Things have been slow around Vila-Real over the break, but that hasn't prevented Villarreal's strikers from showing signs of life. Llorente and Pereira were not with their national sides, but they still managed to voice their opinions that all will be right come Xerez. Nilmar and Rossi did their talking on the pitch. Nilmar scored one in Brasil's 2-1 loss at altitude in Bolivia. Rossi really got off the snide with a hat trick against a well-known Italian giant: Empoli's youth team.
Last week, Villarreal was paired with Puertollano for their first matchup in the Copa del Rey (thanks Kenez).
One interesting story over the slow week (mentioned by Jackson earlier). Bruno and Cani had a little dust-up after a hard challenge from Bruno, but Valverde laughed it off as no big deal.
He was probably so willing to get over it because Fernando Roig is still giving him his full support. Roig said, "I believe in him blindly. Ernesto is a technician who is very accountable with what is happening, but more importantly he shows daily in his work that he is the valid choice to lead this club. I am the first to see or notice that things are not done right or not working well, but at the moment I do not have this feeling. I see that everyone is working hard to get where we should be and it calms me." Not sure what I think of believing in him "blindly", but I guess we'll see this weekend how that works out.
Villarreal began training again this afternoon after a weekend of rest. Everyone was present except for the seven internationals who haven't made it back yet. Needing a couple of midfielders, Valverde called on Matilla and Marcos Guillon - two players that arguably should be on the first team anyway.
And what's news without a couple of transfer rumors (no matter how extreme they may be)? Bavarian minnows Bayern Munich have been linked with someone who has arguably become one of the most important players in Villarreal history: Joan Capdevila. Despite being well-known and well-respected, Capdevila still gets short shrift for all that he has done for this club. I don't see him going anywhere. Villarreal have been linked to a mid-season pickup of Inter's Honduran striker, David Suazo. Another hopelessly improbable proposition; I don't see anyone at Villarreal giving up on any of our four strikers, one of which would have to go for something like this to work. One could argue that Pereira may not fit in with the squad, but I just don't think it would happen.