Villarreal have slightly more than a week to prepare for their first real match of the season in Valencia against Levante, and the omens are not good.
At least we got out of Cadíz without any injuries, following the 1-0 loss to Malaga and 3-0 win over the home side on consecutive days (Las Palmas won the Carranza trophy with a 2-0 win in the final, by the way).
The last couple of weeks have brought two departures, neither welcome—Jona dos Santos and Roberto Soldado—and a severe injury, with Adrían Marín out for up to three months following surgery. More than that, though, we’ve seen a string of seemingly interchangeable uninspiring performances: losses against Boca Juniors, Inter Milan and Malaga, and even wins versus Levante and Cadiz weren’t really that much better.
We have not truly played with what might be our starting XI yet—every match has featured B teamers trying to impress and get first team squad numbers. Which would be fine if we knew what our best team was. Do we? I don’t think so.
If I had to list our most impressive players this preseason, they’d be Castillejo and Trigueros, mostly because they have tried to get forward in attack and create something. However, the interplay among forwards and attacking midfielders just hasn’t been there, nor have any of the front players worked particularly well with one another.
Roberto Soriano and Nicola Sansone have probably been our most disappointing, individually; Enes Unal has only gotten time in the last few matches because of an injury and Fornals only joined midway through the summer, so it’s hard to assess them. Cedric Bakambu has been running well and scored two goals today, but we will have to figure out how to get the ball to him.
Defense has suffered with injuries to Marin, Mario Gaspar, and Jaume Costa, and everyone has suffered lapses of concentration at times that have cost us dearly.
Now it’s true, we’ve had poor preseasons before and done OK, and we never exactly shine in preseason (except that one match against Spurs in 2010; that was ace!!). So maybe, maybe, in the next week things will get better.
No news as far as another striker is concerned. Espanyol don’t want to sell Gerard, they’ve offered him a new contract, and he only wants to move if the clubs agree (I am still not sure how the whole 30% clause plays into this). Nothing new on Perez or Vietto. It’s possible we could wait until January and sit on the €10m or so we got from those last two sales—it’s not as if we don’t have a lot of depth on the squad already.
Who should we sign to replace Soldado?
This poll is closed
someone else (another striker)