Villarreal’s second team today lost the match they could not afford to lose, going down by two goals to one at home to Atletico Baleres. That result with others means even if Badalona lose their last match and Villarreal B win, they would finish even on points for the last playoff spot--and Badalona owns the tiebreak.
Unlike last season, when our squad were just short of winning the group in the regular season, then faltered in the playoffs, this year’s edition has been fighting to catch up from the get-go. 10 points from their first 9 matches wasn’t great; a November-December run of good results and three wins in a row in March gave us a shot, but three draws in our last four matches before today just weren’t going to get it done unless we could win our last two. Now that can’t happen.
There is a lot of talent on this team, but it is young talent for the most part. Players like Pau Torres, Felipe Alfonso, Leo Suarez and the like will get a chance to play with the first team in the summer and compete for a place, but barring a lot of departures, midfielders like Guerra and Larrea, or attacking players like Cantalapiedra aren’t likely to get as much opportunity.
The difficulty of not having your second team in the Segunda proper is that the level of competition at the Segunda B is not as strong. For players who have had good seasons at that level but aren’t ready for the first team, do you loan them to Segunda clubs? or to lesser Primera ones? We did that with Alfonso Pedraza, Cristian Espinosa and Akram Afif this year. It’s hard to imagine any of them would have developed much playing in the Segunda B.
Villarreal B finish with a meaningless match against Mallorca B, who are comfortably mid-table but could be relegated anyway if their parent side drops down from the Segunda (they are currently in the relegation zone).
Meanwhile, Villarreal C’s fine season goes for naught; even if they finish in the top four, they can’t be promoted, so won’t participate in the playoffs.