Marcelino has assembled a steamrolling side at Valencia. Los Che sit in second place in the LaLiga table after 11 matches, the best return at that stage of the season in the history of the club. A club-record seven consecutive victories have contributed to a flying start to the campaign.
Valencia have dropped points in just three matches
Valencia have taken 27 points from the 33 that have been on offer so far, dropping points just three times since the season began in August: against Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, and in the local derby against Levante. Valencia have swatted aside Málaga, Real Betis, Sevilla, and Leganés by a margin of three or more goals, which has contributed to their total of 30 in the league.
The current Valencia side is doing what appeared impossible a year ago as the club continued to stumble through mediocrity, by surpassing the famous ‘Delantera Eléctrica’ team that won the Generalissimo Cup in 1941, led by a formidable forward line of Epifanio Fernández Berridi ‘Epi’, Amadeo, Mundo, Asensi, and Gorostiza.
Simone Zaza propels Los Che forward
A significant contributory factor to Valencia’s current success is the form of Simone Zaza. Marcelino is teasing the very best from the Italian striker, who already has nine goals to his name this season. Yet the upturn in form of Rodrigo Moreno, who has netted seven times in the league, is equally impressive. Rodrigo has also been on the scoresheet for Julen Lopetegui’s Spain in a 3-0 victory over Albania.
“We have done things coherently, we have worked hard, with intensity, and I think we have worked well. If things are done with analysis, then things can go well. Everything is going a lot better than ‘well’, and with as much humility as possible we’re going to try to continue in the same vein,” said Marcelino.
Marcelino makes Mestalla dream
The coach has revolutionised and reinvigorated the dressing room since his arrival in the summer, with the home of Mateo Alemany, the general director. From the first day of pre-season Marcelino has set about sculpting a committed, solid, and explosive team. And he has had the resources to do so. Ezequiel Garay, Gabriel Paulista, and Jeison Murillo compete for the centre-half berths and there is very little between them. Geoffrey Kondogbia and Dani Parejo know that they have lead vocals in the centre of the park, and youngsters like Carlos Soler and José Luis Gayá add to the identity. Real Madrid and Atlético target Gonçalo Guedes is the spark, and Simone Zaza and Rodrigo the cherries on top.
Ahead of the season, must of the talk surrounding Valencia was about qualification for European competition once again. But now, without getting ahead of itself, Mestalla is dreaming of something more.