VALENCIA SEASON PREVIEW: CAN JOSE BORDALAS BRING BACK EUROPEAN FOOTBALL TO THE MESTALLA?
The era of Peter Lim as the owner of Valencia has been tumultuous, to say the least, with the club hovering around the relegation spot for a season and then going on to finish fourth for two consecutive seasons to qualify for the Champions League before settling down as a mid-table club for the past two seasons.
Peter Lim, the owner of Valencia. (Image Courtesy: AS / Website)
After finishing ninth in the league in 2019-20, and the new appointment of Javi Garcia as the manager, many expected Los Murciélagos to better their league position in the 2020-21 season but they weren’t able to as the former Watford manager was sacked just before the end of the season, with the club finishing 12th.
The rebuild of the club is still going on, but with many of the stars having left in the earlier seasons due to financial difficulties faced by the club, the squad is depleted in terms of the quality that can fire them through to Europe once again. Yes, there are some exciting youngsters who have shown glimpses of talent but that would not be enough for them to finish in the top six.
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) September 13, 2020
FootTheBall is set to take you through how the season might pan out for the club and whether the new manager of Valencia, Jose Bordalas can bring back European competition to the Mestalla.
THE ERA OF BORDALAS
When Marcelinho was appointed the manager of the club in 2017, the objectives put in front of him were of getting Valencia into Europe and being competitive in the league. The Spaniard managed to exceed all expected after taking the club to a fourth position in the league and the semi-finals of the Copa Del Rey. The following season, he repeated the same in the league and helped Valencia lift the Copa Del Rey this time, along with an appearance in the last four.
Marcelino during a press conference in 2018. (Image Courtesy: Marca / Website)
Now, the management and the fans of Valencia hope that the appointment of Jose Bordalas can bring back those days after what have two disappointing seasons in 2019-20 and 2020-21. The former Getafe manager, who stayed there for nearly five years, had done wonders at the Azulones, guiding them to promotion in his first season in charge, and then leading them to Europa League qualification.
✍️ COMUNICADO OFICIAL | José Bordalás#BenvingutBordalás
— Valencia CF 🦇🍊🌊 (@valenciacf) May 27, 2021
However, it has to be seen whether he would be backed in the transfer market and whether his choices would be signed by the club as it is a known fact about owner Peter Lim and his associates being a little stingy when it comes to the signing of players for the club.
IS THE SQUAD ENOUGH TO GIVE THEM EUROPEAN FOOTBALL?
Nearly half the squad is filled with players from the academy and while there have been quite a few exits, not a single high-profile deal has been completed by the club coming into the 2021-22 season. Unless some transfers arrive, much of next season will again depend upon youngsters such as Carlos Soler, Goncalo Guedes, Maxi Gomez, and Manu Vallejo. Young players such Musah and Kang-In Lee will become even more crucial to the squad.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 8, 2020
While their defence is pretty good, it is the midfield that is going to haunt them during the upcoming season. Jose Gaya, Gabriel Paulista, Mouctar Diakhaby, and Daniel Wass make up a decent defensive four for the club, and that only strengthens with the arrival of Paraguayan international Omar Alderete, on loan from German club Hertha BSC and Valencia’s only signing to date in the current transfer window.
— Valencia CF 🦇🍊🌊 (@valenciacf_en) July 13, 2021
But in midfield, there is no name other than Soler that can inspire the side to the victory. Daniel Wass is an experienced head in the centre of the pitch but other than him it is just the youngsters that make up the squad midfield department. With the likes of Hector Herrera out of plans at Atletico Madrid, Bordalas can potentially use the experience of the Mexican in the midfield but a move for Isco, who is facing a shortage of minutes at Real Madrid, could well be the difference between Valencia finishing in the top of half of the table and them challenging for European football.
With the likes of Sevilla, Real Betis, Villarreal, and Celta Vigo strengthening themselves before the start of the season, it is certain that the upcoming campaign will be difficult for Valencia under Jose Bordalas. But it is known that he can do wonders with very limited resources, as seen during his time at Getafe.
But Bordalas will hope that he gets some backing in the transfer market and not become like Javi Garcia, who was promised reinforcements but wasn’t given the same, which led to his departure one month before the end of the 2020-21 season.