First things first: we got some significant help from some of our loanees this season. Andrés Fernandez struggled early in the Europa League, but once he was called on to become a regular due to Sergio Asenjo’s injury, he responded. Stay or send back? Stay. Please, Porto. And while we have Porto on the phone....Adrián López. Turned out Fran Escribá found out he was better as an attacking midfielder (left wing) than up front, and he did reasonably well there. But he’ll be turning 30, we’ve got Denis Cheryshev returning from injury, Alfonso Pedraza coming back from Leeds....so...send back. Not without some regrets, and a sincere handshake for his time with us. Oh? We’re not done with Porto? José
Marcelino has set his sights on the necessary changes that he needs to make in order to restore Valencia to the upper echelons of LaLiga. The 51-year-old is the fourth permanent coach to have taken charge at Mestalla in the last two years, with Gary Neville, Pako Ayestaran and Cesare Prandelli all failing to complete a full LaLiga season. Marcelino has been out of work since his surprise departure from Villarreal in August 2016, but the former Sevilla coach is expecting to preside over a new era of stability at Valencia.
Real Madrid won the league by three points, with a potential tiebreaker against them, and with such a thin margin, people will look at how refereeing decisions may have changed the outcome. In particular, two games had egregious refereeing mistakes go against Barcelona that, had they been called correctly, would have meant Barça would have been champions. There was a late winner incorrectly ruled out against Real Betis, when the ball went clearly across the goal line but the ref said no goal. 1-1 it ended, and two points dropped. Then there were two clear handballs not called when Villarreal’s Bruno Soriano on two occasions handled the ball inside the box. Barcelona should have at least a penalty