A lot of this has been discussed, but there are a few things that are worth noting, all of which reflect, I believe, Valverde's influence on the team.
- Jonathan Pereira has been sold to Betis for 3.5m euros. Overall, it isn't the worst deal for Villarreal. It is disappointing that we never got a chance to see what he really had to offer, especially considering that he was a product of the Villarreal youth system, but I had a pretty strong feeling that he didn't quite have the skill we would require at that position. Don't get me wrong - he is definitely a promising player - I just think he would have spent a career on the bench, which, for a striker, is like a death sentence. Villarreal have apparently retained a percentage of his future sale price if he moves on from Betis.
- Sebastian Eguren, part of the heart and soul of Villarreal in the last embers of the Pellegrini era, looks to be moving on. Valverde has clearly found favor with Bruno, and as discussed on here previously, has some B-team talent at the position to work with. Something didn't click between Eguren and Valverde, and Eguren (very understandably) is concerned about his starting role with Uruguay for the summer's World Cup. He could be moving on by the end of the month. If he does, I will really miss him. He has been one of my favorite players of late.
- Marcos Gullón sees the possibilities of greater playing time with the A-team. He is only 20, but seems to be a possible piece of the Valverde puzzle, and has already expressed appreciation for Valverde's giving him the call up for the Valencia match.
On that note, one thing that Valverde has going for him is that the B-team players that are there, waiting to be pulled up, are sure to provide him with some loyalty. I am definitely not one of the biggest fans of Valverde's style, but I can learn to live with it if Villarreal can win. I believe there will always be the possibility of returning to the truly beautiful game, but the reality that is so hard to face is that the coaches who can lead a team in that style and be successful are few and far between. Valverde has not yet accomplished the success side of the coin, but I believe that he may if given enough time and patience. Obviously, that isn't going to be good enough for some fans - you don't have to look any further than the comments sections on some recent posts - but knowing the management of the club and the club's well-displayed ability to scout talent, Villarreal can work a balance and retain much of what made it Villarreal to begin with.
One last thing, Diego Godin is on the verge of renewing his contract with the club, stating that to do so has always been his intention. I think one thing we can all agree on is that Godin is a great player and can be the anchor of our back line.