Pre-season friendlies can often tell us very little about our side and how it’s progressing for the real battle ahead. As the campaign draws closer however, the matches seem to get tougher and our match against Valencia tomorrow night could be a good pointer as to how we are developing under AVB.

Villas-Boas himself is relishing the match.

“Now we face our toughest opponent in an away trip, so we’ll have a good understanding of how things are at the moment,” Andre said.

“A team that has changed the manager, a team that finds it difficult to compete with the two main Spanish clubs but is always up there in third or fourth and always qualifying for the Champions League.

“It will be a very good game for us to play.”

The main purpose of pre-season is to peak at the right time and Villas-Boas also believes we are on schedule to do that.

“There is still lots of time before the Newcastle game, we continue preparing and the most important thing is to arrive at that Newcastle game perfect fitness-wise, with three points in mind,” he concluded.



  1. With it only being a pre-season friendly, I don’t have much to say other than that I hope we line up like this: Friedel; Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen; Huddlestone, Livermore; Lennon, Vaart, Bale; Defoe.

  2. obviously want us to lose playing livermore rather play jenas or bentley than a guy he gets the ball and passes sideways and backways and has no mobilty and is technically inept

  3. Think that team above highlights how much we need strengthening. No Sandro and Parker leaves us looking so poor in the middle.

  4. romours say we are looking at on of their strikers.would not play bale.we need him for the season.i would like to see one of our young strikers,play some part in the game.

  5. Could also help us find a replacement for Luka Modric. Look out for Ever Benega, should he play tomorrow night. The guy is quality, and more importantly available at a reasonable price, unlike the over-inflated moutinho. IMO, Benega represent an upgrade on the little Croatian and could be prised away from the Mestella for anything between £15m-18m. Levy, you know it makes sense!!!!

  6. i want AVB to play the same 11 he expects to field in the game against newcastle…and that means no bentley or jenas,not even on the bench
    i think it will be a 4-3-3 formation-
    Walker Vertonghan Kaboul Benny

    Siggy Livermore Huddlestone

    Lennon Defoe Bale

    honestly speaking,this team doesnt look that strong to compete for a top4 finish considering the players Arsenal has brought in…We need a Damiao or LLorente to lead that attack and then we will be a force to reckon with…if we dont buy a striker within the next couple of days,its time to panic

    • Definately those players but i think he wil play 4-2-3-1. Need the striker situation sorted. Its beyond a joke at this stage.

    • For the game vs Newcastle, change Huddlestone and Livermore for Modric and Sandro. Which makes the midfield 10x more formidable. I’m also hoping the Llorente rumours are true since he is quality and a perfect lone striker.

      • i doubt the credibility of the LLorente rumours…there are a host of clubs after him…so the price would be very much inflated and i dont think we will be able to afford him then…
        if it happens though,I am upbeat again.. 🙂

        DAMIAO looks to be a more realistic target and the club partnership with inter might help us in getting him..
        whoever it is,needs to be signed quicky…time is running out !!

        Levy has another three weeks and two days to make things right, but not having a striker by this point is already a partial failure on his part..The entire point of the pre-season is to gel and drill the team together. That is completely lost if someone is brought in late, and even worse, we are likely to be giving up invaluable points in the first few games of the season. Paying a little extra is by far and away worth getting players in earlier IMO..First time i am doubting Levy

  7. What I would like to see this season is Gomes given another chance. Everybbody seems to think that Friedel is gonna be a certainty to start, however I think Gomes is the much better keeper, particularly playing a high defensive line. Gomes comes of his line a lot better and has far better distribution. I think he will have a great season under AVB. Thoughts?

  8. I love how some of the commenters have decided to leave out Benny (BAE). Are you guys mad? He is one of the most talented LB’s in the league!

    In regards to lineup, no matter who comes along at this point, we should start with a lineup that is relatively familiar:

    Walker – Dawson (or Jan) – Kaboul – BAE
    Sandro (if prepped) – Modric (if around; otherwise Hudd)
    Lennon – VDV (off the striker) – Bale

    AVB can then show us just how tactically astute he is when any changes are needed.


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