Valencia news: Bumpy road for Bats on way back as Nuno resigns
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 30, 2015
It’s been a dreadful last week for Valencia. Losing in the Champions League to Zenit St Petersburg has damaged Los Che’s chances of progressing to the knockout phase and defeat at Sevilla in La Liga left them eight points adrift of the top three.
Couple that with three sendings off in those two games and just two wins from seven across all competitions, and it has added up to Bats boss Nuno Espirito Santo resigning from the Mestalla hotseat.
Neville in as caretaker?
Former Manchester United and Everton utility player Phil Neville, who was Nuno’s assistant, has taken over alongside Salvador Gonzalez on an interim basis. It remains to be seen if Valencia, who are 5/4 with Coral to advance from Champions League Group H, will appoint a permanent successor before Spanish football’s winter break.
The Peter Lim era at Los Che has been pretty smooth going so far; this Asian investor, one of the richest men in the world, picked up the Bats and has nurtured them by going down a youthful recruitment policy that applies to both players and coaching staff.
Downturn in form
Finishing in the top four under Nuno last term may actually have been slightly punching above their weight, but few neutrals begrudged Valencia a return to the limelight.
A Champions League play-off tie against Monaco, which a dozen or so years earlier wouldn’t have looked out of place as a European semi-final, illustrated perfectly how football has evolved during the Bats’ hibernation from that elite competition.
Los Che’s away form – five losses in six – is real cause for concern and must be addressed. If not, there is an air of inevitability about this talented young team losing some of its rough diamonds, perhaps to the Premier League, following a steady stream of exits to England started by the likes of David Silva and Juan Mata.