David Villa Makes Sydney FC Coach Eat His Words
October 29, 2014
When Sydney FC’s coach Graham Arnold said he wouldn’t pick Spanish superstar David Villa in his team ahead of the Sky Blues A-League opener against Melbourne City he must have known those words could come back to bite him. And it took Villa just 15 minutes to silence the Sydney Boss, opening his Australian account with City’s equaliser after coming on as a second half substitute, in the 1-1 draw.
In Arnold’s defence he wasn’t having a dig at the World Cup winner, rather he just didn’t expect Villa to have adapted to Australia’s conditions having only arrived in the country less than a week before their round 1 clash. And while the Spaniard didn’t start due to a lack of match fitness it was apparent he wasn’t missing the ruthlessness that made him one of the most revered strikers in the world in his prime. Next up for City is a home clash against Newcastle and surely the 32 year old will be in the action from the start. But one thing’s for sure, you can expect Jets Coach Phil Stubbins not to give the Striker any motivation to prove doubters wrong.
David’s Debut Dazzler
Trailing to Sydney in their opening game, Melbourne coach John van‘t Schip turned to Villa in the opening 5 minutes of the second half. Spain’s leading all time goal scorer received a rousing reception from the Melbourne faithful while even many of Sydney’s supporters rose to their feet to welcome the forward to the A-League; however those home fans wouldn’t be cheering for long. After easing his way into his first 15 minutes, Villa showed his class in the 63rd minute when receiving a pass at the top of the box from Irish import Damien Duff. He took a sharp touch around Sebastian Ryall to make room for himself before clinically dispatching the ball past Vedran Janjetovic who up to that stage looked unbeatable in the host’s goal.
Warning Shot Hits Target and More to Come
Having made an instant impact on the A-League Villa proved the pressure to perform doesn’t faze him while a debut goal will surely help the on-loan New York City striker to settle into his role. And there’s no doubt he’ll improve as he adapts to the league, his teammates and most importantly Australia’s conditions. With 9 games left in his guest stint we’re likely to see many more moments of magic with his best yet to come. But just how many goals can the deadly marksman manufacture for Melbourne, and what would be a fair return? 10 in 10 games is perhaps is asking too much, but this guy scores goals for fun.
Villa Aiming to Shoot Down the Jets
A record crowd for a non Melbourne derby is expected at AAMI Park on Sunday as City fans officially welcome Villa and the rest of Melbourne’s squad to the new season in their first home game of the campaign. And the stadium will explode if the former Barcelona star slots another goal. But Newcastle will come to spoil the party and are aiming to get their first points of the season after losing to the Central Coast Mariners 1-0 in the F3 Derby in round 1, with great odds on Tom Waterhouse. The Jets were the better side but left with nothing after conceding an injury time goal. They should have been out of sight against the Mariners but poor finishing proved costly, oh how they could have done with a David Villa in their line- up.
While Melbourne Marquee players Roben Koren and Irish import Damien Duff are the big name mainstays that will look to guide City to the finals and beyond, Villa can certainly send the side on its way to the play-offs before he heads to America. Nicknamed El Guaje, which translates to “The Child,” 32 year old Villa mightn’t be as energetic and explosive as he once was, but class is permanent. And with a resume and reputation which can only be respected his opponents aren’t likely to leave “the Kid” on his own.