It hurts to see this Valencia side. What a mess Peter Lim made of things when, as holders of the Copa del Rey and qualified for the Champions League, he decided to break up the duo of Mateo Alemany and Marcelino García Toral. As time has passed what’s left is a ragged group, led by a sad coach out of sync with his bosses, given the use he’s made of the new signings and the painful testimony from Gayà at the end of the 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid, bearing witness to the confusion felt by all involved with the club. The team is far too close to the drop to be playing with such apathy. It was truly painful to watch them yesterday.
Just as it takes two to tango, yesterday we didn’t get to see a game of football, at least not a proper one, though there were flashes. Just like watching a boxer training and he starts shadow boxing. We saw, once again, the classy instinct of Benzema, on a number of plays, one of which was a fine goal. We saw Modric’s stunning wand of a foot. We saw the constant logic of Kroos. We saw less of Asensio and Vinicius, who wasted an opportunity to shine. We saw the stubbornness of Mendy, who had a lovely goal ruled out by the nit-picker in the Video Operation Room. And we saw, oh no! Carjaval injured again.
Too many games, not enough time
We discussed the injury on our radio show Carrusel - there wasn’t so much else to talk about given the lack of spark in the game - and how tough the calendar is. Lots of games to bring in lots of cash, lots of cash because the players earn so much, at the same time as the players get injured so much because they play so often. It’s a fish biting its own tail. This year the situation has reached crisis levels, because the season started late and has to be finished by 20 May, for the European Championships and the Copa América. Rubiales suggests slimming down LaLiga - he’s already slimmed down the Copa. But that gives half the Primera and all the Segunda the heebie-jeebies. It’s not topic on which consensus will be easily reached.