Trouble in Valencia
December 21, 2007
Fans of Spanish football will have undoubtedly heard the news that new Valencia boss Ronald Koeman has decided that goalkeeper Santiago Canizares and captain midfielder David Albelda have been asked to leave the club.
Valencia were champions of Spain in 2004, but their recent downfall has seen them in 7th in La Liga and eliminated from European competition after finishing bottom of their UEFA Champions League group.
Koeman has been brought in to stop the bloodshed; he was hired on Halloween to replace Quique Sanchez Flores. Unfortunately, Valencia has since continued their nose dive.
Koeman believes that “younger players can change things” for the club, and because of that has apparently decided that everybody older than thirty is useless in professional football.
Albelda (30) and Canizares (38) are not the only ones on the chopping block. Miguel Angel Angulo (30) has also been binned, and rumors are that there are more on their way.
Unfortunately, Canizares has decided that this may be his last action in professional football. He appears to be convinced that he was meant to end his career with Valencia, and since they have seen fit to get rid of him, he might as well retire now.
I have to agree with Albelda’s comment that “the club’s leadership has no class.”
I don’t follow Spanish football very closely, and FC Barcelona are the only Spanish team that I can say that I actually like and enjoy watching. However, because of these recent events, I can wish nothing but bad fortune on Valencia. The decision to get rid of two fan favorites who led the club to the La Liga title in 2002, then once again in 2004, when Valencia also won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
As a goalkeeper, having had so much success at a club, the last thing Canizares probably expected was to get canned so unceremoniously by a new manager who has been at the club for nowhere near as long as he has. The lack of respect shown by the Dutchman just reminds me once again how unfair the world of football can be.
My heartfelt congratulations go out to Santiago Canizares and David Albelda for having such a successful run with a club. I’m sure wherever they go, they will be accepted easily. My hearty disgust goes out to Ronald Koeman and the rest of Valencia CF for further ensuring that their downward spiral through the league continues. I hope.
Liviu Bird is a young and avid sports writer and competitive goalkeeper playing for the Alaska Northstars State Select Team.