IN case you missed the B team game at the Sports City yesterday, you missed a cracker, with Villarreal coming from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Guadalajara; Fofo (2) and Joselu with the goals. Lucas Porcar and Marcos Gullón were particularly impressive. Those were Fofo's first goals in the Segunda; he played for the C team last year.
Villarreal "C" drew 2-2 at Eldense yesterday, so are now third in the table with 14 points from 4 games. Unfortunately I can't find out anything more about the game, either on our website or Eldense's (which appears not to exist).
Meanwhile, the first team practiced yesterday, with Srs. Roig, Llaneza, and Roig Negueroles all showing up to demonstrate their support for Garrido. Jonathan de Guzmán was much in demand from the press, as was Borja, both ex-Mallorca players. De Guzman said much of what he told us, very complimentary of Mallorca, and in an interesting tidbit said he thought Chori Castro would be a great addition to our team.
Garrido noted the team needs to regain its confidence and everyone has to play the way they can, which was certainly true. But some of the local fans (as well as the papers) are beginning to draw comparisons to the thankfully short-lived Valverde era, so turning it around soon would be nice, to say the least.
José Lizarraga, writing in the EPM today, makes some of the same points we discussed in yesterday's podcast--the team wasn't set in preseason, Angel and Gonzalo have been slow to recover, etc. and feels Garrido is being made the scapegoat for a lot of things that are not his fault. The columnist says Roig 'believes blindly' in Garrido so don't expect any change of coach.
At today's press conference (twitter updates provided by Abrahán) Garrido said the fans' passion is good so he understands the criticism, but while the fans can talk all they want it's what the players and coaches do that counts. The team needs to believe in itself and things will come round, the same players who had great seasons last year can do it again, and it takes time to incorporate the new signings. No discussion of specific players not playing (Oriol, Wakaso) that I could find.
Rubbing salt in the wound, the goal that beat us was scored by our loanee, Uche. Villarreal did "the right thing" in not putting in Real Madrid-type clauses that would have forced Granada to sit him, but that cost us Saturday. I haven't heard much grumbling from the fans about that (Sr. Roig is not going to receive a lot of criticism for his principles from Villarreal supporters) but I have heard grumbling about Garrido's "hot-and-cold" attitude toward players like Wakaso, Oriol, Pérez, etc., but how the players react to that I do not know.
Villarreal does have a deeper squad than last year, so there is no guarantee that someone like Wakaso or Peréz would make the call, even if healthy. However, I was surprised Senna was in the 18 on Saturday rather than the Ghanaian. At any rate, what would put an end to all the speculation would be a couple of good results this week, especially since we play two teams having difficult starts to the season themselves!
By the way, the official site now has the highlights of the Granada match--click on the screen on the top right to watch them. Something I didn't notice at the time is that Rossi should have been allowed to take his penalty over again--one of the Granada players was well inside the box when the ball was kicked. But it didn't happen. (stop the video at the 4:09 mark and you'll see what I mean). However, you'll also see at the 4:02-4:03 mark that Nilmar actually clips himself in the box and goes down, so the penalty call was totally unmerited. So two wrongs, in this case....