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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.

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