El Centrocampista

Villarreal prepare for life outside Spain’s top flight

As you all surely know by now, Villarreal’s 12-year stint in the Primera Division ended with a whimper, as the Yellow Submarine lost at home to Atleti while Rayo Vallecano scored a dramatic stoppage time winner against Granada to claim safety.

Generally, teams being relegated have one or two players that might attract attention from Primera clubs, and often relegated clubs are also financial basket cases. However, neither is true in Villarreal’s case – internationals such as Diego Lopez, Bruno Soriano, Nilmar and Borja Valero are quality players who clearly could move to first-division teams in Europe—and that’s not to mention currently-injured Giuseppe Rossi.

As for financial status, Villarreal will have to cut its budget substantially after being relegated, but the club owes nothing to other clubs or the Spanish Treasury, has no long-term debt and also owns its own stadium. In addition, Villarreal’s cantera is universally recognised as an outstanding one, raising hope among the supporters that the team can quickly make it back quickly to the Primera.

Club President and majority owner Francisco Roig was in pensive mood after the league season ended, admitting that he had made mistakes and that the defensive-minded approach of Miguel Angel Lotina had not worked out. By and large however, the Villarreal fanbase—at least in Spain—seems to be in forgiving spirit where Sr. Roig is concerned, although not so much with some of the players.

Regardless of how one apportions blame for the season just ended, the club has to make a number of important, and potentially difficult, decisions this summer. One was immediate: last year Marcos Senna practically had to beg the club to sign him for another year, this time the decision to extend his contract was immediate.

And it appears Villarreal will be able to count on Giuseppe Rossi’s help to escape the Segunda inferno. The Bambino was at El Madrigal for the deciding game and reportedly told Sr. Roig he would come back in the spring to help the club get back to the Primera.

Even so, there are still plenty of players set to depart. Diego Lopez already has – signed by Sevilla; Bora Valero is apparently set to join Santi Cazorla at Malaga, as long as Villarreal can be satisfied that it will actually be paid properly—for both players, as Malaga reportedly still owe money for Cazorla.

Angel, Gonzalo, de Guzman, Camuñas, Cani, Zapata, etc….any or all could be available. Probably not all will leave, and Sr. Roig hopes to keep players like Marco Ruben, Mateo Musacchio and Bruno Soriano to build around—but who knows what will happen.

And on top of all the uncertainty, there is the coaching question. Current Villarreal B coach Julio Velasquez has been compared to Andre Villas-Boas (in a good way): he has only been coaching in the Segunda half a season, but the B team has the fifth best record in the Segunda since then. Impressive, especially given the youth of the second team—but does he have the tactical knowledge and people skills to relate to the remaining veterans, and blend the youngsters together with them to form an effective unit? No one really knows.

If not Velasquez, who then? The latest rumor is Gorosito, which might signal a return to the team’s South American approach…..but there will probably be lots more names thrown into the ring before this is settled. To paraphrase Tolstoy, we are cursed to be living in interesting times.

Endavant Villarreal!

One Comment

  1. da facts man

    28 May, 2012 at 22:05

    da fact r da facts

    never forget, da fact r always da facts !

    sunk in uefa cl
    sunk in copa
    sunk in liga

    sad sad sad 2 see villareal go down 2 segunda . i been watching villarreal since 2005/5 cl time.

    another fact , villarreal mgmt to be honest have no clue since pellergini left
    minus in 2010 when garrido did good.

    selling ur home grown player who doesn’t want to leave for 19mm , aand then replacing
    him with crap de guzman and cumans = stupid

    y on earth have your best player knee operation in valenica when best surgeon in spain is in barcelona or u can send player to usa

    – stupidity by villareal mhmt was rewarded = segunda in 2012

    sad but the sub wreck was everyone to see, but for villarreal mgmt !
    villarreal mgmt was inept since 2011 and it caught up to them.

    can’t believe villareal mgmt didn’t see it coming.
    there were 5-6 players tat were keep villareal float since feb, 2011,
    cazorla, rossi, lopez, bruno, capdevilla and senna when fit.

    wat did mgmt do, ship capdevilla, sold cazorla and unfortunatley rossi got injured.
    with only lopez , bruno and senna there , there weren’t enough players on team 2
    properly function especially with inept managers as garrido (since feb 2011), molina
    and mr. relgator lotina.

    roig & co got their wish to run a 30-40m euro club, but it will be in da segunda.

    somebody forget 2 tell villareal, spain is a mis-managed country with broke banks,
    high debts , high jobless and where liga prefers bk and broke clubs that who don’t pay
    their players on time.

    a) camunas and guzman were worthless purchases and zapata took time to settle down.
    b) valero is too cold/hot to carry a team like villareal
    c) with useless fullbacks, too bad hernan was only given a chance late on.
    d) molina couldn’t keep villarreal b team a float, but was given the job of villarrreal
    e) y on earth would u hire mr. relagtor lotina and when shuster wanted da job
    d) why on earth would you loan a player and then let him play against u
    uche goal = segunda for villarreal
    e) roig lives in fantasy of not oweing monies and having no debt in liga.
    liga = runs like a 3rd world, were team with debt or in bk are rewarded.
    f) mgmt should have spend monies in winter on getting a forward who knows how to score.
    g) nilmar has had problems, but he showed his quality today by setting up ruben for
    great goal, which ruben wasted.
    h) everytime hernan was subbed the other team scored, but lotina kept doing it
    i) with 5 minites to go why not bring in cani to hold ball instead of wakso,
    g) marchena for angel and wakso for hernan cost the game.

    da fact r da facts

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