Villarreal's centre-backs will be their Achilles' Heel
After the work done in the transfer window in the summer, a lot of fans had pronounced themselves to be very happy with the work done.
The return of Santi Carzola and Gerard Moreno, the addition of pace upfront in the form of Karl Ekambi as well as the arrival of promising young talent; Santiago Caseres had given the team's fans reason to be optimistic about fighting for the 4th spot in LaLiga this season.
However, keen watchers of the team had noted the weakness in the central defence and had concluded that the arrival of Ramiro Funes Mori wasn't going to do much to improve the side's defence.
These pundits were proven right yesterday. This was because the central defence gave away two soft goals as El Submarino Amarillo lost at home to Real Sociedad in the first game of the 2018/2019 season. The team had finished last season with one of the worst defensive records in the league; Javier Calleja's side conceded a whopping 50 goals in just 38 games.
The fact that Calleja has continued to persist with the abysmal Victor Ruiz is one that truly baffles. His lack of pace, terrible anticipation and unreliability were reasons why he was let go by Valencia years ago.
Adding another error-prone player like Funes Mori was a really silly decision and one that will come back to haunt the team this season. Both players were directly responsible for the goals conceded; Funes Mori's errant back pass which allowed William Jose to equalize and Ruiz's navel-gazing that led to Juanmi's winner.
The other options available will not fill fans with any sort of confidence either; Daniel Bonera is a washed-up 37-year-old whose (mediocre) best days are well behind him. Alvaro Gonzalez is 28 & despite having been in LaLiga for about 9 seasons now, he has shown little to convince anyone that he is worthy of a place in Spain's premier division.
Thankfully, the window is still open and club supremo Fernando Roig and manager Calleja will have to put their heads together and decide on the way forward.
Failure to bring in better centre-backs would mean that the midfield and attack would have to score more to compensate for the team's defensive weakness; a tactic that is bound to have catastrophic consequences.