Friday, 5 June 2009

A-Z of Valencia's season

A is for Atletico
Season defining game. Win this and CL football was basically theirs. The future of the club rested on this game. Ok, so I’m over-exaggerating a little, but it was the difference between having CL football and having to make do with the UEFA Cup next season. No, I don’t much care if it’s Europa League now, it’s still the UEFA Cup. Anyway, back to the topic. They needed to win this. Or at the very least, not lose. And unfortunately for them, this season defining game defined them all wrong. Atletico won albeit with a Kun dive. And yes, I am still fucking bitter about that. On the night, Valencia didn’t want it as much as their opponents. Or if they did, they just didn’t show it. The score could have been much more humiliating for them had it not been for Cesar.

B is for Babies
Apparently, this season, the entire team was more concerned with pro-creating than they were with playing football. Vicente, Albiol, Veeyah AND Carleto (probably more of them, some are bound to spawn in secret, like Liverpool) all had/are going to have babies before the year is out. Boys, ILY. But PLEASE, save the babies for the summer, yes? The season is long, and Valencia need all their star players alert. I can’t help but feel daddyhood made Albiol score so many OGs and concede so many PKs this season. She’s mighty cute though, his baby.

C is for Cesar
Words cannot even BEGIN to describe how much I love this man. I will bear his children. However many of them he wants. He was just that good. When Renan got injured midway through the season, I will admit, I was a little nervous. All we had as cover was Guaita, and while he’s a good goalkeeper, with that defence in front of him...I wasn’t confident. Then, when I heard we’d signed Cesar, I was still a little sceptical. My exact thoughts were something like ‘He’s a great goalkeeper, but he’s kinda old. He won’t be that good.’ Oh boy. How wrong was I? He was the difference in SO MANY GAMES. Even after Renan recovered from injury, Unai chose to keep Cesar in goal, which speaks volumes about his importance to the whole team this year. He made crucial saves in many games to save Valencia from total humiliation, and the standout game of the season was against Atletico. He did not deserve to be on the losing side. He was harshly penalised for ‘bringing down’ Kun in the penalty area, but aside from that refereeing fail, he was faultless.

D is for Defence
If you can call them that. I’ll admit it was a damn sight better than what we had last year. But then, after Koeman, it couldn’t really have gotten any worse. There were certain outstanding games. There were also some absolute shockers. Marchena couldn’t go a game without being booked/sent off. Alexis was great up until the injury and when he came back, he was a little shaky. Albiol scored a fair few goals. In the wrong net. He also gave away a fair few PKs. Carleto barely had time to show us what he’s made of. Miguel was alright at the attacking side, not so great at the defence part. Del Horny, Moretti, Maduro – all had average seasons, nothing outstanding. There was one or two pics from the season that summed up the year fully. I’ll just post my fave.

E is for Entertainment
Well, they may have done it the hard way, but they made the UEFA Cup for next season and provided a fair bit of entertainment along the way. Mori with rescuing the cat in training, Alexis with the kung fu on the pitch, Unai with the airplane directions. It’s been a long and painful season for most Valencia fans, but the boys have been there every step of the way to put a smile back on our faces.

F is for Fail
This could sum up a lot of things this season. Failure to make the CL. Failure to pay the players for a significant period of time. Failure to sell the old Mestalla before agreeing to start work on the new one. However, my use of it is specific to referee attitudes towards Valencia this season. Every single referee, there was always a way they screwed the team over. Be it a wrongly called offside, or a wrongly given PK, or even a booking/sending off that shouldn’t even have been a foul. This fail cost Valencia a fair few points this season. Not that it’s an excuse, they should have been able to win games even with the referees and the rest of the footballing world against them. After all, don’t you know it’s just certain teams that are able to pay off a referee. Valencia couldn’t even pay their players, like fuck they can pay off a referee.

G is for
Clearly, these fuckers have had a major vendetta against the boys all season long. Be it predicting draws or losses for them, reporting that so and so player has agreed a deal with so and so team or covering their debt issues in great detail and basically writing the team off before they’d even got into the swing of things, they were a never-ending source of mockery. I didn’t appreciate their sentiments as I’m sure many other fans did not. And the amount of RM and Barca fans to crawl out of the woodwork on there and comment on how they’re going to steal Veeyah from under our noses was nothing short of pure hilarity. You have your own teams. Go talk about their successes and failures throughout the season and leave my team the fuck alone.

H is for Hate Mail
Well, it’s not mail exactly. But fans sitting around booing the players or booing the manager or even not bothering to turn up at all when the team needed it the most were a major blow to their confidence, and not at all what we as fans like to see in football. Yes the team was underperforming. But that doesn’t give people the right to make such public protests that in the end amounted to nothing anyway. It didn’t have the desired effect of motivating the team, and it just gave the fans that did it a bad name.

I is for Iker butting his nose in
Memo to Mr Casillas. I have an immense amount of respect for you as a footballer. But in the future, kindly keep your mouth shut about matters that don’t concern you. Yes, Veeyah, Silva and Mata deserve to be at a big team, and Valencia ARE a big team. They ARE capable of winning things. Their financial situation this season prevented them from doing so, but money is not the be all and end all of the world. You have money and you weren’t all that fab yourselves... I’d also like to point out Mata CAME from RM. YOU let him go. Your mistake. Don’t be bitter that Valencia reaped the benefits of your mistake.

J is for Justice
Something Valencia didn’t get much of this season. When the deserved to win games but were screwed over by the referees, nobody did a thing, and us poor fans were left distraught at yet another three points dropped when we needed them the most.

K is for Kiss
Something I’d probably do to the entire team. I’m so unbelievably proud of every single one of them. But mostly, it’s to do with their celebrations. Alexis ALWAYS kisses Silva. And then there was the time Joaquin kissed Chente. My head exploded. For real.

L is for Laughter
Well, if we didn’t laugh, we’d probably cry.

M is for Manpiles
Something Valencia CF are famous for. And whoa, can they manpile in style. Goal celebration after goal celebration involved them jumping into the ever growing pile on top of the goalscorer and crushing him somewhere. Oh boy. I want to join those piles. Can Vicente score and I be the first to manpile?

N is for Never losing faith
In the team. In their ability. In the board. Idek, all of these things needed the fans to have blind faith, and we did. And we weren’t disappointed. Although we didn’t make it into the CL, 6th spot is a darn sight better than 10th.

O is for Offside
The number of these I saw called this season. Oh my dear god. I don’t think I can even count that high. And tbh, I’m pretty sure at least a good 40/45% of them were wrongly judged. Still, not something we can change now, right?

P is for Post crazy
So my blog got taken over by Valencia over the course of the season. And various others did too. The Valencia thread on Kickette grew and grew. And we went batshit crazy on twitter. All in all, a rather productive season in terms of posts.

Q is for Questionable decisions
Every single offside that got given against Mata was questionable. Several PK’s given against Valencia were questionable. Don’t get me started on the red cards. *cough* Alexis and Dahveed*cough*

R is for Rehab
Something I will surely need after the rollercoaster ride that is Valencia. And it doesn’t end here. There’s still the summer of speculation to look forward to. Oh joy...

S is for Suspensions
Every time one player came back from a suspension, two more were suspended. It’s like the referees had a vendetta. And the players had anger management issues.

T is for Trying
This is one thing I can say the boys did for the majority of the season. They knew what they needed to do, and they tried their best. The few rough weeks in the middle of the season was their undoing, but seeing as they weren’t being paid at the time, I can’t hold it against them.

U is for Underrated
Players like Pablo and Michel who worked so hard for the team over the season. They may not have made any blindingly obvious contributions like Dahveed’s goals or Cesar’s saves, but these kids provided a much needed boost when certain key members of the team were out through injury or suspension.

V is for Vicente
Well, it’s not like this was EVER going to be a shock to anyone. Yes, Veeyah was probably the most important player we had this season, but don’t ever write off the importance of Vicente to the team. I lost count of the number of games in which he started on the bench, came on with 10 minutes left and turned things around completely. Ok, so the scoreline may not have changed every time, but the team looked boosted in attack and you could sense his hunger for the win. Why Unai did not give him more chances to play is completely beyond me. There isn’t a single player in the current team that will give as much as Vicente does for them. He bleeds Valencia colours. Let him play for fuck’s sake.

W is for What was that?!
It didn’t matter whether we were screaming this at the referee for making yet another questionable decision, the players for missing another easy shot/screwing up on the defending or Unai for making some questionable substitutions, this became the VCF fans’ motto. Well, the ones that I know anyway.

X is for eXclusive! Veeyah has agreed a deal with Man City/RM/Chelsea/delete as appropriate
Yes, the transfer rumours. The ones that have been going all season long. If we were to believe this, then Dahveed has left Valencia about 50 times for various different teams and various sums of money. And each time, it has been reported as an exclusive. And has then proceeded to make said newspaper/website look very idiotic when it didn’t go through.

Again, something that I screamed rather a lot this season. Well, he did score 30 goals this season, and I cheered like a loon for every single one of them...

Well, the last one, I’m just going to steal from LS

Z is for Zorio
The first rat to jump ship.