Joaquín Sánchez is the most high profile casualty of Ronald Koeman's promise that he would not be afraid to make bold changes at Valencia if he felt that they were required. The Andalucian winger has been left out of Valencia's 18 man squad named ahead of Saturdays game against Murcia at the Mestalla.
Following the midweek Champions league defeat to Rosenborg, Koeman has demanded "we need order: both on and off the field". For the Dutchman, Joaquin's lacklustre performance was clearly out of order. If the player has been dropped, rather than rested, it is a bold statement that has not been greeted warmly by all the fans and as one irate e-mail to Marca put it "Valencia without Joaquin is as daft as trying to make a paella without rice".
Discontent, disunity and pretty much any other dis- you can think of is always the order of the day at Valencia and the fact that not all are in agreement with Koeman should come as little surprise to regular Spanish football watchers. There appears to be more trouble on the horizon, this time of the financial variety, as Madrid sports daily AS reports that club President Juan Soler has accumulated huge debts in his tenure at the club and that only some creative accounting and shady political handouts are masking the real levels of financial crisis that the club is in. The allegations in AS's piece on 09/11/07 were pretty controversial and it is hardly surprising that they have been removed from the paper's website.
Talking of papers writing and changing stories; Marca presented its readers yesterday with a front page declaring Milans interest in Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and warned that a transfer was a possibility. The same paper has since filled its website and following days pages with interviews and opinion pieces rubbishing the merest suggestion that young Sergio is anything but a lifelong Madridista. Still; if it sells newspapers.....