Forza Futbol

A Better Lens at Spanish Football




Forza Futbol welcomes to the family Javier De Roque who occassionally joins us on our podcast (6am in Valencia is hard(!)).  Javier takes a look at Mauricio Pellegrino. Enjoy!

This weekend the season draws to a close. Bringing with it an end to an era in Valencia. The Emery Era.  The Worlds worst kept secret was finally officially anounced.  Unai Emery will not continue.  While the debate will rage on for ages as to how good or bad Emery was ; there can be no doubt that his presence made a profound impact on this club.  Steadying a nearly sinking ship and three seasons straight qualifying the Che for Champions League qualifications.  The Llorente miracle made possible by that very financially lucrative display.  But this is not an article about Emery.


No I prefer to look to the future than to look at the past.  What days will come, what awaits Mestalla fans?  For weeks speculation over who would be next to take over the helm at Valencia was front page news.  Every conceivable name was tossed around.. Deschamps.. Pochettino.. Rudi Garcia..Andre Villas Boas.. and more.  Then suddenly out of the blue came a twitter from Cañizares the old hero from between the posts of Valencia.  Mauricio Pellegrino.


To Valencia fans Mauricio Pellegrino is a very well known player.  He was a key defender for VCF during their glory days.  Reaching two Champions League finals, winning two league titles and a Copa del Rey trophy.  His managerial experience however is far less glorious.  After retiring from futbol Mauricio Pellegrino stayed close to Valencia and was manager of Valencia’s youth team Cadete-B.   However when the opportunity arose to go back to working in top rank football in Liverpool he rejoined Benitez as his first team coach.  Mauricio Pellegrino would stick with Benitez all the way to Milan until they were both dismissed in 2010.


Valencia fans are a bit shell shocked by the news of Mauricio Pellegrino’s appointment.  While there can be no doubt that he has indeed worked with some of the best football coaches during his career.  The doubts persist if Valencia CF didnt deserve a more seasoned coach.  Llorente seems to have taken a gamble.. convinced by Pellegrino’s talent as a defensive player and his experience in working at Liverpool.  And it may pay off.


The same grumblings were heard when Guardiola took over Barcelona FC while having only minimal experience coaching the B team.  And we all know how that turned out.  Valencia fans can only hope that Mauricio Pellegrino can reinvigorate a team that has this year seemed to lack.. Intensity.  (Emery eye roll)  Alot will also depend on the transfer season.  As has happened every season Valencia is sure to lose at least one of their stars with the almost certain signing away of Jordi Alba to Barca.  But also on the list are Rami, Mathieu, Banega and Topal.


Can Mauricio Pellegrino pull off an Emery and keep Valencia competitive while hemoraging players?


Only time will tell.


Amunt Valencia
Javier De Roque

Elisa On May - 12 - 2012

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