Elche has reached the Christmas break after three meetings with the new coach Francisco Rodríguez. The first conclusions that can be drawn from the Almeria coach are that the Elche team has improved in the offensive aspect. It is seen that it is a more courageous team than with Fran Escribá, that the new coach does not hold as long to make the changes and that they are usually looking to improve and accumulate more troops in the attack. Something that is always appreciated.
But nevertheless, Francisco has not managed to stop the defensive errors and the franjiverde box continues conceding too many goals. In none of the three games they have been on the bench, Elche has managed to leave a clean sheet. And that always makes it difficult to score, regardless of the rival and whether they have seen the opposing goal easily.
The Elche coach was aware of that endemic evil that dragged the team of the last stage of Escribá from the day of its presentation, when it already recognized it. Last week, in the preview of the Cup match against Unionistas de Salamanca, he commented that they had barely had time to work with the entire squad, because as soon as he landed he had to play League and Cup matches and had only had time to prepare those stakes.
But time is short and the coach from Almería has to find that balance between offensive improvement and the excess of goals conceded.
The team competes and reacts in difficult moments
Francisco’s Elche, regardless of the fact that in some phases of the matches, as happened in the first parts against Valencia and last Saturday against Barcelona they are overcome, is a daring team that does not wait behind and that they try to tighten on the field contrary and have the defense advanced. That has led him to score six goals, three for Cádiz, one for Valencia and two for Barcelona. Something that is to be commended and that is how the majority of the fans are expressing it.
In addition, the new coach franjiverde has been shown brave when it comes to making changes, which have almost always been offensive and well in advance. Escribá expects, on many occasions, too much to vary the team. With Francisco, in the three games he has been in, the team from Elche has always finished with three forwards on the field and with more offensive players. The results of Mestalla and the Camp Nou have conditioned. But against Cádiz, at Martínez Valero, despite winning, he also ended up with the majority of attacking players and did not seek to maintain the result.
Three goals in three games in strategy plays
The defensive side continues to be in Francisco’s duty. Six goals in three games is too many. Especially when three of them have occurred in corners. Álex Fernández scored 2-1 for Cádiz on a shot after a corner kick. Piccini also scored the goal for Valencia’s victory in a strategic action that was poorly defended. And against Barcelona, Ferrán Jutglà put the Catalans ahead after finishing with a header in anticipation of Enzo Roco. They are plays that cannot be allowed, because, then, you have to swim against the current. The Elche coach and the players are aware that it is an aspect to improve urgently.
The arbitration proceedings are not helping either
Elche is not having any luck with the refereeing in the last games either. Being objective, in Francisco’s first meeting on the bench he found a “penalty” in favor in the first minutes against Cádiz who helped. However, the last two stakes, against Valencia and Barcelona, have been surrounded by controversy. In Mestalla, with the phantom goal, by Guido Carrillo, which neither the referee nor the VAR wanted to grant. Last Saturday at the Camp Nou there were also several actions discussed and all fell from the opposite side to the franjiverdes. The blocking of Busquets on Diego González in the first goal culé. The lack of Araujo on Lucas Pérez, which Alberola Rojas decreed offside and which could have meant the expulsion of the Barcelona center-back. And above all, due to its significance, the possible offside of Gavi in the play that ended with Nico González’s 3-2. The arbitrations are not helping to improve either.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.