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It is a desperate, desperate time at Valencia CF. So desperate that the president doesn’t come to matches, that the fans do not remain in their seats till the final whistle, that the manager cannot hide the grayness seeping into his head even if his hair try its best to eclipse the fact. Quique Sanchez Flores might have been long gone from the Mestalla but the laments and wailings of the flamenco linger on like a rueful melody of love lost for good.

Valencia’s condition these days is the stuff that is at the heart of flamenco –utter loss, dismal circumstances, regret of a story gone all horribly, horribly wrong, bitter disappointment shredding the soul to shards. Nephew of the legendary flamenco singer Lola, Quique Sanchez Flores might have been sacked and packed off to nobody knows where but no one doubts that the flamenco is all out scripting laments about the club. 3 defeats in their last 5 league matches are no Mozart symphony but materials that inspire a flamenco singer anytime, anywhere.

Valencia’s loss to FC Barcelona at the Mestalla on Saturday night was their 7th loss in the Spanish first division this season and underlines Los Che’s painfully familiar story. Los Che were utter trash in the match and could hardly even threaten Barca’s citadel. True, star striker David Villa was missing but with the likes of David Albelda, David Silva and Joaquín Sanchez, you would have expected Valencia to stage a stiff resistance and a rhythmic attack of their own but Valencia’s collapse and the collapse was as much painful as comic. To goals in the first half by Samuel Eto’o wrapped up the match so much so that when Eidur Gudjohnsen tapped in the third for Barca 15 minutes into the second half, a healthy number of home supporters didn’t even care to watch the remaining minutes of the riot and departed with emotions nestling in frustration, pain and anger. And of course they had the middle finger extended out like a teenager waving goodbye to his cheating girlfriend.

And those bunch of Valencia supporters who were brave enough to sustain the ruthless Barca sorcery till the end of the match did so only to exhibit the pañolada, the mass white hanky wave that, to be frank, is far too common in Spain. This wasn’t certainly the first time that the white flags have been out at the Mestalla to signal the fans’ resentment of the manager and the president –there was a bigger and more aesthetic white wave when Valencia lost to Athletic de Bilbao last month– but Saturday’s demonstration still cuts deep.

Los Che are truly lost at sea. Not only that, but there is no shore in sight and the whirlpool is rapidly sucking the ship into the bottomless abyss. When Quique Sanchez Flores was fired in late late October, Valencia were comfortably stationed in a UEFA Champions League place with La Liga leaders Real Madrid very much within touching distance and were still in with a chance to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages. But after 8 games and one month in charge, new manager Ronald Koeman has dipped the nose of the ship even further into the vortex. Valencia are 7th in the table at the moment, 1 place off a UEFA Cup spot and an almost unassailable 13 points behind leaders Real Madrid; Valencia are not only out of the Champions League but out of European football altogether for the rest of this season. If anything, Koeman’s era instead of taking off at full throttle has pulled Valencia backward in a classic example of retrogressive progression.

The Mestalla has always been considered a fortress for Valencia but since last season, that aura of invincibility has cruelly disintegrated: Los Che have already lost 5 times at home so far this season. Valencia’s defense has been woeful and bee leaking in goals like a permeable membrane of a defective cell. In the absence of the veteran defender Roberto Ayala, who it must be acknowledged headed for the exit door but for the sake of finding another club but for wriggling himself out of a nasty looking contract tiff with the club, the young and talented Raul Albiol has appeared lost.

Valencia’s midfield too has been frequently caught offguard. Defensive medio David Albelda hasn’t quite been able to take the games by the scruff of the neck, Joaquín Sanchez has struggled for form yet again, Vicente Rodriguez has been making runs along the wings like a chicken without a head and David Silva has lacked the sharpened edge. Striker Fernando Morientes has been has been anonymous so far this season and a string of niggling injuries and mounting transfer speculation haven’t augmented David Villa’s performance. Injuries to Alexis, Miguel Ãngel Angulo and Rubén Baraja haven’t helped either and the entire squad has lacked confidence, a strong mentality and motivation to dig the club out of the table.

Yet this is not the maiden time that Valencia are entangled in the crisis loop. Last season Valencia were running through a blue patch pretty much around the same time but bounced back in style with the return of several key players from injury and were in contention for the Spanish championship until the final weekends of the season. Bit by bit, piece by piece, card by card, Sanchez Flores reconstructed this exceptional Valencia team whose bulk has tasted two Spanish league titles and a UEFA Cup triumph in the space of 3 years at the start of the century.

The cycle of destruction and reconstruction has long been an elementary characteristic of Valencia CF as has been the panolada. The Valencia supporters are a perpetually insatiable lot who were complaining when Héctor Cúper was guiding the club to two successive Champions League finals; they were also whistling when Rafael Benitez was busy collecting silverware for them. They moaned, and to a greater degree rightly, about the lack of fluidity and entertainment in Sanchez Flores’ gameplan and are now groaning at the abject hopelessness of Ronald Koeman’s situation.

Spanish football has eternally rotated on two axes –Real Madrid and Barcelona. Valencia have long been touted as the best bet to break the duopoly. But try selling that to club president Juan Soler, whose ambitions are as much lofty as defective. Soler didn’t make much noise in waving farewell to Pablo Aimar in the summer of 2006 to Real Zaragoza and didn’t even bother to replace the Argentine playmaker. Soler has also somehow often ignored the need to strengthen the squad at certain key departments and when he has done so, unfortunately the ferocious “Injury God” hasn’t aided him. And then there was this ridiculous act of announcing the sacking of Quique Sanchez Floes at 4.23 am, as if Soler were the executioner and Sanchez Flores’ head were on the guillotine.

And he might have well beheaded not Sanchez Flores but the club itself. Last season Soler was quite incapable of allaying the increasing power struggle between the manager Flores and the then sports director Amedeo Carboni until the players sided with their coach and virtually forced Carboni out in the summer. This season Soler meted out the sack to Flores in a desperate attempt that was neither calculated nor measures but one that was enforced by the fans’ disgruntlement. In fact, since October 2004 when Juan Soler took office, he has employed 5 coaches. And now that Soler is caught again in the trap once more, don’t be taken by surprise should he draw out his guillotine once more and chop off Koeman’s head.

Valencia’s crisis is over. It’s now a disaster.:eek:

Koeman Sticks The Boot Into Cañizares And Albelda

Ronald Koeman has told Santiago Cañizares and David Albelda that they will not play in the last two games before Christmas and could be dropped for the rest of the season.

The Dutchman wants to make changes to the Valencia side, but the news that he is preparing to outcast two veteran stars has caused a stir at Mestalla.

According to Spanish news agency EFE, the duo have been told that they will not participate in the Copa del Rey game in midweek or the final league gae of the year at the weekend.

"With respect to everyone and to Cañizares and Albelda, I have explained everything to them," Koeman said.

"We have decided that they will not be in the squad. They will not play in the next two games and then we shall see about the future.

"These are strong decisions that we have to take for the good of Valencia and that is most important.

"I want to change things and give opportunities to other players."

Valencia are in free-fall at the moment and the defeat against Barça saw them break the club record for the longest run without scoring a goal, which is now over six matches.

Changes were required, but when Koeman was asked about Cañizreas good form in recent games, he bluntly asked if people remembered the game against Racing Santander.

The goalkeeper and the Albelda still have 18 months and two-and-a-half years left on their contracts respectively, but could not be off-loaded in the summer.

When asked whether he felt that the decision could cause problems in the dressing room at the club, Koeman was not concerned.

"It could do," he said. There will be people that criticise me and people that agree with me, but I have to accept that and keep working.

"I am working on my own plans and that is to change things. Only the future will decide if I have made a mistake or not."
 

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Angulo Becomes Latest Casualty Of Koeman’s Revolution

Miguel Angel Angulo has been un-ceremonially dumped from the Valencia squad as Coach Ronald Koeman swings his axe again.

Newly appointed head-coach of Valencia, Ronald Koeman, has made a series of startling selection decisions recently, and it seems his persistence in his quest to drag Valencia out of the doldrums shows no signs of abating.


Indeed, Miguel Angel Angulo has become the latest high-profile player to be axed by the Dutchman.

"I was told today by the club's sporting director Miguel Angel Ruiz that Angulo will not be called up for the first team again this season," the player's spokesman Jose Luis Tamargo told Radio Marca on Wednesday.

"This comes as a real shock and although I respect the decision of the coach I do not understand it. Angulo does not plan to leave the club and he will wait and see what happens."

The Spanish international’s axing comes straight after Koeman’s controversial decision to drop club captain David Albelda and veteran goalkeeper Santiago Canizares from the first team.

Furthermore, the dropping of Angulo may have a greater ramification than a mere exclusion, as Albelda and Canizares have also been told that their Valencia careers are over.

Although Koeman’s stance has angered many fans, Valencia president Juan Soler has given his full backing to the Dutchman.

"The technical staff, the coach and sporting director have told the president it is vital to leave Canizares and Albelda out of the team," vice president Enrique Lucas told the club's website.

"The president has accepted the coach's decision in the understanding that everyone's professional life comes to an end."


Rumour has it that Ruben Baraja could be the next player to be banished from the Mestalla as Koeman's clear-out continues.

The midfielder is said to be part of a clique of senior players for whom the coach has no time

Koeman Clear-Out Continues With Nikola Zigic, Vicente Rodriguez And Manuel Fernandes

Ronald Koeman appears to have only just started his clean-up operation at Valencia with Nikola Zigic, Manuel Fernandes and Vicente now set to be outcast.

The Dutch coach has decided that revolution is required in order to cure the club of its ills this season and has already told three veterans that they are no longer required.

Miguel Ãngel Angulo's name was added to those of Santi Cañizares and David Albelda earlier this week, but not it looks like there are more players heading for the exit.

Zigic and Fernandes arrived in the summer for around €18m each and were reportedly targetted and signed by sporting director, Miguel Ãngel Ruiz,

Previous coach, Quique Sánchez Flores, did not take to the pair either and the fact that Koeman has now made it clear they are not wanted has caused friction.

While Ruiz is in charge of bringing in new players during the winter transfer window, it was Koeman that announced that a deal to sign Kleber was almost completed.

While Ruiz may not be happy, the club president, Juan Soler, is supporting his trainer and will not be unhappy that another player looks to be on the way out of the club.

Vicente caused problems earlier this season when he blamed the Valencia medical staff for failing to cure him of an injury and that did not go down well with the board.

Koeman and Soler are keen to rid the club of a hierarchy within the squad that was reportedly led by some of the veteran players.

Although Los Ché were well placed when Flores was sacked earlier this term, it appears now that he could have gone in part because of problems behind the scenes.
 
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