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Hernandez: Five matches to watch

Liga MX 40 minutes ago
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By ESPN Staff
Dec 18, 2007

Koeman makes scapegoats of Albelda, Canizares

MADRID, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Valencia players David Albelda and Santiago Canizares have been given a strong hint from coach Ronald Koeman on Tuesday that their days are numbered at the Primera Liga club.

The 38-year-old goalkeeper Canizares, and 30-year-old midfielder David Albelda, who between them have won 95 international caps for Spain, were left out of the squad to face Real Union in the King's Cup on Wednesday.

'I have explained it to them because they aren't youngsters. This decision is, in principle, for the next two games and for the future it isn't possible to say as it is a matter for the club as well,' Koeman told a news conference.

'Valencia is a ship and those who don't want to be on board, will be out. To take these types of strong decisions I need the support of the president, and he agrees with me. It is for the good of Valencia.'

Former Netherlands international Koeman has had a tough baptism of fire since replacing the sacked Quique Sanchez Flores at the beginning of November.

The side have crashed out of the Champions League, missing out on a parachute into the UEFA Cup, and have slipped to seventh in the Primera Liga.

They have only won once in eight games since he took over, and have not scored a single goal in the last six in all competitions.

'I want to change things and to give other players opportunities,' he added.

'One good result could change things. I am convinced it is going to happen and hopefully it will be tomorrow.'

Canizares and Albelda are two of the most experienced players in the squad. Canizares has been at the club since 1998 and Albelda came through the youth system.

They helped the side to consecutive Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001, to win the UEFA Cup in 2004 and to the league title in 2002 and 2004.