Villarreal supporters, or at least some of them on the social networks and on blogs, seem upset about Moi Gomez's exclusion from the starting XI last Saturday, and his lack of playing time of late. (Interesting, because at least one of the managers of this blog thought Moi was getting too much playing time earlier this season).
It's always tempting, when a player drops down the pecking order, to attribute it to some sort of argument with the coach or something else. Since there's not a lot of press coverage of Villarreal apart from the hometown press, and they are not going to be digging for dirt on the team or players, sure, there could be things we don't know.
In this particular instance, I side with Marcelino. He said he put Moi on the bench because we needed an option off the bench. This makes sense given Marce likes to have an option or two to change the game up around the hour mark if need be. Had Moi started, and the game still been 0-0 at that point, you would have had a bench of four B-teamers and either Bojan Jokic or Jaume Costa. How would that have given him any options?
As it was, Moi came on and made some excellent contributions, including what should have been an assist on a goal of Fran Sol had not tapped the ball wide. I don't see the reason for the discussion, other than people are frustrated at our lack of scoring (it's been over a month since we scored from open play).
Which brings me to statistics, and trying to explain our goal drought: we had 22 shots against Sevilla. I was there and still can't believe how that worked out. Why couldn't Emery have played Beto in goal? He could have allowed three or four goals, easy?? And each of the last two weeks, the outstanding player in the match has been the opposition goalkeeper. We had 28 shots against Cordoba and 19 against La Real.
Whoscored shows apart from Barcelona and Real Madrid, over the course of the season, we have more shots per game (13.8) than anyone, and more on target (4.9) than anyone apart from the top three and Sevilla.
Villarreal are averaging 1.33 goals per game with 4.9 shots on target; Sevilla, for example, is averaging 1.82 goals per game with the same number of shots on target. Valencia is even less profligate: 3.9 shots on target per match, but 1.75 goals per game. (And no, number of penalty goals don't explain the results).
So evidently we are either facing hot goalkeepers week after week, or the quality of our shots is lacking. Since we've played 33 matches, I'd think the goalkeeper effect should have smoothed out, unless there is something particular to our style of play that enables a keep to concentrate better against us, or something. I'd tend to go for the simpler explanation: we are getting shots on target, but not good enough ones. More shooting practice!! (and of course, some recovery from injuries for players like Vietto, Gio, Chery, Uche, etc. wouldn't hurt either).