Football analysts rate Valmiera FC

27 August 2022

They usually say – as many people are there, as many opinions you can hear. However, this time around the football analysts Edmunds Novickis, Agris Suveizda, and Emils Ozerinskis hit the same wave while answering three questions about Valmiera FC, as well as giving an insight into what to expect against the opponent – SK Super Nova Salaspils.

How would you rate Valmiera’s perfomance this season? 

EN: Team has been very steady. Of course, you can say that the fifteen-game win streak has stood out and that was phenomenal. Now people are talking about the downfall, and crisis because Euro Cups have influenced their opinion. But if you look at Virsliga results – they have one unlucky loss against Spartak which is the only one in a long period of time. There have been draws but who doesn’t have them? In general, Valmiera is playing very well and has continued to collect points that have allowed them to be in the lead of the standings.

AS: Their first place in the standings speak for themselves and the fifteen wins in a row were impressive too. However, there is no time to sleep – with quite an amazing two-thirds of the season they only have a five-point lead and all the most important games are still ahead. Especially I want to note their balance against the ‘’big-four’’, Riga, RFS, and Liepaja – 19 points out of a possible 24. They have already granted a better overall record in matches between Valmiera and RFS and most likely are to achieve it against the other two teams. What is interesting – is Valmiera didn’t control the ball more in any of the games which for the fast-paced team isn’t really necessary.

EO: Valmiera has been phenomenal. fifteen wins in a row aren’t something you can sneeze on. Too bad that they couldn’t beat the Skonto record and get to sixteen, especially because Spartaks didn’t play the best game in their victory against Valmiera. You can’t rate the team just yet because that will only be possible after the season when we will know the final position in the standings. However, Valmiera boys treated the spectators with spectacular football. Valmiera sports fans have to appreciate it and have to come to the games to support their team.

The place in the standings – a surprise or a thing that was obvious? 

EN: I was one of those people that believe the coaching duo of Kalns and Kalnins. Altogether I said that the team would finish second. The positive is that I was surprised by a few players that have exceeded my expectations – first of all, Camilo Mena. Now many people have forgotten that he didn’t have many points last season, while he spent the whole year here, in Latvia. Now he has made a notable step forward. Daisuke Yokota as well – he had slowed down towards the end of last season but has started this year quite well. I was also surprised by both full-backs, Daniels Balodis and Roman Yakuba, they are inexperienced but playing a really steady game.

AS: I have been surprised by two things. First of all, during the summer nobody from starting 11 has left the team, I had concerns about this prior to the season – but apparently, there were no grounds for it. Second of all – the defense is very good despite it having changed a lot – Daniels Balodis did start a lot during the second half of last season but for the pair, it is the first full season. Emils Birka has joined the team and the fact that they all had such a quick time adjusting was a pleasant surprise.

EO: I have to admit that I didn’t expect Valmiera played to run ahead of everyone during the better part of the Virsliga season. Before things kicked off Liepaja took some big-name players but the squad that they had on paper didn’t show the same thing on the pitch. Riga changes their coaches as sticker notes. RFS without Roberts Savalnieks is missing someone that can pull the team together during important moments. Valmiera meanwhile, plays close to their ceiling. I was surprised that the young players quickly caught on to the playing style of Jurgis Kalns.

What are the pluses and minuses of the team?

EN: The new coaching staff of the team came in with fresh insight, they used the players differently and played a tactically different game. At the start of the season, it was like a long-term surprise and that was something that almost no teams could adjust to. Now that Valmiera rarely changes its roster it is hard to surprise with something new because other teams analyze, and prepare for matches. Obviously, those victories come in harder.

AS: Being young! Valmiera is a very young, energic team that could have the upper hand against more experienced opponents in terms of game temp and recovery from small injuries. Another aspect is that they haven’t swallowed the pride of winning and they still want more of it. On the other hand, the lack of experience in the final lap of the competition could be key. The calendar won’t be as intense which will help opponents to better prepare for the games.

EO: In terms of football the speed is a huge plus. A minus is that the set-piece perfomance isn’t convincing, especially the attacking corners where I would want to see more danger near the goal. Lately, unforced errors have also appeared which probably can be explained by the long season and psychological tiredness.

About today’s opponents, all three say that they are at the bottom of the standings due to their lack of experience. However, the four-game winning streak isn’t a surprise. What has changed? They have gotten used to the level of Virsliga. Ozerinskis insists that their experiment with Vugars Askerovs was a mistake, but Marko Regza’s now helping hand is pointed out by all three – Eduards Visnakovs has helped to improve the offense. Novickis and Suveizda point out that his presence has unleashed the legs and hands of Regza, which has made Super Nova attacks more dangerous. As a newcomer, they have felt the sourness of losses but they haven’t gotten that many outcomes with a huge result gap because of their organized defense.

EN: If we talk about this game, it is hard to imagine that Valmiera could lose points. I think that there will be a convincing victory but how things will turn out – the game will show.


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