The big news yesterday was the debut of Adrián Marín at left back for Villarreal.
Marín's rise has been meteoric--he joined Villarreal's academy in 2009 (aged 12) and worked his way up through the youth system, but only played for Villarreal C last year (15 matches) and 4 times for Villarreal B (he made a few appaearnces for Spain's U-17 and U-18 squads, too).
He acquitted himself very well yesterday--it helped that Granada set up so defensively themselves, so he wasn't having to continually defend against someone bombing down the wing, of course. But he cleared the ball away from our goal after Asenjo spilled a cross, and supported the attack well. He certainly didn't look or act like a player aged 17 making his Primera debut. Marin came out with about 15 minutes left--I had wondered if it was because Rukavina might play at LB against Gladbach, but according to EPM Adrián felt some muscle soreness so was removed for precautionary reasons.
An interesting note--VIllarreal USA member Thomas McIlroy toaught English in Vila-real several years ago, and several cantera players were among his students--one of them being Marín.
B and C teams lose on the weekend
Meanwhile, the B team could use him. Villarreal B usually starts slowly, but two draws and two losses in four matches have them sitting bottom of the Segunda B Group 3; they lost yesterday to L'Hospitalet, 2-0, playing the last half-hour with 10 men. Defense has not been the problem (five goals allowed) but we've only scored one. And for those wondering, Jonathan Espericueta has not featured--he's currently out with a broken toe.
Villarreal C also lost 2-0 to Cullera; 4 points from 4 matches has them 18th of 21 clubs in Tercera Group 6.
Granada's Allan Nyom's cheap shots on Cani
Yesterday Nyom was actually Granada's best offensive threat, at least until Jhon Cordoba came on late, but he and Cani seemed to have a battle during their time on the pitch together. First Nyom won a foul against Cani by putting his leg in a place where I'm sure Cani didn't want it......then at the end of the match Nyom took a cheap shot on Cani, kneeing him in the neck and running away from the ref who had pulled out his yellow card (should have been a red in my view). I don't remember if there is any history between these two--does anyone?
El Madrigal pitch is being relaid
Usually one of the joys of El Madrigal is a good pitch, but against Barcelona it was noticeably sub-standard, and the club is currently replacing the entire grass surface before our next home game, against Rayo on Sunday.
Supporters in Spain primarily support the big two: Villarreal moving up in Castellón though
EPM reports on a survey throughout Spain asking football fans whom they support. In Castellón, 45% support Real Madrid, Barcelona 27% and Villarreal 18%. This pattern is largely repeated in the rest of the country, where the big two are better supported than the local clubs (that seems really strange thinking about Seville, for example, but is apparently true). The exception is Spain's north: people in the various provinces of the Basque region, Galicia and Asturias all support their local club above the big two.
Reaction to yesterday's match
Marcelino said the obvious: we dominated the first half, the second was more even, but a draw was the fairest result, we lacked a little in attack with few chances for all our possession. Caparros was (as one would expect) delighted at the 0-0 result, saying 'we drew with a great team" and noted that Granada played better after he made lineup changes. EPM's verdict, "very little football" was right, but as they pointed out Asenjo came up big when he had to.