El Centrocampista


Last week the mood in Vila-real was upbeat, but not after a horrible road defeat this weekend. Coach Molina seemed confident in the lead up to Villarreal’s match with Atletico Madrid in the Vicente Calderón, even though leading scorer Marco Ruben was suspended.

But the drive, commitment and quality that the team had shown against Valencia the week before was nowhere in evidence.

Diego Simeone made his home debut as Atletico coach, and though the papers the next day praised him and his team’s effort, truth to tell, Atleti hardly needed to show up to triumph easily.
Yes, their first goal should have been waved off for offside, the second was a converted penalty awarded for a foul outside the box.

On another day, Submarine supporters, players and coaches might have made more of those poor refereeing decisions.

But as it was the final 3-0 scoreline was an accurate reflection of the gulf between the clubs.

Molina’s choice of players and formation didn’t impress, though without Ruben and Marcos Senna (a late scratch due to a hamstring twinge) his options were fairly limited.

Playing Nilmar as a solo striker was pointless; it would have been better to play Joselu, or Borja Valero, or Hernán Pérez, anyone as a second striker with him. On his own, he was invisible.

Borja worked hard as always, but was too deep to really affect play much, and Cani and DeGuzman were poor to say the least.

The team had no energy or fight to press or win the ball back when they lost it, and couldn’t put the Atleti defense under any pressure whatever.
It’s impossible to score goals without shots on goal, and Villarreal had none.

Well, we knew the coach wasn’t the only problem we had, right?

A week ago it seemed Villarreal might not make any moves in the January transfer window, but after this debacle Sr. Llaneza (the team’s vice-president) gave an interview on Tuesday stating that was not so.

Giovanni Dos Santos has been the name most bandied around this week to reinforce the woeful attack; Tottenham has put a high price on him, though, and there’s likely to be competition for his services.

Money is tight but Sr. Llaneza said no player sales were necessary or planned at the moment. As for the fans (some of whom were upset when the players ignored them when leaving the pitch on Sunday) the club is making free tickets for next Monday’s match available to season ticket holders in an attempt to fill the ground and get the crowd behind the team.

Paraphrasing Sr. Llaneza, the objective now is to continue the project (i.e. survive in the Primera). Clearly there are things wrong with the team, clearly much will need to be looked at in the summer. But for now, the only goal is the 40 or 42 points or whatever it takes to survive in the league.

With other results not going Villarreal’s way, the 19th-placed Yellow Submarine simply must defeat Sporting Gijon on Monday—both to remain in touch with the teams above them, but also to give everyone, players, fans, and coaches—some confidence for the second half of the season.

At least Ruben and Senna should return for this one. Endavant Villarreal!!

For more news of the Yellow Submarine, visit Allen and his colleagues at VillarrealUSA.com


  1. DeFactsMan

    21 January, 2012 at 09:39

    Da Facts R Da Facts

    There were clear problems with Villareal since March, 2011 but da
    Villareal mgmt ignored the situation.

    * Villareal need a Senna typy player ASAP to make 4222 effective again
    * Da Summer signing so far have done crap

    No In form Senna = no Party

  2. Da Facts Man

    26 January, 2012 at 02:49

    Da Fact R Da Fatcs

    Sad news 2 report =
    Villareal that made a big deal of some Liga teams not paying their players is doing the same.

    Villareal own players said todaythat they haven’t been paid in 2 months.

    Da VCF has Managment is to blame 4 =
    Wasting 8m on De Guzman
    Wasting 7m on Zapata
    and keeping Garrido incharge till so late

    Da Fact R Da Fatcs
    Villareal is sunk in CL
    Villareal Sunk in Copa
    Near Sunk in Liga and not paying the players

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