Thursday, November 23, 2006

Red hot and dutch

The title refers to Kuyt, not porn.

Good comfortable win last night. We didn't look spectacular but scored two good goals and didn't give them a sniff. We're guaranteed top spot in the group this may give us a better draw in the last 16 of the champions league. But the win came at a heavy price. Xabi, Gonzalez and Pennant all came off injured. The severity of the injuries isn't yet known but Gonzalez is thought to be the most serious and could be out for a few weeks.

One of the notable performers last night against PSV was Reina. Pepe is back to his form now after a difficult start to the season. He commanded the area well and acted as sweeper, clearing anything in that came into the box. The back four as a whole played well and I can't see any changes for the moment unless it's a meaningless fixture like Galatasary next month.

Gerrard had by far his best game of the season last night. He took his goal really well and looked very up for it. There have been some games where he's tried but it hasn't come off. Last night he had the look of a player who knows that his form is back with him. Koeman was very impressed with his performance as was I.

Crouch and Kuyt both played quite well. Good link up by them for Crouch's goal. Kuyt got two assists on the night. He's a very intelligent player and this coupled with his work rate makes him invaluable to the team. He is also very unselfish. We could probably do with one of our strikers being more selfish, especially in away games.

Wingers weren't great in my view. They both tried hard in the time they had but I thought that they could have had more impact on the game given that the opposition didn't seem up to much.

Xabi is expected to be back for the visit of Man City on Sat. City have fairly poor away form. Given our good home form I would expect us to win this one. Didi could make a comeback at Anfield. He was a fantastic player at the club and won many trophies here. I expect him to get a hero's welcome if he plays.

There was an article in the guardian yesterday saying that the champs league could be anybodies this year given the form of the European heavyweights like Milan, Madrid, Barca and an absent Juve. I'm not saying that we're going to win it but you can get odds of around 22-1 which might be worth an each way punt. There are some similarities to two season ago given our poor form in the league. Hope that we don't get Lyon in the next round. They look very strong at the moment.

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