Welcome, Coach Molina. We hope you'll still be smiling in May!!
As we noted yesterday, it didn't take long for Villarreal to appoint a new coach. Jose Molina takes over from Garrido, moving up from the B team just as Garrido did when he replaced Valverde. The difference is that Garrido had been a B team coach for a couple of years and had the team near the promotion places when he left, while Molina only moved up from the C team job late last year, replacing Javi Gracia. His record in the Segunda was only 5-7-10 though (a point a game).
Sr. Roig said Molina was his first and only choice, though. Both in choosing Molina and in introducing him, Sr. Roig has thrown down the gauntlet to the players to improve their play. The report on the official website is here:
EPM has several stories, one that Molina is already on the job, returning from his holidays to scout Valencia against Cadiz last night, another that he will bring his assistant, former player Igor Tasevski, with him. And someone caught up with a few of the players who said positive things, of course.
The Villarreal fans on twitter seem relatively happy with the choice, though frankly anyone not named Garrido is going to get some positive vibes from them at this point. Sr. Roig has done what he's always done--promoting from within, and ensuring that he gets someone who knows the Villarreal style of play and knows the players.
It's a gutsy move, not necessarily the move that those of us far away from Villarreal would have made. Certainly there are some people wondering if the real reason isn't to save money; that may enter into it, sure, but if Roig were concerned that Molina couldn't keep the team in the Primera I can't imagine he would have made the choice given how much money relegation would cost us.
The reaction among people commenting on the stories in AS and Marca has been both positive and negative. Certainly the B team's struggles (especially defensively) worry me as far as the appointment is concerned, but I also think Garrido's yo-yoing of players between A and B didn't help. Regardless, Molina has 22 games to keep us in the Primera, starting on January 8th in El Madrigal against Valencia.
If you haven't already noticed it, Villarreal has a new official website, http://www.villarrealcf.es. It looks very good, loads much quicker than the last one. Really nice pictures and less cluttered than the preceding site! The only snag is I find it works well with Safari, not with Firefox (or at least my version of it).
And finally, yes, the Christmas spot (best wishes for the holidays from Villarreal CF) is here. It's more low key than last year's effort, features Santa (in yellow, of course), recounting great moments in the club's history, though he gets interrupted around 2011. Giuseppe Rossi makes an appearance, and it (and the children in it) are really cute. What can I say. Here is the link to the spot:
Happy holidays and a prosperous 2012 from Villarreal to all of you, and to Villarreal from all of us!