Valencia have not started the season quite as many observers expected, not least Marcelino. After six rounds of Liga action Los Che have yet to win a game, marking their worst run at the outset of a Liga campaign since 1957-58.
That season, Valencia didn’t win a Liga game until the 12th round of fixtures, although they had only played 11 games at that point due to the week 6 fixture against Sporting Gijón being postponed and had been forced to play consecutive fixtures away from home at Athletic, Valladolid, Espanyol, Celta and Atlético after the catastrophic Valencia Flood of October 1957. By week 10 Valencia were bottom of the league but on their first game back at Mestalla on December 8, they broke that run with a 3-1 victory over Zaragoza.
From there Valencia went from strength to strength, losing only twice more all season and eventually finishing fourth.
Marcelino has Di Stéfano, Cúper cup precedents
Marcelino now has the unfortunate statistic of going longer without a win at the start of a campaign for well over half a century to his name, but the precedents are curious. Two of his illustrious predecessors, Alfredo Di Stéfano and Héctor Cúper, both won their first game of the 1979-80 and 1999-2000 seasons respectively in week six and went on to success in a cup competition, Di Stéfano leading the side to a Cup Winner’s Cup triumph and Cúper guiding Valencia to their first Champions League final while also finishing third in the league.
Marcelino will take scant comfort from those coincidences though as he faces an uphill struggle to get Valencia back into the top four this season, having defied the odds in 2017-18 to return one of LaLiga’s historical heavyweights to Europe’s top table via the league route while also overseeing a Champions League campaign in a tough group containing Manchester United and Juventus.