Skip to main content

Hinchas y Jugadores - Valencia with Paco Polit (7th May, 2017)

Paco Polit has been a sports journalist for 10+ years, and has worked for a number of media outlets (written press, online media, radio and TV) both in Spanish and English. He mainly writes about Valencia and Levante. You can read his work here.

You can follow him on Twitter here, or on his English handle here

How long have you been a fan of Valencia and what made you support them in the first place?

I've been a season-pass holder since I was twelve, so that's almost two decades of attending Mestalla regularly. I must also say that the same can be said about Levante. I consider myself a proud supporter of both teams: double the excitement, no bad blood between them.

Given the transfer windows and the squad that was assembled at the start of the season, is Valencia where you want it to be?

Obviously not. Valencia CF should be much higher up the standings, fighting for a spot in Europe. The season is a disappointment, no matter how it ends for the club.

Of the signings made this season, which one worked out the best/had the most impact and why?

Arguably Martín Montoya can be regarded as the best signing: didn't cost a dime and has performed quite well throughout the year. Eliaquim Mangala comes a close second, but in his case we are talking about a loaned player who will return to Manchester City next summer.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Valencia this season? Any standout players?

It's actually very difficult to talk about 'strengths' in such an unreliable team. Maybe the scoring ability of its players, quite proficient in that aspect. On the other hand, VCF's weaknesses pile up: lack of tactical discipline, horrible defending, problems with set-ups, too many goals allowed, poor attitude and spirit many times throughout the season... Youngster Carlos Soler is undeniably the best thing that has happened to the team this season. He is a joy to watch.

List some things you appreciate and some things you can’t stand about the club management. Rant away :)

I appreciate Meriton's effort to add relevance to women football and support it sincerely. But most of their decisions have been ill-advised when focused on the first team. Their policies regarding sporting performance have been awful in the last two seasons. Now Mateu Alemany, a veteran executive, has been put in charge... but nothing will improve if owner Peter Lim keeps doing whatever he wants without listening to experts.

What has the mood among the fans been during the campaign? Do you generally agree/disagree with them?

Mood has been very angry within fans this season. And, watching most of Valencia's games, I have no choice than to agree 100% with them.

Are there any talented youngsters at the club that you expect to have a big future?

Carlos Soler is already making the headlines in the midfield. Toni Lato is a brilliant left-back. And Toni Sivera is a magnificent goalkeeper who will play for sure at top level in a few years.

If you could make one realistic signing for Valencia this summer who would it be?

Whatever the signing is, please make it a veteran manager. Having someone who knows his stuff in the bench. I'd rather sign a Pochettino or similar coach than spending money on a fancy attacker.

Finally, predicted finish for Valencia?

Half-way in the standings, between the 9th and 11th spot. Disappointing, indeed.

A huge thanks to Paco for taking the time to do this.


Popular posts from this blog

Hinchas y Jugadores - Gimnàstic with Marius Helgå (14th May, 2017)

Marius Helgå is a 40 year old Gimnàstic fan who lives in Oslo. He is originally from Mo i Rana, Norway (1000 km north from Oslo). He has two hobbies: "playing bass trombone and watching football." 

He runs the Twitter account @nasticnoruega for Gimnàstic fans in Norway. As if he wasn't hipster enough, he also supports Stålkameratene who are in the fifth level of Norwegian football. Not to mention Tromsø (Norwegian top level), Manchester United, Juventus and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Follow him on Twitter here.

How long have you been a fan of Gimnàstic and what made you support them in the first place?

I visited Tarragona on a trip to Spain in 2006, and immediately fell in love with the city. As I didn’t have a club I supported in Spain then, it was an easy choice to start supporting the club.

Given the transfer windows and the squad that was assembled at the start of the season, is Gimnàstic where you want it to be?

After a great 2015-16 season, I was really expecting more of Nàs…

Hinchas y Jugadores - An exclusive interview with Román Golobart (1st May, 2017)

When did you make the decision to pursue football and what motivated you to do so?

I never realized I took a decision, since a very young age I knew that would be my life so I took it for granted that I was going to become a footballer.

The motivation was nothing other than enjoying it a lot!

What were your initial thoughts when you were at Espanyol and Wigan became interested in you, and what motivated you to move to England?

Both moments were very satisfactory. I went to a summer camp that Espanyol organizes and after it I got a letter from the club. I was excited, willing to do it - I was nervous, but the kind of nervous that one gets when you know you have a nice challenge ahead.

With Wigan it was a call, but still a very similar reaction. The thing with Wigan was that even though I was bad in English class, I knew I would end up going to England to play football so I didn't bother paying attention as I knew I would learn it there. And so it happened.

Did you find it difficult t…

From Catalonia to Heybridge - the story of an eighth division club (19th October, 2017)

After spending his whole life at UDA Gramenet and a season at Europa, Guillem Ramón moved to Terrassa in the summer of 2014. It was just another Catalan player transferring between two clubs in the Catalan regional leagues - nothing extraordinary.

But it was consequential.

In March 2015, in a match against Sabadell, the full back suffered a complete meniscal rupture, and his season was over. So was his contract - and a big chunk of the 2015-16 season as well. He ended up signing for Cerdanyola, without pay (as he was recuperating), and the doctors said that January would be his return time. However, he debuted in November.

In hindsight, it was a mistake.

After two games, in a training session, on November 25th he got injured again - this time in the quadriceps in the same leg. After two months of recuperation, and still no guarantee of pay, Guillem left for new pastures in February 2016. A trial at Coplestonians FC followed; so did an opportunity at Needham Market FC, in the seventh t…