When Valencia came off the field from the Bernabéu recently, the result against Real Madrid confirmed that there was still a lot of work to be done if the club were to become legitimate title contenders once again. They had just suffered a 5-1 defeat and had been outplayed in every department. A goal down after only three minutes, it then became the Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo show…as the Brazilian pair put the team from the capital five goals to the good. A goal for Hugo Duro, two minutes from time, was a small consolation for the travelling fans. With a second international break within consecutive months next on the calendar, it gave the club a chance to take stock and reflect on the progress that had been made under Rubén Baraja.
Youngsters have been blooded into first team duties with various degrees of success and the energy levels are high and intense in every game.
Tiredness and burn out by the end of the season are serious questions that need to be addressed now, to protect these players, if we want to continue to see the best of them in a Valencia shirt in the foreseeable future.
A forage into the transfer market when it re-opens would be ideal and one or two additional players with experience and reputations should be a priority. The right calibre of player fused with the youngsters in the first team should help to maintain the steady progress the club are making on field.
Finding a creative midfielder is going to be key. Valencia have never adequately replaced Dani Parejo in this area. Someone of his ilk would be a great fit for Valencia.
Also, a centre forward with a proven goal scoring record would help the cause. Recent big time acquisitions like Cavani and Maxi Gómez have failed to ignite the Mestalla. However, a loan signing who brought the kind of impact like Simone Zaza did, would be a welcome addition to the club.
Hugo Duro is beginning to find some form in front of goal to add to his overall play. A regular partner for him would also take some of the pressure off the Getafe born striker.
During their international break itself, Diego Lopez, Javi Guerra and Fran Perez were involved in the Spanish Under-21 matches against Hungary and Belgium respectively.
The home game at the Estadio Neuvo Colombino in Huelva against Hungary ended in a 2-0 victory for the Spanish, and this was followed up with a well-earned point in a 1-1 draw with the Belgians, at the Den Dreef Stadium in Leuven.
José Luis Gayà and Georgi Mamardashvili lined up against each other in the final game of the group stages of the European qualifiers in the Jose Zorrilla stadium in Valladolid for the Spain v Georgia contest. It was the former who will be the happier, as La Selección won the fixture 3-1.
On completion of the international break, Valencia had a home game against Celta Vigo. The home side huffed and puffed but could not penetrate the Galician defence, as the game ended in a goalless stalemate.
The surprise package of LaLiga so far have been Girona. Sitting pretty in a Champions League spot, they had won 11 games out of 13 prior to the encounter with Valencia.
That number was to move to twelve as they beat Los Che 2-1, with a late winner after Hugo Duro had given the visitors the lead.
Looking forward, Valencia have their second game in the Copa Del Rey. Their reward for dispatching Logrones from the competition in the last round is a trip to Pontevedra and a match up with Arosa.
The club play in the third division of Spanish football and were founded in 1945. The Estadio de A Lomba has a capacity for 4,800 spectators and is based in Villagarcía de Arosa that has a population of around 40,000 residents.
In other related news, Valencia CF Mestalla signed the Englishman Declan Frith in September of 2023. Having started at Welling United he has played at youth level with both Aston Villa and Chelsea. He made his debut for Valencia Mestalla recently, and being eligible to play for the United States he is already being compared to, and touted as, the new Yunus Musah.
The Valencia Mestalla side also played their third match of the Premier League International Cup. The Under-21 tournament includes 12 teams from England and 12 teams from countries such as Spain, Germany, France, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Wales, Croatia and Portugal.
Miguel Ángel Angulo’s squad travelled to Snows Stadium in Totten and beat Southampton 2-0. Having lost to West Ham (1-0) and Brighton (3-2) they will now have to beat Chelsea and hope other results go their way to advance to the knock-out stages of the tournament.
Across the city, Levante UD find themselves in a promotion battle with a plethora of clubs. Leganés seem to be the stand out team in the league to date. Only nine points separate second place Sporting Gijon and 15th place CD Eldenese, with Levante UD lying in the middle of that “traffic jam”.
Three losses, a win, and a draw have seen the club lose grip of an automatic promotion spot, but they are still in a strong position. Second place Sporting Gijon is next on the league agenda and three points in Asturias would be a welcome early Christmas present.
Report by John Howden
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
Arosa v Valencia CF Copa Del Rey 4th December 21.00h
Getafe v Valencia Friday 8th December 21.00h
Valencia CF v FC Barcelona Saturday 16th December 21.00h
Rayo Vallecano v Valencia Tuesday 19th December 19.00h
Valencia CF v Villarreal CF Tuesday 2nd January 21.30h
Levante UD v Amorebieta Copa Del Rey 6th December 19.00h
Sporting Gijon v Levante UD Saturday 9th December 18.30h
Levante v S D Huesca Saturday 17th December 16.15h
Real Zaragoza v Levante UD Tuesday 20th December 19.00h
Levante UD v Albacete 14th January (tbc)