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Villarreal's 2015 in review: what grade would you give the Yellow Submarine?

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A happy end to 2015!
A happy end to 2015!
Roberto Soldado twitter

Villarreal entered 2015 on 31 points from 16 matches, with a Copa del Rey round of 16 match against Real Sociedad and a Europa league round-of-32 tie against Red Bull Salzburg in their future.

January: Villarreal progressed to the semis of the Copa for the first time ever; we defeat Levante and Athletic Club in the league.  Our front office is busy: we get Eric Bailly as a permanent signing from Espanyol, replacing Gabriel Paulista who moves to Arsenal; we get Joel Campbell from Arsenal on loan, and we loan out Javier Espinosa, Hernan Perez, and Cani, who hadn't played for a while after a dustup with Marcelino according to rumors.  We also picked up a couple of young South American players for our B team: Franco Acosta and Leo Suarez.

February: Our Copa adventure ended at the hands of Barcelona, who also defeated us in the league, but we progressed to a matchup with Sevilla in the Europa League.  We defeated Granada and Eibar at El Madrigal, but lost to Rayo away.  Our blog improves its look when Maria José Segovia gives us permission to use her great pictures, and Villarreal announces over the summer a new grass system will be installed at El Madrigal.

March: The Submarine loses direction, with losses to Sevilla in the EL and La Liga and a draw against Almeria.  Injuries-- in particular to Denis Cheryshev and Bruno Soriano, both injured in mid-March--mean our only multi-goal performance and win in the month is our 4-1 win over Celta on March 8.  And Israel Puerto, who looked to be an up-and-coming center back with our B team, moves to Lugo so he can get first-team football in the Segunda.  But hey, my wife and I made it to Vila-real for the first time ever, and watched a match in the rain against Sevilla which we dominated early but somehow managed to lose.  It was still great.

April: In six league matches, we post no wins, four draws, and a grand total of one goal (an Uche penalty against Getafe).   A couple of interesting rumors: Luciano Vietto to Atleti (which unfortunately happened) and Riyad Mahrez from Leicester to Villarreal (which, also unfortunately, didn't).  Our injury list includes Vietto, Gio dos Santos, and Uche; Mateo Musacchio fractures his ankle horrifically;  then in the last match of the month Sergio Asenjo suffers a serious knee injury.

May: Bruno Soriano returns, and we post home wins against Elche (Joel Campbell's only goal for us) and Malaga (Gerard scores twice) before dropping an utterly meaningless match in Bilbao.  We finish off May (and early June) in Australia.

June: Our front office is busy again: Victor Ruiz's loan deal is made permanent, we sign Samu Garcia and Samu Castillejo from Malaga, we grab Ivan Alejo from Atleti's youth system, and pick up Leo Baptistao on loan from the big Atleti, plus a promising young French goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola, on loan from PSG.   But we say goodbye to Vietto, Javier Aquino and Ike Uche (eventually), and Chechu Dorado.

July: The big news this month was the departure of Gio dos Santos for the LA Galaxy.  He gave us one great year, one poor one.  So it goes.  We loan out Moi Gomez to Getafe, let Cani depart on a free for Depor, and play in Arsenal's Emirates Cup.

August:  We obtain Cedric Bakambu, Adrian Lopez, Denis Suarez, and Daniele Bonera, and open the season with a draw at Betis and a couple of wins after that.  Yay! The downside, we can't pry Denis Cheryshev away from Madrid.

September: We go top of La Liga for the first time EVER!

October: Injuries and international breaks start to pile up; highlight of the month is a home win over Sevilla!

November: Marcelino extends his contract, but our form is poor, especially when all our strikers come down with injuries.

December: A fun month as we defeat Real Madrid and Valencia at El Madrigal, do just enough to move on in the Copa, and qualify for the round of 32 in the Europa League.  As the year ends Villarreal is in fourth in La Liga with 33 points from 17 matches, Villarreal B is second in its Segunda B group, and Villarreal C is fourth in their Tercera group.

So in some ways a year of great change, though our point total is very similar to last year at this time.  What grade would you give Villarreal in 2015?