Apologies for being pretty quiet this week—my wife has emulated Diego Costa and developed a herniated disc, so I’ve been busy taking care of!!
Anyhow, here are a few items of interest (and there will be a fun podcast uploaded tomorrow!)
Cristian Espinosa knows the way to San José— and Villarreal seem willing to work out a permanent deal. Espinosa played really well for the Quakes and has a good relationship with their coach, while he was hardly used as a loanee in Spain. We paid too much for him (he was Cordon’s last signing, as I recall) but, even though MLS clubs don’t have a lot of cash, will look to get some of it back.
A tactical analysis of Valencia v Villarreal. Well, basically it comes down to they took their chances and we didn’t, but....formations and that.
In case you haven’t heard, our ex-coach Marcelino is being linked with the not-yet-vacant Everton job, and the currently vacant Arsenal job. Considering Marce’s English is pretty much nonexistent and one of the complaints about Unai Emery was he didn’t speak English well enough (which is weird), it seems a bad fit to me. He is a fine coach, but he didn’t get on with the English media when we played Liverpool in 2016, for example.
And I also turned up a few sort of ‘behind-the-scenes” articles that might be of interest. Let’s lead off with our mascot, Groguet. He is actually one of the older La Liga mascots—others have gotten in on the act. Here’s a story about some of them.
If you missed my podcast with Thomas and Lucy of Villarreal’s international department, here’s an interesting interview with Lucy. (We found it amazing that I grew up next door to East Tennessee State, where she went to college—I swear, half my high school graduating class went there).
And finally, I thought this “Beyond the Pitch” article that Villarreal itself put out on its Medium site was interesting. Victoria Yarnold, who is serving as an intern with Villarreal, has some interesting reflections on the differences between coaching kids in the US and Spain, and what it’s like spending an academic year coaching Vila-real youngsters!