With a win against Osasuna the boys from Valencia have solidified their position in 4th place on the Premier Division table. It seems that even though Real Madrid is more resilient than I thought and Barca started SO strong Valencia is at least as resilient because they have control of the 4tgh spot AND they’re on 4 points out of the top spot.
While I’ve been riding high on Valencia all season I honestly did not expect them to be able to keep this up forever. They don’t have the high-priced “uber-talent” that other clubs have, but what they do have is great coaching. Unai Emery is no slouch. I couldn’t pick him out of a crowd, I couldn’t tell you where he came from or what his background is, but I tell you what…he knows what he is doing.
The former midfielder hasn’t been coaching that long because it hasn’t been long since he was an active player. He badly injured his knee in 2004 and was offered the open managership of Lorca Deportiva and nearly got them promoted to the Premier Division. Such success brought him to Valencia because the brass in Valencia knew he could turn the 3rd most popular team in Spain into a powerhouse again. Guess what? He’s doing it. Good Senor Emery….well played!
If we look just a little deeper I think we see what the root of his success is. He was never a “major star” but he was a good player. He was good enough to play professionally and that is enough for me. He’s taking that ability and combining it with the reality of the game. He knows that most guys are not “uber stars” and that they won’t bring in the millions that everyone hopes they would. So, he gets the frustration of someone who may never get over the top. He understands what it’s like to not quite get there. He also knows what he would have liked to have heard when he was trying to get “over the hump”. Do you think that’s what he’s telling his players and that’s why they’re performing so well? Yep.
Powerful and timely words are the most important thing a coach can give a player who already knows how to play…and Unai is passing that out everyday…I guarantee you.