Jesus Garcia Pitarch, took turns putting his position.
If Valencia are not relegated at the end of the season, they deserve to thank Voro Gonzalez. Appointed as interim, Voro led Valencia finished in 12th position standings. Just like the previous season.
Forget Duo Madrid, Valencia Can Be a Barca Challenger This Season Mestalla stadium re-excited after Valencia appear okay at the beginning of this season (Manuel Queimadelos Alonso / Getty Images)
But Voro was also not last long at the Mestalla. Six months interim status, he decided to resign. Valencia returns in an erratic period after the season ends.
Series of conditions that make Valencia can no longer compete in the top of the standings. Though Valencia is one of the most successful club La Liga, with a total of six titles champion.
With Rafael Benitez in the manager’s seat and players like Ruben Baraja, David Albelda, Vicente Rodriguez, John Carew, Pablo Aimar and Mista, Valencia won two La Liga titles in the three-year period in 2001/2002 and 2003/2004.
The Rise of Black Bats
If the Black Bat is now flying high again, it certainly is not obtained by sudden. If it can be traced, all started from the recruitment of Mateu Alemany as director of the club, March 2017. Alemany is the former president of Real Mallorca. A month after Alemany arrived, Valencia had a new president in Anil Murthy.
Alemany made a revolution in the body of Valencia. He knew to be able to break the existing conditions at his club needed a new figure in the coach’s seat. So diboyongnya Marcelino García Toral, a man who for four previous seasons to be the captain of Villarreal.
Duo Alemany and Toral then build a new squad of Valencia. Instead of looking for experienced and reputable players, Valencia formed a team of young people and built a solid squad. Based on Transfermarkt data, Valencia have the youngest squad average in La Liga this season (25.1 years).
Marcelino build Valencia rely on young players Marcelino build Valencia rely on young players Photo: Manuel Queimadelos Alonso / Getty Images
The combination of coach Marcelino Garcia Toral with young players is not just making Valencia a tactical change. The total change took place at the club. So names like Nani and Alvaro Negredo were kicked out last summer.
Instead came the likes of Simone Zaza, Gabriel Paulista, as well as loan players like Guedes, Geoffrey Kondogbia, and Jeison Murillo. One is for sure, Marcelino does not bring in players whose age is more than 26 years. Opportunities are also given to academy players such as Carlos Soler and Rodrigo.
This young team was able to converge quickly. Armed with young players and have a great desire to prove themselves, Marcelino make the most of the advantage.
Zaza has scored nine goals so far, when he underwent a bad period at West Ham United. Valencia also have young players who are predicted to be the future stars of Portugal in Goncalo Guedes (loan PSG), there are also Kondogbia that failed at Inter, and Neto who had been drowned in the shadow of Gianluigi Buffon. On the other hand the old players are also still given the chance to prove themselves, which later proved successful on Daniel Parejo and Jose Luis Gaya.
On the field Valencia always appear with high intensity. Marcelino is known to be obsessed with diet and food restrictions. These factors help a lot of players
The young Valencia players’ blood made them the most aggressive club in La Liga so far. Valencia became the club with the most number of violations until before the international break last week. This must be wary of coach Marcelino. Do not let the important players of Valencia absent in big games because they get the ban ban.
But Valencia’s supporters probably will not want to think about it first. They are now rejoicing over the revival of his favorite team.
And certainly, Valencia supporters are now enthusiastically looking forward to meeting his team with Barcelona in the 14th week of La Liga Primera, exactly the next week, Monday (27/11/2017).