Paddy Spicer Ward looks at Valencia’s promising start in La Liga and whether they can relive past glories…
Valencia’s start to their La Liga campaign this year is not dissimilar to that made by Liverpool and Roma last season. Unfancied former giants in their respective leagues, Valencia will hope their season pans out more like that of their fellow countrymen Atlético, rather than falling at the end of marathon seasons as Roma and Liverpool did.
The youthful Los Che side have come flying out of the blocks, sitting just two points behind Barcelona, with an unexpected 3-0 loss away to Deportivo at La Riazor pencilled in alongside six wins and two draws. The lack of European football is no doubt helping the men from Spain’s third largest city, allowing more time working on tactics to nullify the opposition and gel together their new look squad.
This summer saw no less than 20 players depart from the newly revamped Mestalla, and it was not simply a case of trimming the squad, as there were 14 incomers as well. Most remarkably is that most of the 20 who departed were the mainstay of Valencia’s starting XI last season, with Juan Bernat and Jeremy Mathieu being the most high profile exits.;Victor Ruiz, Jonas, Andres Guardado, Eduardo Vargas and Phillipe Senderos a number of other notable changes. The change saw players with an average age of around 27 leave, with the incomers much younger at 23.