Valencia are one of Spain’s biggest and most historic teams, from the country’s third city. La Liga is better when Los Che are competing at the top, but unfortunately it’s been some time since that was the case.
After a flurry of success in the early 2000s that saw them win La Liga twice and lift the UEFA Cup, as well as reaching two Champions League finals, a long dry spell saw them stuck in the shadows of Real Madrid and Barcelona once again.
In 2014, Singaporean business magnate Peter Lim bought the club, and was expected to bring a new era of success with his money. It hasn’t worked out as fans had hoped however, and despite spending more and more each season, they’re as far as ever from the heights of Rafa Benitez’s reign of two decades ago.
Looking at their historic title odds from this season on Spbo Bet, one can see the initial promise of another summer’s spending fade away as the tensions between Lim and manager Marcelino eventually told. The coach was sacked just a month into the new season, and Albert Celades was appointed as caretaker replacement.
He was given the job full time after a few good results, and he did manage to steady the ship and navigate Valencia out of their tough Champions League group with Ajax, Chelsea and Lille.
But as time has passed, his limitations as a manager are becoming more clear, and the sense that the team is moving backwards rather than forwards is increasing. Marcelino’s issues with the board had eventually made his position untenable, but replacing him with someone with no first team managerial experience, who at times looks like little more than a yes-man to the board, looks a short-sighted decision.
Tensions between the board and the coaching staff had been growing throughout last season, and Marcelino and sporting director Mateu Alemany were precariously close to losing their jobs then too.
Keeping them for another summer and then getting rid of them in September was another piece of criminally poor judgement from Lim, who has effectively now wasted another season, and another vast sum of money on a mish-mash of talented but poorly integrated signings, most of whom leave for less money than they arrived for.
That is a sure sign of a badly-run club, and one that has such a proud history and brilliant history as Valencia should not find itself in this position.
They are as far as they’ve ever been from winning another league title now, and for as long as an owner like Lim is appointing coaches like Celades, they won’t get much closer.