Here we are again. After a great tie in midweek against the blue giants from over the sea, we return to La Liga fixtures that, while less prestigious or eye-catching, are simply must-win games.
To be honest, looking around us I really feel we are competitive this season. We have started well, have options, stopped Barca and Chelsea, so if we can be consistent and put away the sides who we are simply better than (simple as that) we can do really well. Sevilla look strong this year, Barca and Real are fantastic but look less consistent than last year, can we really expect Betis to hang around? I don’t think so. Another third, but far closer this time, to Barca and Real, but also far more threatened by Malaga/Sevilla. We will see. But for now, lets beat Granada. It’s just one of those games. That we should, must, SHALL win.
How ’bout that Chelsea match, eh?
I don’t have much time today as I’m at work (shhh … don’t tell anyone) but this article by the Swiss Ramble football blog regarding Valencia’s finances and current economic state is 100% MUST READ material for Valencia fans worldwide.
I can’t stress enough how good this blog post is. Whoever wrote this is thorough, knowledgeable and a great writer.
Anyways, please read it and let us know what you think.
After seeing our wonderful run at the start of this season end in real disappointment against Sevilla, we meet the English giants who took a dear son from us just a few months ago. Lets hope for a repeat of the magnificent display that we offered when Barca visited the Mestalla a few weeks ago.
Which Valencia will show up?
My greatest fear is that we will waste chances. I have trust that our defence is manning-up nicely, and we can trust it to be solid. I also believe that our midfield can contain anything that Chelsea can throw, although the battle between Ever and Ramires will be critical in terms of who governs the centre of the park. My greatest fear is that IF San Rob SOl is shut out of the game we will really struggle to score goals.
And as we know the home games in the Champions League are vital, the teams that progress dominate at home. The teams who go far DON’T lose. Man Utd for example haven’t lost at Old Trafford for 17 months. Barca have an equally impressive domination at Camp Nou.
And we have already lost what appeared to be 2 easy points in Belgium.
Which makes tonight’s game even more critical. Any result would be excellent. A loss could really cost us.
Our formation tomorrow against Chelsea? Yes/no/maybe?
What do you think?
Who should the spastic Unai Emery select against Chelsea tomorrow in the Champions League?
Discuss tactics and formations below.
And don’t forget to read my take on the match at Forza Futbol.
AMUNT!!! A POR ELLOS!!
On we go, with a visit from old friend Juan Mata and Chelsea, a club we have a recent history with.
It’s the Champions League! The goose bump-inducing song, the pomp and circumstance!
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Tonight questions will be answered.
Just how good is our defence? Is it the no-show of the Racing game or the recent one where clean sheets have arrived with impressive consistency.
Just how good is our attack? The Genk game especially highlighted the reality that although we have a good attacking side, only San Roberto has that killer finishing instinct. When he wasn’t in the centre Los Che were toothless. So will Barca shut him down and if so, will our attack disappear as a result?
Actually, how good are we really? Our perfect league record so far shows a good sign, that we know how to kill off worse teams and avoid dropping points. It is on this quality that great teams are based. You can lose to Barca and Madrid in every fixture but if you beat the rest you’ll end up close to the top at season’s end. The key is consistency of quality, not quality alone, and being surgical almost, clinical, in each game. But in a few minutes we will see how we really are against the best the world can offer.
Lets hope this is no 8 goal crucifixion.
Tomorrow evening, it’s Valencia-Barcelona at the Mestalla, one of the classicos of Spanish football.
While not the biggest match on our schedule, it’s an important one nonetheless.
It’s only the 4th game of the early season schedule, but it will tell us a lot about where we stand in the league.
Are we true contenders? Can the Spanish Old Firm be knocked off their lofty, rich perches?
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So its a day after our first Champions League match of the season.
Now I know that the general consensus is that the draw was a huge dissapointment..
And to some extent i agree that a win against Genk would have been a far more just result.
But im here to tell you this result is not the end of the world.
First off lets be perfectly frank about one key point.
This is the Champions League.
There are no bad teams here.
Teams that make it this far are here for a reason.
They are excellent squads that if not physically always up to par have staff and players that can recognize that and adjust their strategy to compete.
Yes Valencia CF are a superiour team to Genk..
Valencia would beat Genk on most days.. just not this day.
Keep in mind this was an away match and played with players like Feghouli and Parejo as key players in order to bloody them in a real match.
.. and even with that Valencia clearly dominated the match from begining to end with few chances given to the home team.
The lack of goal was more due to bad luck that bad skill.
I mean do those fans who doubt Valencia CF’s talent call into doubt Barcelona as well.. they drew against Real Sociedad.. a team far from Champions in quality.
On any given day on any given pitch anything can happen.
Valencia in an away match to a hostile pitch with a team hell bent on not losing with no intention of moving forward in the Champions League but only to not concede doesnt really worry me.
A draw was always a possibilty.
This match will not be the watershed in this group.. those matches are still to come.
At the end of the day Valencia have a point and Leverkusen do not.
Give our team some credit.
Positives ive seen from the stands of Mestalla this week..
Say what you will about Miguel being a party boy.. or that Ruiz is too new.. Mathieu gets tired.. bla bla
This Defence seems to have finally found a solid back 4.
Its like the Misfits of futbol.. So two frenchmen a portuguese and a B team spaniard walk into a bar..
The fact is we have not conceded a goal in two matched against two solid teams.
And the defence looks good.
For once the defence finally looks sturdy and organized.
Mathieu is fast .. Ruiz directs the trafic and moves the ball out.. Rami is a brick wall. and Miguel is adding play back to the right side of our pitch.
If we can figure out how to get Piatti into the game and somebody on the right wing to add danger we have a very complete squad.
In 3 days we face Sporting Gijon a team who has failed to chaulk up any points.
Once again Valencia will bring home 3 points
… and with that we can look forward to welcoming Barca to the infierno of Mestalla!
Javier De Roque
There is an alarming trend towards anything containing the word “who” being awesome.
Before anyone thinks me crazy, here a few examples.
1. Horton hears a …
2. Doctor …
The …s in the Grinch (one of the best movies of all time, especially for a 10 year old, undisputed)
3. The …(arrow pointing upwards)
4. Guess …
5. … let the dogs out? …? …? … …?
So when many fans responded to the draw of Genk in the champions league with exactly that worry, maybe just maybe they’ll be better than we expect. They may be awesome.
On the other hand though, if they were awesome, we probably would know something about them.
When my dad asked who Valencia was playing tonight and I told him, his response was an outraged “What did you call me?”
And they are from Belgium. I know. Thank God they’re not from Bruges (because Bruges is awesome, as the movie testifies).
Unfortunately I can’t offer much devastating pre-match analysis, except that they’re belgian champions, play in blue and don’t have Romelu Lukaka.
Hopefully by the end of the game I’ll be able to offer more than this about the perceived whipping boys of the group.
Let’s not be over-confident and complacent.
And lets hope that they are far more in the vein of “… got voted off American Idol?”, a far more pitiful, less interesting or dangerous or awesome kind of who.
Firstly, humblest apologies on the scarcity. Exams have been ruining my life for the last two weeks and are set to ruin them for a week more, but then freedom beckons.
Which means of course, that this post is going to be shorter than aaron lennon because the books are calling.
As the title says, a win is a win. Simple as that. We resembled a bunch of mothers with broken waters by the time the final whistle blew. We huffed and we puffed, and we just about blew atleti’s house down.
In terms of what I was hoping for, a win and a clean sheet, missions accomplished. The manner of the win wasn’t stellar, but that’s two from two and no complaints. Last night also revealed more of Emery’s thinking and I have to say that I liked Ruiz.
Jonas again proved why for me he should be a definite starter. After driving our revival from the bench against Racing 2 weeks ago he provided spark and a distraction for the Atleti backline to deal with, which helped Soldado’s cause.
And then there’s San Sol. I’m running out of adjectives to describe him, I really am. He stated post-match that he wanted to cement a regular spot in the Spanish national side, and its a testament to the strength of La Furia Roja and the strength in depth of Spanish football as a whole that he isn’t a regular. With Villa aging and Torres looking positively avatar-like with his goal-scoring blues and in his chelsea shirt (thats still only 1 goal in 7 months for the El Nino) it won’t be long I feel.
One other thing still is the disappointment I see in the fact that Atleti and Los Che, two huge clubs in spain (about as big as it gets outside of bernabeu and camp nou) stil cant find themselves a decent main shirt sponsor.
If you missed the game, there are some great highlights packages available on youtube.
Including this one.