Well Firsty let me congratulate the only other British Team to progress tonight. Well done Motherwell. Hibs surrendered to Maribor, tells you all you need to know about the state of Scottish Football.
I apprecite tonights opposition was hardly top class, but how many times under the Benitez did we see us struggle against teams of this ilk?
Hodgson has clearly had an immediate impact and has been breath of fresh air, even the much maligned (especially in this blog) Lucas played well. His overlapping run and cross in the 1st half being his best contribution.Where did that come from????
Joe Cole was impressive, comfortably Man of the Match, both England and Chelsea must be wondering why they havent really used him. Roy also seems to have solved the 'Alonso' position by playing Stevie G there and he looks much more effective. (may have alluded to that several times previously on this blog) Far more difficult to man-mark when he comes from deep.
The youngsters that played did well. Thought Pacheco was good in the 1st half but faded, hardly suprising after winning the Golden Boot at the under 19 Euro Champs. Kelly was far more involved in 2nd half. He did really well and is going to be an asset this season can play all across the back four, although I wouldn't like to see him against Walcott on the opening day. If Aurelio isnt fit enough then switch Johnson over and let Kelly play right-back. Still our problem position at the moment, need a quality leftback. I still say we should look at Nicky Shorey of Villa.
Upfront, Ngog looked better than he has done in a while but still too wasteful.At 21 we cant be too harsh. He keeps putting himself in the right places to the goals will come. Also an area that needs attention, no quality back-up for Torres. Not a lot of decent strikers out there. Get Crouch or Bellamy back??? I have will keep saying it Klose is an option.
Jovanonic looks very lively. I was a bit worried as he hasn't really contributed in the pre-season games so far but he wasn't far behind Joe Cole in the man of the match runnings. Credit where its due, thanks Rafa.
Well done boys. 4-2-3-1 and it looked so much better than it ever did under Rafa. Except for that mad 2 months, 2 season ago when we put 14 goal past Madrid, Aresnal and Chelski in 5 games.
I dont want to speak about the possible Chinese takeover, lets wait and see, cant help getting the feeling that we are jumping out the frying pan and into the fire.
As to tomorrow's draw we will be in one of 7 Groups with 73 other teams!!! Only UEFA can complain about domestic fixture congestion and then run a competition that can take 23 games to win! We will be seeded, so should avoid team from Europe's bigger Leagues. Lets just hope we avoid Israeli,Azerbajani or any other far flung opposition.
- I have been a Red since I was about 6 or 7. My boyhood hero was Kenny Dalglish and I have an autograph from him while he was still at Celtic. Thanks Gran! As such I gravitated towards the team he played for. So I have been Scottish-South African- Scoucer for about 30 years now! I am extremely passionate about our club, and have felt the need to start this blog in the face of the abject nature of our performaces under Benitez and the Hicks/Gillett ownership.