Okay, I'm going to come clean about one of those superstitions every sports fan has when following their favorite team. In my case, it involves one of our cats, Stanley. You see, a few years ago I taught him to catch kitty treats in the air when I threw them to him, and to encourage him to do it I would call out the name of Villarreal's goalkeeper (since his lunging after the treat reminded me of a goalkeeper saving a shot). So for a couple of years Stanley learned to expect treats thrown his way when he heard the name of Diego López; then we went threw a brief Diego Mariño period last fall before settling on Juan Carlos. Stanley responded well to JC's name, and there did seem to be a correlation between the cat's performance and Villarreal's!!
But right now I honestly don't know what name to use when throwing Stanley his treats. Juan Carlos is out for maybe six weeks (!!) after suffering a hamstring tear in practice, leaving Aitor Fernandez, who is scheduled to be the B-team's first choice keeper, as our #1. I guess I still think Andrés Fernandez will end up here somehow, though Osasuna have said he is not leaving (Andrés did not play in their opening friendly, either, adding to the speculation maybe his move will get unblocked at some point).
Word is the off again, on again move of Julio César from QPR to Napoli is off again, apparently over wages. Now if Napoli's egomaniac president, de Laurentiis, can't come up with the money Cesar feels he deserves, I can't see our fiscally responsible President Roig doing it. So that move seems out to me.
At the moment, Aitor is supposed to play in goal tomorrow against Nastic in our first friendly, I guess, but I'm holding off on training our cat to catch treats to his name! Hopefully this will all be resolved soon, because we need an experienced Primera keeper with JC out. I suppose I would still put my money on Andrés, but Emilio Viviano's name keeps coming up as well.
Tomorrow's game will be on Radio Vila-real (you can listen here) at 20.15 Spanish time (11AM Pacific time, 2PM Eastern). The squad won't be announced until after the morning training session; the "mariachi pair" of Gio and Javier Aquino only joined the club Thursday, so I doubt they will play. Uche and Jaume Costa are fitness doubts, too.
In other news, it's rumored Villarreal are set to get €2.5 million from the sale of Wakaso Mubarak to Swansea (we will be calling Swansea the "Welsh Submarine" soon). Not a bad return; I believe we spent virtually nothing to obtain him from Elche. However, Swansea is denying that any deal with Espanyol is in the works.
And Joan Truyols is going to be reunited with Julio Velázquez--the ex-amarillo defender is going to lpay for Real Murcia next year. There were reports Velázquez was interested in getting Moi Gomez and Manu Trigueros on loan, too, but I would be very surprised if Manu, at least, is going anywhere.
That's it for now--Endavant Villarreal!