After the end of our European campaign, Villarreal turns its undivided attention to La Liga and climbing places in the table. In this vein, Monday evening's visit to direct rivals Málaga should not be overshadowed by the reunions with manager Manuel Pellegrini and talismanic midfielder Santi Cazorla.
One article, written before our weekend victory over Real Betis, asks if this season will define the club's future. I tend to be skeptical of such declarations, and I think for good reason, but the insights from Spanish-language media on the club are insightful.
That article also posits the end of the careers of Nilmar and Giuseppe Rossi in yellow. After a summer of dalliances, a new report indicates São Paolo FC may try and lure the Brazilian back to his homeland. Unlikely on its face, but the country's economic surge has boosted salaries and quality in the national league.
Borja Valero also is on radar screens across Europe, including back in England. Despite a failed spell with West Bromwich Albion, Borja has caught the eye of our summer friendly opponents Everton. Hands off, David Moyes.
Rumor out: Javier Saviola. Too expensive. Rumor in: Sporting Lisbon right back João Pereira. We just faced our former player by that name; this one is a Portuguese international who can also play as an interior and is known for his temper. That sounds like a poor fit, and the competition to acquire his services will be stiff. We shall see.
Finally, more bad news on the injury front: José Manuel Catalá will be out six weeks with a left leg injury. Get well soon, and welcome back, Joan Oriol. Let's hope he can consistently deliver performances like Tuesday's in Munich.