CAN you name the team that currently sits bottom of the La Liga table?
Here’s a clue. They possess a Brazilian born Spaniard who last summer lifted the European Cup, a former Highbury hero, and an ex Italian Red Devil? Yep – Villareal.
With 4 losses and no wins after 7 games, Villarreal look a shadow of their former self.
Last year saw El Submarino Amarillo receive a number of plaudits for their free-flowing style, as they finished the season 5th, narrowly missing out on a Champions League place.
They also reached the quarter-finals of the CL, losing to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal 4-1 over two legs.
Yet manager, Ernesto Valverde, feels its too early to panic, suggesting that a profligacy in front of goal may be the cause of their dreadful start.
The under-fire manager told Reviste: “There is a certain pressure at the club because the expectation is that Villarreal is a club that should be up there with the top sides.
“I think that if we are going to pin down an explanation then perhaps we have lacked a clinical edge in front of goal.”
Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague believes, just like former manger Manuel Pellegrini, the club will keep faith with the ex-Olympiacos coach.
“With Pelligrini in the first year, they were at the bottom and they stuck with him; that’s what Villarreal will do,” he said.
“They’ve got two games at home, Malaga and Tenerife, Lazio in the Europa League and if he gets a couple of results… end of crisis.”
However, despite dominating the preceedings, Valverde’s men lost away to 10-man Lazio in the Europa League.
A late goal by Tommaso Rocchi two minutes into injury time at the Stadio Olimpico condemned the Spanish outfit to a 2-1 defeat, after Sebastian Eguren cancelled out a Mauro Zarate opener.