I will go ahead and address some news that is well known at this point.
Most importantly, Villarreal have rewarded Juan Carlos Garrido with a one-year extension following the turnaround he brought to the club. In fourteen matches, Garrido has accumulated 26 points - the same number of points Valverde earned in 20 matches. I believe this was an excellent move. We all know that a number of top-level players will be sold, and some B players will be brought up. Garrido knows these players well, and will be excellent at incorporating their strengths into the A team.
Jozy Altidore will write the script for his future this summer. He has not started the lead-in to the World Cup well for himself (or for Villarreal). This past weekend, he stupidly headbutted a player (who obviously deserved it, but you still can't do that), and has earned himself a loan termination by Hull City. If you ask me, this was a sketchy move by the England side, who is facing relegation and trying to save some money. Poor form by them. Now, we have to hope Jozy has a huge summer. I, unlike my friend Sidarth and a few others, see almost no possibility of Altidore playing here in the future, so we need to see good work out of him to get top dollar. I think we might have to look at his purchase as a total bust.
In other news and notes:
As Villarreal stunningly have yet to have a penalty called in their favor, finally there is at least a little relief. To be 100 percent correct, Sunday's match against Racing did involve a penalty called in favor of Villarreal. The problem was that it was shockingly taken away by the side judge, who saw a ghost handball by Nilmar. Villarreal can seek solace in the fact that the side judge has been suspended for a match. Want to know the last time a Liga team went an entire year without receiving a penalty? Osasuna in 1993-1994.
Villarreal value Diego Godin. They value him 25 million euros' worth. That is the price that the club has placed on Godin, as a number of clubs are sure to come calling this summer. I would not be surprised to see him go, but it will be a sad day if it happens. I am sure, by the way, that his value has gone up about 5 million following the recent three-goal outburst!
I know Kenez mentioned it the other week, but has anyone else been paying much attention to the rise of Villarreal C? They are in the Tercera, and currently find themselves in third place in Group 6 (ignore that it says 2009-2010, as it is actually current). The top 4 teams in each group make the promotion playoffs. The most incredible part of this? They have gone unbeaten in 12, and have won 10 of those matches. Wow. If they attained promotion, Villarreal would have a team in the top three divisions in Spain. No one else can even match us now having teams in the top two divisions. This would really be special. Here are the last 12 match scores.
J. 25 Villarreal C 3–0 Ribarroja
J. 26 Villarreal C 3–0 Catarroja
J. 27 Jove Español 0–1 Villarreal C
J. 28 Villarreal C 2–1 Onda
J. 29 Levante B 0-0 Villarreal C
J. 30 Villarreal C 1–0 Torrellano Illice
J. 31 Eldense 0-2 Villarreal C
J. 32 Villarreal C 5–1 Burjassot
J. 33 Alzira 0-2 Villarreal C
J. 34 Villarreal C 2–2 Olímpic Xàtiva
J. 35 Torrevieja 0-1 Villarreal C
J. 36 Villarreal C 2–1 Crevillente Deportivo
I was granted a break from work tomorrow to go to a bar and catch the Barcelona-Inter Milan match, which is sure to be incredible. Unfortunately, I have to head back to work afterward, so no drinking for me! I hope Barcelona are focusing all of their thoughts and energies on this match, and have forgotten about the trip to El Madrigal. This could be a great advantage for Villarreal, especially when you consider Barcelona's troubles as visitors over the last nine years - they have had only three wins, while falling to five losses.