Latest Football News – Currently relegated to seven days of the end of La Liga, Villarreal lives a catastrophic exercise. Between mistrust and lack of success, the yellow submarine feels the breath of relegation in its neck.
On May 14, 2012, Villarreal experienced the darkest day of its recent history. After a last day of La Liga mad when Rayo Vallecano beat Grenada (1-0) in the final seconds, the yellow submarine was torpedoed by a late realization of Radamel Falcao. Beaten 1-0 by Atlético de Madrid, the club of the province of Castellón ended the season in eighteenth place and was relegated to the second division. A cataclysm at the time for a team accustomed to the leading roles and who had even participated in the Champions League 2011-2012. Reassembled immediately in the Spanish elite, Villarreal quickly regained his standing and finished between fourth and sixth place in the last five seasons. Candidate announced in European places, at the dawn of the 2018-2019 exercise, the club Sergio Asenjo is far from meeting expectations.
Despite the loss of two executives like Samu Castillejo (party at AC Milan) and Rodrigo (recruited by Atlético de Madrid), Villarreal relied on continuity and even offered an ambitious mercato. The duo composed of Gerard Moreno (26 years old, 20 million euros) and Karl Toko Ekambi (25 years old, 18 million euros) was already salivating the residents of the Estadio de la Ceramica. While the arrivals of Vicente Iborra (30), Santiago Caseres (21), Ramiro Funes Mori (27) and Santi Cazorla (33) demonstrated the ambition of the Iberian formation. Yet nothing has happened as planned. Delicacy to find a concrete offensive animation, Villarreal started with a single win in his first five games and scored only one goal on this period. The fault at the 4-4-2 diamond, adjustable in 4-4-2 flat, which had worked well last season, but become obsolete.
An offensive breakdown
Beyond the system, the attackers were struggling throughout the first half of the season. The integration of Karl Toko Ekambi and Gerard Moreno was relatively complicated. Associates on the front of the attack, they failed to regain their level last season. Not being really complementary, they chained the mediocre benefits. The former Angevin had scored just two goals before 2019 when his friend had only three. Last year’s goal-scorer was Carlos Bacca, who had four goals in the period. In the mid-championship after 19 matches, Villarreal had only 20 achievements. A figure far too low for a team scheduled for the first part of the table.
Not suited to play the maintenance, Villarreal has never managed to engage the machine to find a rank at the height of his ambitions. This failure to create a positive dynamic – as did Valencia (6th) and Athletic Bilbao (8th) – will be very expensive for coach Javier Calleja, who will be asked to pack his bags in December. A short start since his replacement Luis Garcia Plaza will be ejected following a negative series. Recalled at the very end of January to play the fire service, Javier Calleja then found a situation even more complicated with a 19th place in La Liga.
A fragility still so glaring
Like any team found in the crisis, Villarreal also suffered many physical glitches. If the situation of the captain Bruno Soriano was always complicated (he has not played in Liga since May 21, 2017), Javi Fuego (back), Manu Trigueros (knee) and Jaume Costa (muscular) are currently on the flank. The fragility of the yellow submarine is not only physical, but also mental. Since the beginning of the season, the Spanish team can not be decisive during key moments of the meetings. It’s simple, it cash many goals at the end of the meeting.
In the last twenty minutes, Villarreal have lost 13 points since the start of the Liga season. With more solidity in these pivotal moments, the team of Javier Calleja would currently be tied for points with Atlhetic Bilbao (8th) and Real Betis Balompié (9th). Either fighting for a place in the European Cup. This mismanagement of dating has taken another dimension in recent weeks. Leading to 2-0 at half-time against Celta de Vigo, Villarreal sank in the second half to lose 3-2. While he had made a full match against Barcelona, the yellow submarine has totally cracked with the exclusion of Alvaro Gonzalez (86) and the goals of Lionel Messi (90) and Luis Suarez (90 +3). Final score 4-4. Finally, against Real Betis Balompié, Santi Cazorla could have snatched a draw in injury time, but he missed his penalty (90th).
Reasons for hope
If the winds are for the moment contrary, Villarreal still has arguments to stay beyond his individualities. First, the first non-relegable Real Valladolid has the same number of points while Girona, Levante and Celta de Vigo remain within range of the yellow submarine. The calendar is also interesting. With the exception of two trips on the lawns of Real Madrid and Getafe, the next meetings of Villarreal will take place against teams located between 10th and 20th place. If in the game it is not yet brilliant, there is better with notably 10 goals scored during the last four days and especially a better offensive animation.
Several players are not strangers to it. First of all, Samuel Chukwueze (19 years old) who connects the nice benefits. Still a little irregular with a gap between January and February, the young Nigerian winger brings verticality in the game of his team. With four goals in twenty league games, he knows how to be decisive and his complementarity with Karl Toko Ekambi is interesting. Found in recent weeks, the Cameroonian finally meets expectations with four goals in the last four games. Finally, Santi Cazorla continues to regain his feelings as and weeks while Pablo Fornals retains its influence in the heart of the game. At the edge of the precipice, Villarreal will need his strong men not to sink into the second division.