Villarreal

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LaLiga

Round 1

Villarreal 4 - 4 Granada CF
2019-08-17 20:00 More Reports
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Round 2

2019-08-23 21:00:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Villarreal

In


Ruben Pena (def) Eibar; Raul Albiol (def) Napoli, Alberto Moreno (def) Liverpool; Moi Gomez (mid) Sporting Gijon; Andre Zambo Anguissa (def) Fulham; Leo Suarez (mid) Real Valladolid; Ramiro Guerra (mid) Gimnastic

Out


Pablo Fornals (r) (mid) West Ham; Victor Ruiz (r) (def) Besiktas; Alfonso Pedraza (r) (def) Real Betis; Javi Fuego (sp) (mid) Sporting Gijon; Alvaro Gonzales (sp) (def) Marseille; Dani Raba (sp) (mid) Huesca; Miguelon (sp) (def) Huesca; Daniele Bonera (sp) (def) Retired

Villarreal were expected to challenge for European qualification last season, but almost ended up being relegated. They started with Javi Calleja as coach, then replaced him with Luis Garcia Plaza and then brought back Calleja for the final stretch to secure survival. Calleja has stayed on, but there is clearly not much confidence in him since he was literally sacked during last season. Calleja showed serious flaws, as he had a super talented squad and was unable to find a tactical system that suited the players. While the doubts over Calleja remain, Villarreal have worked hard this summer to strengthen their squad in certain areas. Defence was a major problem last season and their three most significant summer signings of Ruben Pena, Raul Albiol and Alberto Moreno are all defenders. This squad should be better than last year’s. Many of the fringe players have been moved on, while there have also been a few unavoidable exits of starters in the cases of Pablo Fornals, Victor Ruiz and Alfonso Pedraza. But recruitment seems to have been smarter. There are also many young players coming through at Villarreal and this should spur them on to great things. 20-year-old Samuel Chukwueze, 20-year-old Manu Moralanes, 22-year-old Santiago Casares and 22-year-old Xavi Quintilla should all take steps forward. In terms of their main weakness, it has to be the coaching as was alluded to above. Calleja knows the club and the players well, but has struggled before and could struggle again.

Target


Europa League qualification. Villarreal have a squad that should be capable of fighting for Europa League qualification. It would require a major improvement compared to last year, but they should at least find themselves in the top half of the table this time around.

Season Review
2018/2019

№14: Villarreal

This was a disappointing campaign for Villarreal, with a lot more expected of them given the amount of quality present in their squad. After finishing fifth in 2017/18 and seemingly improving the squad over the summer, they were expected to challenge for European qualification again. Instead, they spent the entire season fighting against relegation. They were never higher than ninth and spent a total of 11 weeks inside the bottom three, before a strong finish to the campaign saw them climb to safety. There was some joy in the Europa League as they reached the quarter-finals, but domestically this was a frustrating season. It was a strange season in the dugout, as Javi Calleja started the season as coach, was sacked and replaced by Luis García Plaza for six rounds and was then brought back in. Calleja wasn’t really convincing during either of his two stints in charge and used about six different tactical systems, never able to settle on one formation or plan. In the end, Villarreal probably stayed up because the quality in the squad was just too good, with players such as Santi Cazorla, Alfonso Pedraza, Karl Toko Ekambi, Gerard Moreno and Carlos Bacca. Many players underperformed, but not so much that they’d actually have gotten relegated. The objective, then, for next season is to settle on a tactical plan that best suits the talent in the squad. Whether or not that’s with Calleja remains to be seen.


Player of the Season: Santiago Cazorla

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