Eleven managers in exactly five years, a fractured boardroom and a chairman that frankly was in way, way over his head… that was the scenario which greeted Marcelino at an initial meeting to discuss whether the recently released Villarreal coach would like to try his hand at resurrecting Valencia from the doldrums.

Los Che had always been a big club and were a team that had broken the monopoly of the top two in the Spanish top flight in the not too distant past.

They’d nurtured talent such as David Villa, Juan Mata and David Silva during their glory days, and, were always great fun to watch.

Once Unai Emery had left after a four-year tenure however, things just went from bad to worse. Pellegrini, Valverde, Dukic and Pizzi had all been and gone with six months of being appointed, with only the current Barcelona coach managing over a 50the club he loves.

It forced Lim and his cronies to shop elsewhere and as luck would have it, Marcelino was available. However, there would be caveats. Mendes had to take a back seat because the new man in charge demanded total control.

Having flirted with relegation in 2016/17 and by now virtually on its knees in every sense, the club were left with little choice but to accede to every one of his demands – but it’s paid off. And how!

Valencia Look Invincible

The last time Valencia were still unbeaten after nine games since the start of a season was in 2003/04, when Rafael Benitez was in charge (ironically with Ayestaran). Los Che would go on to win the league title that year in swashbuckling fashion.

Suddenly the locals are all misty-eyed and reflective again, and wondering whether Valencia are on the cusp of such glories once more. Twenty-five goals scored is second only to Barcelona, and it’s only the Blaugrana they trail in the domestic competition. Further, they are one of only three unbeaten teams at the moment.

They’ve not had it this good in years, and with the likes of Carlos Soler, Geoffrey Kondogbia and particularly the on-loan Goncalo Guedes enjoying the form of their lives, there’s every reason to believe that this could be a very special season indeed.

Even Simone Zaza is showing form that can’t be ignored by his country, who’ve cast him aside ever since an ill-fated move to West Ham United. With eight goals in nine games, not only does he look the consummate centre-forward, but he’s only behind Lionel Messi in the top-scorers list this season.

The Nou Mestalla project is also likely to get back off of the ground meaning that the current mood around Valencia is as high as it’s ever been in the last decade.

There have been false dawns before of course, but this is different. The fans know it, the players know it and so does Marcelino. They look invincible at the moment having scored 21 goals in the last five games alone. Trophies and European football could even be a possibility.

Not before time it must be said.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

Join the discussion