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Valencia CF - Athletic Club


Sábado 20/10/2012 - 20:00
Valencia (Mestalla)
Árbitro: Undiano Mallenco (Nafarroa)




La Liga table
1. FC Barcelona 7 - 19
2. Atlético Madrid 7 - 19
3. Málaga 7 - 14
...
14. Valencia 7 - 8
...
16. Athletic 7 - 8
17. Real Zaragoza 7 - 8
- - - - - - - - - -
18. Deportivo La Coruña 7 - 6
19. Osasuna 7 - 4
20. Espanyol 7 - 2

Recent form: Valencia CF (last five matches)
07/10 - Levante - Valencia 1-0
02/10 - Valencia - Lille OSC 2-0
29/09 - Valencia - Real Zaragoza 2-0
23/09 - Real Mallorca - Valencia 2-0
19/09 - Bayern München - Valencia 2-1

So far in La Liga, Valencia gained 7 points out of 3 home matches, and gained just one point out of four away matches. Quite clear where their problem lies I think.

Recent form: Athletic Club (last five matches)
07/10 - Athletic Club - Osasuna 1-0
04/10 - Sparta Praha - Athletic Club 3-1
29/09 - Real Sociedad - Athletic Club 2-0
23/09 - Athletic Club - Málaga CF 0-0
20/09 - Athletic Club - Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona 1-1

Just like Valencia, we gained 7 points in our league home matches so far. Only difference, we played one more home match. Away we're just as bad as them, with the only difference being we played one more away match less.

Last five meetings in Mestalla
23/10/2011 - Valencia - Athletic Club 1-1
02/10/2010 - Valencia - Athletic Club 2-1
15/04/2010 - Valencia - Athletic Club 2-0
30/05/2009 - Valencia - Athletic Club 2-0
02/12/2007 - Valencia - Athletic Club 0-3

Record with the referee (Undiano Mallenco - 29 matches, won: 6, drawn: 9, lost: 14)
Last five times
11/04/2012 - Granada - Athletic Club 2-2
27/11/2011 - Athletic Club - Granada 0-1
02/03/2011 - Real Zaragoza - Athletic Club 2-1
24/01/2011 - Athletic Club - Hércules 3-0
20/11/2010 - Real Madrid - Athletic Club 5-1

Team news
Not available yet

Player to watch out for
Feghouli (according to the stats)

Conclusion
In six away matches this season so far, we've only drawn two, and lost four. The draws were away at HJK (while we were already qualified after the first leg) and against the bottom team of La Liga Espanyol. Both games finished 3-3.
Out of four home games so far, Valencia has won three and drawn one. That was versus Depor, that game finished... 3-3.
We're both struggling heavily, Valencia are strong at home but there's everything to hope for a draw. We're equal in the table, our last match in Mestalla finished in a draw just as the last match we've played under Undiano Mallenco. :hopeful:

My prediction: 3-3
 

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Undiano Mallenco is what is really worrying about this game in my opinion. With him (and Clos Gomes plus Lahoz ) is seems like we never ever get a brake. We must be very careful in key defensive plays, I'm afraid...
 

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Pérez returns, both Castillo and Aurtenetxe with some injury issues..

We'll play this:

Gorka Iraizoz

Andoni Iraola - Borja Ekiza - Fernando Amorebieta - Iñigo Pérez

Ander Iturraspe

Markel Susaeta - Óscar de Marcos - Ander Herrera - Iker Muniain

Aritz Aduriz​

Put Aurtenetxe instead of Pérez and that seems like a dream eleven for this season. BTW, Toquero has been training as right back the whole week..
 

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Gorka Iraizoz

Andoni Iraola - Borja Ekiza - Fernando Amorebieta - Iñigo Pérez

Ander Iturraspe

Markel Susaeta - Óscar de Marcos - Ander Herrera - Iker Muniain

Aritz Aduriz​

Put Aurtenetxe instead of Pérez and that seems like a dream eleven for this season.
So someone else finally wants Aduriz ahead of Llorente? :)

Agree on this although I think the Gurpegi-Ekiza partnership is becoming stronger and very interesting. Gurpegi played like a real captain with many heroic efforts against Osasuna (who played quite bad though imo) although not flawless - Ekiza made sure that his missing details didn't get punished. It wouldn't hurt , however, to see four defenders in a Bielsa line-up.

Let's hope Bielsa takes a look at the league statistics.
With Ekiza playing:
3 games - 0 goals conceded
Without Ekiza:
4 games - 14 goals conceded​

It should be added Gurpegi has been his partner at CB in all three games.

Also there are troubles with Amores renewal. We don't want to see another Llorente case of us rising his shares and reputation to the skies and then get a bosman and a destroyed team atmosphere in return.

With that line-up fit for fight and players like Ibai, Iñigo Pérez, San José, Toquero and Galarreta (+ Amore/Gurpe (+Llorente)) on the bench I think it's fair to say we've got the fourth best core of a team in the entire league after the obvious ones and Atletico.

The only other option upfront as I see it is Ibai. Without him, Aduriz or Llorente on the pitch we're left with players hitting the target in about every 10th or 15th attempt. A real shame considering that there are some players with great precision who are very capable of becoming goalscorers.
 

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Yes, that is right, a really nice post, Knoert!

I don't have much hope for the game against Valencia.. we play away, Valencia is quite ok at home (and are bad when they play away)... and our form... lets have a silent minute for that one.

What I wonder about is... why does Amorebieta not get aversions by the fans? He does the exactly same thing with Athletic as Llorente did. Exactly the same... so I don't get it.
 

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Excellent stuff in this thread. Great work everybody!

Lucie, I wondered the same thing about Amorebieta 2 or 3 days ago, funny you mention it. The only reason I can think of is that Llorente was the face of Athletic, so the fans have stronger emotions towards him. He was supposed to be a leader for this generation of Athletic. Instead, well, you don't need to tell me the rest...

Meanwhile Amorebieta, while a key defender and a good player in his own right, has never drawn that same emotion from the fans. I suppose if he wants to leave or wants to make things difficult with the club, most would say good riddance and move on.

A win would be immense tomorrow, but I'd be just fine with a good performance and a draw. I'm glad Ekiza is getting a chance to show that he belongs in the first team. I too would not mind a Gurpegi/Ekiza partnership with Amorebieta being the 3rd option off the bench, if he continues to do his best Llorente impression..

I really want the team to win this for Martxelo Bielsa more than anything. He deserves a nice hot streak to show that he's still got what it takes to lead the ship in Bilbao. When he took the job, I envisioned him as Athletic's Arsene Wenger. That if the team committed it's future to him for an extended period of time, we'd see great results all the way down through the youth system. While this season has been extremely hectic in almost every area, I still think the team should commit to Bielsa longterm. Give him a 2 or 3 year extension, make it worth his while to stay. (I know this will be a tough task as Bielsa only likes to work on a yearly contract basis)

Bielsa showed in his recorded locker room speeches that he learned and cared for Athletic more in 1 year than some of our players did having played in the system their entire futboling lives. The Chileans are already calling for him to replace their current coach and Marcelo left there on "bad terms." It seems that Bielsa leaves everywhere he goes on "bad terms." At first everyone was quick to blame that on him. But seeing the situation that he's had to deal with here and the shady front office politics and dealings going on around the world in futbol, could it be that Bielsa just has extremely high standards. Maybe he's just looking for respect, honesty, and 100% commitment to the task at hand.

Athletic Bilbao has always been a unique club and one that blazes it's own trail. Same can be said for Bielsa. They are a perfect match and I think that's part of the reason why Bielsa hasn't resigned yet and one of the reasons why he decided to stay after the Lezama construction brawl (LOL) Having noted Athletic's trailblazing qualities, why not blaze another trail and stick with the manager instead of the players? The old saying is "you can't fire the players" but you don't have to fire the coach either. If Bielsa is given the time the entire youth system will know what to expect in order to crack into the 1st team. Hard work, dedication, more hard work. I think part of the disconnect from the end of last season to this season was in the fact that players like Llorente, Amorebieta, Javi, etc. were brought up under Caparros. I don't think Caparros instilled this sort of maniacal hard working approach under his ship. When the players saw it from Bielsa, even increasing as the most demanding season in team history progressed, I think they couldn't take anymore and just gave up instead of continuing the fight. However, if you look at teams like Barca,they have this same insane work ethic and fighting spirit that Bielsa strives for. Which is part of the reason why I think Barca went with Tito Vilanova for now. They now Bielsa is on the block in Bilbao and if they wait til the end of this season, they can try and hire him.

We will be absolutely kicking ourselves if we have to watch Bielsa coaching somewhere else and bringing success to wherever he goes.

Aupa Athletic!
 

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Players called-up by Marcelo Bielsa. He has confirmed the lineup I posted above.

Iraizoz, Raúl.
Aurtenetxe, Amorebieta, San José, Iraola, Iñigo Pérez, Ekiza.
Iturraspe, De Marcos, Susaeta, Ander Herrera.
Toquero, Llorente, Ibai, Isma López, Muniain, Aduriz.

Suspended: Gurpegi
Injured: Castillo
Out: Ruiz de Galarreta
 

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Stats:

Games Played -Total Games (Starter)-

01. Ander Iturraspe 13(13)
--. Óscar de Marcos 13(13)
--. Markel Susaeta 13(13)
04. Andoni Iraola 12(12)
--. Carlos Gurpegi 12(12)
06. Gorka Iraizoz 11(11)
07. Ismael López 11(10)
08. Iker Muniain 11(8)
09. Ibai Gómez 11(4)
10. Aritz Aduriz 10(9)
11. Iñigo Pérez 8(7)
12. Mikel San José 8(4)
13. Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta 8(1)
14. Fernando Llorente 8(0)
15. Xabi Castillo 6(6)
16. Borja Ekiza 6(5)
17. Gaizka Toquero 6(4)
18. Ander Herrera 5(4)
19. Fernando Amorebieta 4(4)
20. Raúl Fernández 2(2)
21. Jonás Ramalho 2(1)
22. Igor Martínez 1(0)
--. Jon Aurtenetxe 1(0)

Goals scored

01. Aritz Aduriz 6 goals
02. Markel Susaeta 5
03. Mikel San José 3
04. Ismael López 2
--. Óscar de Marcos 2
06. Iker Muniain 1
--. Iñigo Pérez 1
--. Andoni Iraola 1
--. Gaizka Toquero 1
--. Igor Martínez 1
--. Fernado Llorente 1
 

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We should have won last year at The Mestalla.

I think we conceded late on to the excellent Bobby Soldado...one of 13 points dropped after min 89 last term.

The problem this year is that we are dead and buried after 20 mins on most occasions.

We are going to need AA to hold the ball up on occasions and he isn't as good as FL at doing this.

We are a lesser team than last year,as are Valencia,and a draw would be a decent return.

Re Bielsa...he has no long term aspirations with the club...that is clear.

His relationship with Urrutia is one characterised by minimal communication,a poor base to build any success on.

This season is about survival...anyone who thinks any more is possible needs their neck bolt tightened.

Onwards and upwards.
 

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So someone else finally wants Aduriz ahead of Llorente? :)

Agree on this although I think the Gurpegi-Ekiza partnership is becoming stronger and very interesting. Gurpegi played like a real captain with many heroic efforts against Osasuna (who played quite bad though imo) although not flawless - Ekiza made sure that his missing details didn't get punished. It wouldn't hurt , however, to see four defenders in a Bielsa line-up.

Let's hope Bielsa takes a look at the league statistics.
With Ekiza playing:
3 games - 0 goals conceded
Without Ekiza:
4 games - 14 goals conceded​

It should be added Gurpegi has been his partner at CB in all three games.

Also there are troubles with Amores renewal. We don't want to see another Llorente case of us rising his shares and reputation to the skies and then get a bosman and a destroyed team atmosphere in return.

With that line-up fit for fight and players like Ibai, Iñigo Pérez, San José, Toquero and Galarreta (+ Amore/Gurpe (+Llorente)) on the bench I think it's fair to say we've got the fourth best core of a team in the entire league after the obvious ones and Atletico.

The only other option upfront as I see it is Ibai. Without him, Aduriz or Llorente on the pitch we're left with players hitting the target in about every 10th or 15th attempt. A real shame considering that there are some players with great precision who are very capable of becoming goalscorers.
I'm staggered anyone would want Gurpegi playing CH..astounded tbh.

Until we sort out defensive issues i'd like to see him float between the midfield and back four on away matches and let the full backs provide the width...we need some sort of a plan B.

Until he goes Llorente should play from the bench when needed...his wages are being paid and he is still an Athletic player.

He isn't the villain he's been painted.

If €5m was offered in February he would have a new deal...500,000 extra was deemed too much by Urrutia to keep one of the best strikers in Europe.

He's good at these contact negoiations,isn't he?

Tosser.
 

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I'm staggered anyone would want Gurpegi playing CH..astounded tbh.

Until we sort out defensive issues i'd like to see him float between the midfield and back four on away matches and let the full backs provide the width...we need some sort of a plan B.
The statement is partly considering Bielsas well known tactic of CM -> DC. Gurpegi (w Iraola) is the most experienced player on the team and still in transition of making this position (the Javimar position) his.

Gurpe has been terrible next to Amorebieta and Mikel but if Amore refuses to renew his contract and continues to make big mistakes, whilst Gurpegi-Ekiza continue conceding one goal every 360 minutes together I'm staggered, astounded, tbh that anyone would want someone else in the squad (who?) as Ekizas partner. I consider Aurtenetxe to be LB at all times unless he has to be used as DC, considering the LB situation.

Remember last year we all went crazy at Bielsa for using Javi as DC and although he should have used Ekiza more, it worked out alright most of the time and would have improved further this year. Hopefully it will be the same with Gurpegi since this is what Bielsa wants.

Iturraspe has a nearly cemented position and Bielsa won't play with two DMs if you don't count the De Marcos role as semi, ie Gurpegi is CB this year. Of course Amore has been injured and yet to be tested next to Ekiza this season, so I might be terribly wrong and you right. Fernando Amorebieta in form is a brilliant player, but so is Llorente.

The defence is still returning to full fitness and I agree Bielsa needs a plan B if the defense doesn't tighten up soon. If not we have to test Ramalho, Albizua or Aymeric or perhaps consider resigning Etxeita.

The most important thing missing in defence is the focus. In the games against Barca at home or the United games the man marking was ultimate. We mastered some of the world greats thanks to the non-stop focus and zero tolerance of passivity.

Great to see all opinions and a discussion here again! Aupa Athletic :thumbsup:
 

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I really want the team to win this for Martxelo Bielsa more than anything. He deserves a nice hot streak to show that he's still got what it takes to lead the ship in Bilbao. When he took the job, I envisioned him as Athletic's Arsene Wenger. That if the team committed it's future to him for an extended period of time, we'd see great results all the way down through the youth system. While this season has been extremely hectic in almost every area, I still think the team should commit to Bielsa longterm. Give him a 2 or 3 year extension, make it worth his while to stay. (I know this will be a tough task as Bielsa only likes to work on a yearly contract basis)

Bielsa showed in his recorded locker room speeches that he learned and cared for Athletic more in 1 year than some of our players did having played in the system their entire futboling lives. The Chileans are already calling for him to replace their current coach and Marcelo left there on "bad terms." It seems that Bielsa leaves everywhere he goes on "bad terms." At first everyone was quick to blame that on him. But seeing the situation that he's had to deal with here and the shady front office politics and dealings going on around the world in futbol, could it be that Bielsa just has extremely high standards. Maybe he's just looking for respect, honesty, and 100% commitment to the task at hand.

Athletic Bilbao has always been a unique club and one that blazes it's own trail. Same can be said for Bielsa. They are a perfect match and I think that's part of the reason why Bielsa hasn't resigned yet and one of the reasons why he decided to stay after the Lezama construction brawl (LOL) Having noted Athletic's trailblazing qualities, why not blaze another trail and stick with the manager instead of the players? The old saying is "you can't fire the players" but you don't have to fire the coach either. If Bielsa is given the time the entire youth system will know what to expect in order to crack into the 1st team. Hard work, dedication, more hard work. I think part of the disconnect from the end of last season to this season was in the fact that players like Llorente, Amorebieta, Javi, etc. were brought up under Caparros. I don't think Caparros instilled this sort of maniacal hard working approach under his ship. When the players saw it from Bielsa, even increasing as the most demanding season in team history progressed, I think they couldn't take anymore and just gave up instead of continuing the fight. However, if you look at teams like Barca,they have this same insane work ethic and fighting spirit that Bielsa strives for. Which is part of the reason why I think Barca went with Tito Vilanova for now. They now Bielsa is on the block in Bilbao and if they wait til the end of this season, they can try and hire him.

We will be absolutely kicking ourselves if we have to watch Bielsa coaching somewhere else and bringing success to wherever he goes.

Aupa Athletic!
I just have to say that I am totally in agreement. I'd love it if Bielsa got a bigger mandate and time to work with an entire generation of Lezama-players.

Re Bielsa...he has no long term aspirations with the club...that is clear.

His relationship with Urrutia is one characterised by minimal communication,a poor base to build any success on.

This season is about survival ...anyone who thinks any more is possible needs their neck bolt tightened.
However, tarquin raises a good point too. A long-term symbiosis between Bielsa and Athletic will only happen if structural and organizational things change. (They will need to happen any how - if they do we won't only fight for survival!)
 

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Fair points GT84.

What a game this is!...lots more goals to come since both defences look very shakey.

We are in a hell of a position at HT though and must capitalise.

The offensive performance so far has been impressive and we will need at least one goal to get anything from this game.

Onwards and upwards.
 
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