Villarreal started off their 2010 season on the wrong foot. The squad lost 1-0 to a bunch of new boys in basically unknown side Real Sociedad to start off the season. The loss had many fans fearing that the Yellow Submarines would sink the way they did last year to debut the season. The top four hopefuls were anything but that through the first quarter of last season and the on the rise club didn’t climb out of the relegation zone for months on end before finally going on an impressive win streak before the holiday break.
This season would have no early meltdown and in fact has had the most impressive turnaround from a dismal Week 1 effort of any squad in the Spanish league. Villarreal has won five straight league matches and collected an impressive 15 out of 18 total points this season during the excellent winning streak. The club did not play a single top club over the stretch other then Deportivo La Coruna from last season, but that club is currently frigidly cold at the moment and is within the relegation zone. But wins over Espanyol, Levante, Malaga, Racing Santander, and Deportivo, Villarreal has put themselves in excellent position to face the brunt of their schedule coming up.
The next six games on the Yellow Submarines schedule will be much more challenging then the last six and include many of the strongest teams in the league at the moment. Here is the upcoming two months of football Villarreal will face in La Liga: Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Barcelona, Sporting Gijon, and Hercules. And even their games against non giants are going to be a challenge in Bilbao, Sporting, and the giant killers of Hercules. 15 points earned out of these next 6 games would be a miracle for the Submarines, so at the moment I think you have to still consider them top four pretenders because of their fairly easy schedule, but of they can remain in the top four after this next stretch of matches then they have obviously proved me wrong.
And with both Rossi and Nilmar both playing excellent at the moment they might be able to shock a few well respected teams this season.