Valencia suffered defeat away to Sevilla in Saturday’s Spanish La Liga clash to end the weekend just two places and two points above the relegation zone.
Once again, Los Che find themselves struggling in the lower reaches in the table, having already changed managers early into the season, and many believe their top-flight status is genuinely at risk.
Valencia’s decline over the last 18 months
Valencia’s problems started after the 2014/15 season. The club had been selling their best players as a result of financial difficulties and things finally came to a head in 2015. The preceding years saw Valencia selling players such as David Villa, Juan Mata, David Silva, Jordi Alba, Roberto Soldado, Jeremy Mathieu, Nicolas Otamendi and Shkodran Mustafi among many others, but the club have no longer found good replacements for cheap in the transfer market.
Valencia have relied on loan deals and bargain buys, while flipping players and selling them on for a big profit. Such a tactic will always unravel eventually and it appears Los Che have run out of luck. Their squad has changed drastically in the last 18 months and there appears to be no cohesion on the pitch as a result of constant overhauls to the backroom staff.
Hiring and firing too many managers and coaching staff
Valencia manager Cesare Prandelli is the club’s sixth manager in the last 18 months – including caretaker bosses – and it’s clear a lot of the side’s problems stem from the overhaul to non-playing staff. The board don’t appear to have one vision for Valencia and instead are hiring managers in a random fashion. Inexperienced head coaches have been brought in to negative effect prior to Prandelli’s arrival and the constant change to playing style is leading to inconsistent results on the pitch.
Considering how drastically the squad changes given the transfer policy, for the Valencia hierarchy to assume altering the manager and coaching staff will see results turnaround is naïve. This season sees Valencia 16th in the Spanish La Liga with 11 points from 13 games, having lost eight times already, and relegation looks a real possibility. Prandelli has decades of experience so the club would be wise to give him time to turn their fortunes around. However, the last 18-24 months suggest the coach has to get results sooner rather than later.
In two of the last three seasons, Los Che have finished with less than 50 points in La Liga. Valencia were recently 17/2 to be relegated in 2016/17, but can they avoid the drop?