The Submarine is hurting. The season from hell is only getting worse every passing week. Molina's initial progression with some good results seems to have stalled. You may blame this on Molina or maybe not. You may blame this on the senior players like Borja, Brun, Nilmar etc., but maybe not. Blame the injuries. Blame the new signings. Or blame global warming and North Korean nukes.
I sat down to write normal preview with tactics, match-ups etc. I couldn't do it this time. I hope the players and the coaches had a few moments to reflect on some fundamental questions in the run-up to this game. From here on, it is all in first-person mode.
Who are we?
What is our identity?
Why are we in the position we are in right now?
How are we going to get out of this difficult situation?
We are Villarreal, the Yellow Submarine.
We are the small town team that dared to dream big.
We set ourselves to achieve success while playing an attractive brand of football.
In 12 years of life in the Primera división, we have achieved some great successes.
Almost every casual Football fan around the world recognizes the team due to their style of play and due to the talented players who have wore the yellow shirt over the years.
The season has been a nightmare so far. From the departure of Santi Cazorla to the longterm injury of Giuseppe Rossi. And all the other injuries and precipitous drop in form of key players like Nilmar.
But that should not mask the reality.
This team is better 17th place and the measly 27 points in 26 games. We have grossly under-achieved this season. It is not like all the other teams in La Liga have suddenly gotten better than us. We have only ourselves to blame for the mess we are in.
Sunday's game is a very critical game. We need the points. Levante is a tough and a street-smart opponent despite their limited budget and a lot of supposedly "over-the-hill" players. The are 11 points and 12 positions ahead of us in the table. Levante plays very physical and are lethal on the counterattack. They had a dip in form in January and February but they are back to their winning ways in March.
To make matters worse, both Borja Valero and Cani will miss the game due to the injuries they picked-up against Getafe.
This is a true gut-check for the team, if there ever was one. Playing away from home, without arguably your best player this season against a very disciplined and a tough side. That is like facing all our nightmarish scenarios combined into 90 minutes.
We have faced adversity before and overcame it. A win is a must on Sunday. I hope we can do it.
Munúa; JuanFran-Cabral-Ballesteros-Venta; X.Torres-Iborra; Valdo-El Zhar-Barkero; Kone
Lopez; Oriol-Gonzalo-Musacchio-Ángel; Bruno-Senna; Camuñas-Hernán Pérez; Ruben-Martinuccio
Endavant Villarreal! Vamos Submarino!
The local penyas in collaboration with the team is organizing the the #InvasiónAldeana #InvasiónAmarilla campaign to take as many supporters as possible to the Ciutat de Valencia tomorrow. The bus ride to the stadium from Vila-real is free. The team has also put out this video to encourage the fans to go and support the team in Valencia.