Germany…greatBy: dan_c | October 19th, 2011
Humblest apologies for my scarcity. Unfortunately Final exams are taking me to bed each night too exhausted and stressed to really have anything to offer. And this looks set to continue in the next few months, but hopefully 1) i’ll find to post as often as possible and 2) valencia give me something to grin about tonight.
Some of my early optimism, since that near-win against Barca, has slipped since then, due to a few reasons.
1) Valencia have slipped to a few disappointing displays, including throwing away 2 points last weekend. Sure, the game may have been close, but we have better quality and going into the last stages of a game we NEED to develop the fortitude to close out wins, if we are going to have any chance of keeping up. We have started well, but we need to get that big-team, Man U-esque we DO not concede leads mentality. and we CERTAINLY do not lose.
2) Even now, in October, we JUST DON’T KNOW where this season is going. No-one has clearly pulled away or shown themselves to be another class…consistently (sure Real and Barca have shown glimpses) plus we don’t know who is the real deal yet, Malaga, Sevilla, even Betis and HOW ABOUT LEVANTE. Who will last and prove their quality? I simply can’t tell, and that’s worrying.
3) The 2-week international break is a perfect dampener on any built up momentum and excitement.
4) This is similar to the first point, but separate too. We need to be more clinical and show a greater ability to kill off games in front of goal. The tight spot that we are currently in in the champo league is simply due to our inability to beat Genk, a side who we were markedly better than. The root is simply this. We rely to heavily on San Sol. Against Genk, they forced him wide to be an outlet while the midfield moved up into attacking positions, and so we had no target or mischief-maker in the box. We were positively impotent. Even with him in he game, we aren’t scoring enough goals. Despite our markedly improved defence (I love Adil Rami!), we are still putting ourselves under too much pressure.
5) I’m writing exams.
Despite all this, we have started well. But tonight will be a huge marker in terms of how we bounce back from a let-down like the late goal against Mallorca that would have kept us within a point of Barca. And we need this win against a strong neverkusen side, who are our direct rivals in the group for the second spot in the knockouts. And boy do we need the money!
Bayer have made an average start to the season, sitting 8th with 4 wins from 9 games in the Bundesliga. They’ll provide a tough test though. They gave Chelsea a rough ride at stamford bridge. Don’t expect too many goals. Bayer have scored 12 and conceded 13 in 9 games. Not stellar numbers in either case. They did however manage a good draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach last time out, who are the closest to keeping up with Bayern Munich at the top, so they’ll be feeling good, especially at home.
Fingers will be crossed.
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