Valencia’s comeback to La Liga’s greats.

Valencia CF has been dwelling in a sort of no-man’s land during the last couple of years. Bad ownerships, poor managers, major flops in signings and overall a poor structure for a football club, Los Ché had been relegated to the lower end of the table, instead of fighting for the first positions in La Liga. All that changed this year.

Marcelino’s team is the surprise of the season not only because of the results, but also because of the playing style; Valencia is the club playing the best football in La Liga right now and that’s some achievement, considering the duopoly and resources that Madrid and Barcelona have, which is something that even Diego Simeone’s Atlético de Madrid were not able to achieve in terms of playing style.

So, what are the reasons behind Valencia’s blazing start of the season? Here we offer some points.

  • The manager. Marcelino García Toral is one of the most underrated managers in La Liga in years, which is a shame is considering all the great results and attractive football he offered at Villarreal. Ever since Unai Emery, Valencia didn’t have a manager of this stature and matches like the brilliant draw against Madrid away or the all-guns-blazing 6-3 against Betis showed Marcelino’s capacity to get great results and playing an attactrive brand of football at the same time.

 

  • A new hierarchy. Anil Murthy is the name of the new president and he has provided a much more solid structure to the club, thus allowing the players and the staff to take things in a more serious manner. Valencia had been quite unstable during the last few years and now they have a shenanigans-free hierarchy.

 

  • Goncalo Guedes. Without a shadow of a doubt, the signing of the season so far. Coming on loan from Paris Saint Germain, the Portuguese has been a revelation playing as an inside forward on the left side of Valencia, scoring three goals and contributing with a lot of assists. According to several stats sites, his numbers are superior to even Lionel Messi at tthis point of the season.

 

  • The playing style. Beyond individual performances or the quality of the team per sé, Valencia has been playing an offensive brand of football that has gotten a lot of positive results (and a lot of goals). And beyond what you might think, they haven’t conceived as much as a team in this position might do, which is another trademark of Marcelino’s teams.

 

  • Smart signing. Players like the aforementioned Guedes, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Jeison Murillo or Andreas Pereira have been some of the best signings in Valencia’s recent history and that’s something worth pointing out because a long list of flops were part of the reason of the club’s demise. Now Marcelino has put a strong team abundant with talent and capable of performing on a regular basis–something that the latest Valencia sides were unable to do in recent seasons.