The Strike Is Here; Odds & Ends

Our best defender deserves a second chance. It's up to Garrido and our attack to provide it to him.

First, paraphrasing the attitude at El Madrigal after our shock defeat in Odense:

Juan Carlos Garrido: "We played OK, should have scored, gave up a bad goal. Let's channel that anger into the return leg."

That's the right spirit. But will it carry over to the players?

Carlos Marchena: "Odense was playing for 0-0. They didn't deserve to win."

While 1-1 would have been a just scoreline, it's not as if the Danes did not create chances. Focus on the game ahead, enforcer.

Marco Ruben: "We played well. At home, we will win. Small errors cost us."

You weren't on the pitch very long, my friend. And we did play well, but not well enough. Maybe you need to get in there and battle some of the physical Danish defenders.

Spanish media- AS, Marca, etc.: "Villarreal deserved to win and played the better football. But sometimes fate intervenes. From what we saw in Odense, the Yellow Submarine should go through. But don't forget about Sevilla."

Indeed. Sevilla has been on my mind ever since Tuesday evening. But Spanish football is full of demons, and most were vanquished by Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010. Don't say that to the U-20 side after their recent penalty shootout defeat to Brazil, though.

A few more tidbits:

The match calendar is up! Look for it in the right sidebar. You can add it to your personal Google calendar, and it will be updated with match times and results as they become available (the default is U.S. Eastern Time).

I could not find a calendar with both the A and B team matches, so here it is. Spread the word!

Villarreal B has announced its squad numbers for the upcoming season, which was to have started this evening at home against Valencian rivals Hércules. But the strike has put off the season opener in Spanish football. So we'll have to wait another week (or two) to see the debuts of 'Chiqui' Guerrero, Florian Lejeune, and Lucas Porcar, among others.

Finally, the return of two legends. Ronaldinho is back for Brazil, perhaps at Nilmar's expense. That's not necessarily a bad thing from a Villarreal perspective.

And our old friend Juan Román Riquelme returns from a nearly three-year absence to wear the albiceleste of Argentina. It's an exclusively home-based squad, and Verón made it as well, but it's still an achievement. Best of luck to both of them.

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