Villarreal have an off day after yesterday's goalless draw against Espanyol, and while it's nice to have some time for injuries to heal during this next international break, it's disappointing to see Hernán Pérez as the only Villarreal player who will play for his national squad during this break. (Except for Jefferson Montero, who is still Villarreal property, of course).
Rossi, Zapata, and Nilmar are all injured, and Carlos Marchena's time with the Spanish national side would seem to be at an end in any case. But it's disappointing to see Vicente Del Bosque ignoring Borja Valero and Bruno Soriano in the national team.
Borja has only recently begun to show the form that impressed everyone so much last year, but Bruno has been a rock in midfield throughout this miserable start to the season. And if Del Bosque doesn't see the value in him, Sir Alex Ferguson certainly does. He's looking at Bruno or perhaps Javi Martinez to strengthen the Red Devils' midfield. I can't see the Basques letting Javi go easily; hard to know what Sr. Roig is thinking about selling Bruno at this point.
The reports on yesterday's game are all pretty similar, except AS thought Musacchio could've been called for pushing in the box a couple of times. I guess only Portuguese refs give those soft penalties on him. El Pais have a fairly drab report on what they considered a fairly drab game; EPM, as usual, offers the best analysis.
Similar to Ravi's recap here, they do note the much better 'sensations' in the second half but remain concerned about midfield, and De Guzman comes in for criticism both in the match report as well as from one of their columnists. General agreement that Hernan Perez was our best player yesterday.
But by not bringing Joselu in as a second striker late on, Garrido was either happy to settle for a point, or figured if we tried to attack too much we risked getting caught out on the counter like Getafe did against us last year.
The EPM writers share the concern, as expressed by commenters here, that Villarreal has lost that flowing, attacking style of play that has attracted so many fans to the team. Is that primarily a function of injuries and personnel losses, or is Garrido concerned not to lose at all costs?
The team has a day off today before returning to practice on Tuesday. Hopefully some of the niggling injuries (Ruben, Marchena, Camuñas) can heal during the next two weeks. Zapata should return around the end of the month, Cani after that, and Nilmar should return before the end of 2011. And Angel continues to get comfortable on the pitch, so should be able to contribute more very soon.
Now if DeGuzman can show why we paid what we did for him, and if Perez can return from the international break and continue to show his class and skill, we might start to score some goals, win games, and rocket up the table. We can only hope. Endavant Villarreal!!