A-League Heats Up With Summer Sun, Too Much For Villa
November 03, 2014
It’s adios to David Villa for now with his Hyundai A-League experiment cut short by Parent Club New York City. But what impact did one of the world’s most prolific strikers leave on the competition? Would City Fans welcome him back with open arms or was all the hype over the superb Spaniard overkill? His stay was short but sweet playing less than half the number of matches he potentially could have featured in. Still, he gave us moments of magic, seconds of sublime skill and even a couple of goals. But should he have delivered more?
No Fairy-tale Finish for Spanish Prince
More than 13,000 fans turned out to farewell Villa in his final game for Melbourne City but opponents Adelaide didn’t read the script. It was far from a fairy-tale finish for the 32 year old with the hosts relinquishing an early lead to go down 2-1 at home. The World Cup winner was one of Melbourne’s best on the night and could have had a goal, but for a strong save between the sticks by United stopper Eugene Galekovic in the first half. He made another mesmerising run after the break but again couldn’t beat the keeper from a tight angle. Still Villa created a handful of opportunities for his team mates many which would likely have been taken had he still been playing among Europe’s best.
Villa’s Stint in Stats
Having acquired Villa’s services (and a handful of other handy talented imports) City was among the favourites with bookmakers before a ball was kicked this season. However the Victorians now sit at the wrong end of the table with 2 losses, 2 draws and no wins from 4 matches. Not exactly the start many expected.
There’s a strong argument to say had it not been for Villa Melbourne’s predicament could be worse, in-fact both their points have come from 1-1 draws with the Spaniard scoring equalising goals in both matches to spare his side further pain.
Having come on as a substitute in the opening round Villa played a total of 312 minutes scoring once every 156 minutes. His 2 goals in 4 matches is a pretty hand strike rate and going on that average he would have netted 5 times had he stuck around for 10 games.
Did David do Enough for the A-League
Perhaps experts and fans alike expected more from the European Champions League winner because he wasn’t coming to Australia as an old man with a walking stick or a washed out has been who was here on a holiday. In fact Spain’s all time leading goalscorer’s last competitive match before arriving on our shores was at the World Cup no less. And the fact that he scored in it and it was against the Socceroos was fresh in Aussies minds when he stepped off the plane.
1 man can’t beat 11 players on his own (unless he goes by the name Lionel Messi) but there was hype that although he wasn’t at the peak of his powers Villa still had it in him to dominate defences and terrorise goalkeepers. And while he lit up the A-League at certain stages, once one of the world’s most feared forwards didn’t exactly scare the opposition. It’s fair to say his opposing defenders respected the reputation but weren’t intimidated by their task.
Given more time it’s likely Villa would have adapted to Australian conditions and produced more marvellous moments on a more consistent basis. Perhaps playing more regularly with his team mates also would have benefited the Spanish superstar.
So Villa’s loan was short lived and he heads to America much earlier than many would have wanted. And while most Australian fans will feel hard done by his American club New York City has little room for sentiment. In truth Villa’s contract with Melbourne was for a maximum of 10 games and although City didn’t exactly highlight that to their supporters those who read the fine print would have known a shorter stint was always a possibility. With extra training under his belt, slightly easier playing conditions and more time to strike up cohesion with his team mates don’t be surprised if the Spaniard starts scoring for fun in the MLS. After all he has an eye for goal and 2 feet that can find it.
He came he saw and while he hardly conquered let’s just be grateful we got to witness one of Spain’s most decorated players ply his trades in our country.
Muchas Gracias El Guaje