Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preview - Valencia CF v Deportivo La Coruña

Little piece I did for Loco For Los Che

Valencia CF

Although Deportivo La Coruña’s trip to the Mestalla may not have the significance it would have had earlier in the season, both teams still desperately need the points and neither will be playing easy on Saturday night.

Valencia looked to be moving well clear of the chasing pack only a few weeks ago, but losses to Real Madrid and Mallorca has seen Los Che drop to only four points clear of Mallorca, and five of Sevilla. A loss to Deportivo and wins for Mallorca and Sevilla could potentially put Valencia’s Champions League aspirations under severe threat.

In other competitions, Los Che were recently eliminated by Atlético Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, after a 2-2 draw at the Mestalla, followed by a 0-0 draw in Madrid. While controversy was rife in the second-leg, ultimately Valencia should have played better in both.

With Villa and Silva both in good form, Deportivo will have to be weary at the back. What more can be said about Valencia’s sublime attacking threat? In full flight, the dynamic attack of Villa, Silva, Mata and Pablo/Joaquin, is the best attack in the world, capable of putting any team to the sword.

Valencia CF squad:

To Be Announced

Deportivo La Coruña

Deportivo had a solid start to the season and were looking to push on and secure the final Champions League position, but a poor run of results has seen them slip out of the Europa League places. Currently sitting in 9th place, Super Depor need a run of results to get back into contention for European football, and will be looking to start that run with a win against Valencia.

Andrés Guardado (pictured) has been key for Deportivo this season, and had a great game against Valencia back in December, but unfortunately for Depor he will miss the game with a muscular injury. Guardado is not the only injury facing Deportivo, as they will head to the Mestalla without eight players. In the midst of the injury crisis, reliable midfielders Sergio González and Juan Carlos Valerón could be crucial, as Depor look to break up Valencia’s attacking options. Up front, seasoned striker Riki could be as crucial, as he and Adrián López look to create chances without the help of Guardado.

While Deportivo may not have had the season they had hoped for, Valencia fans should not underestimate the team that has already drawn with Los Che twice and in the Copa del Rey this season. Back in December the two sides ground out a 0-0 stalemate at the Estadio Riazor, and Deportivo improved on this with a 2-1 victory in the Copa del Rey, followed by a 2-2 draw in the second leg.

Deportivo La Coruña squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Aranzubía, Manu

Defense: Laure, Manuel Pablo, Piscu, Zé Castro, Raúl, Rochela

Midfield: Antonio Tomás, Iván Pérez, Juan Rodríguez, Juan Carlos Valerón, Pablo Álvarez, Sergio González

Strikers: Mista, Adrián López, Lassad Nouioui, Riki

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Head of A-League quits

Archie Fraser, the head of the A-League, has resigned after just thirteen months in the job. He will however stay on at the FFA, in a new role trying to ensure a future for the three Queensland A-League club.


It is believed Fraser will now take up the reigns as acting chief executive at North Queensland, as well as being a consultant for the FFA on all three Queensland clubs. Talking to the media, FFA CEO Ben Buckley said:

“I want to thank Archie for his outstanding contribution in the role of Head of Hyundai A-League since joining us last February. It has been both a very challenging and very successful year for the A-League with the expansion to a ten team competition, and whilst presenting some challenges, it underpinned a growth of over 300,000 in additional spectators."

Buckley also confirmed that the FFA will now begin the process of finding a new A-League head.

So what do you think of Buckley? Was his year and a bit in charge successful or are the failures at North Queensland and Gold Coast partly his fault? Let us know!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Roar trio sign for Utrecht

The Brisbane Roar have lost three of their most promising youngsters with Tommy Oar, Micheal Zullo and Adam Sarota all signing for Dutch side FC Utrecht. Oar, 18, Zullo, 21 and Sarota, also 21, have all been trialling for Utrecht for the last few weeks, and finally signed this week.


Oar has signed for the Dutch club for five years, while the other two have both signed three year contracts. The loss of three promising youngsters will be a massive blow to the Brisbane club, and Roar chief executive Peter McLennan expressed his mixed views to the media:

"You can't help but be disappointed to lose three young players who have the undoubted potential of Tommy, Michael and Adam. However, for the Brisbane Roar this is tempered by the knowledge we have provided each of them with the platform to potentially become the next generation of Socceroos. Our aim as a club has always been to identify exciting young talent, provide them with an environment to develop and the opportunity to prove themselves in the Hyundai A-League. The unfortunate downside of this is when these players display the talent we've identified it becomes very difficult to hold onto them."

The signings will however provide the Roar with some funds (the deal is rumoured to be around 1.8 million dollars), and salary cap room, with which manager Ange Postecoglou can rebuild the squad. Whether he has the ability to rebuild a squad shattered by the loss of firstly Craig Moore, and now the young trio, is another question though.