Monday, January 22, 2007

A pennant for the spectacular

"Bye bye Mourinho" sang the kop on Sat. They mightn't have to wait too long to see their prediction come true. Saturdays 2-0 win was an extremely sweet way to celebrate Rafa's 100th game in charge. Add in Utd's defeat by Arsenal and it became a very satisfying weekend. We've been criticised, rightly so in my view, for having a fairly poor league record against the rest of the top four clubs. This was the first league win over the so called special one in the league under Rafa. But we now have the best home record and the best defence in the league. I think that this gives a strong platform to build upon in our upcoming games against Arsenal and Utd at Anfield. We lost away but if we can win our home league games against the other top clubs it'll be a good mark of progress for the season. This also put out cup exits into perspective. I expect those fools calling for Rafa's head will be quieter now.

In the first half we were fantastic. "We worked for each other as a team," said Kuyt. "That was the big difference between us and them." Dirk Kuyt and Peter "he is a nice boy" Crouch gave Chelsea's defence a torrid time. Dirk showed great touch and composure for his goal. He has a great touch most times and made the room for himself with his cushioned header. Pennant added the second with a superb strike. His first goal for the reds was worth waiting for. The team as a whole performed well but Carra, Finnan and Stevie deserve special mentions. Gerrard worked hard all over the pitch, supporting attacks and back helping the defence. So much for the theory that he can't play alongside Xabi in the centre.

I still think that Utd are going to win the title. Some more optimistic reds feel that we have a chance but I think that there is no cnace of them slipping up by 11 points. They have to come to Anfield, Stamford bridge, City and Goodison but they're playing too well to lose many of those. Their defeat by Arsenal makes it more interesting but only really delays the inevitable. What I do think is possible is that we might be able to pip Chelsea for second. They are playing poorly and really missing Terry as we saw on Sat. If he's out for much longer then they could continue to drop points. Hopefully we can continue as the form team in the league and overtake them.

It looks like the transfer of Neil to Wet Ham will go through today and Warnock will leave for Blackburn in a £1.5m deal. I like Warnock but I think that he'll only ever be a squad player with us. I am suprised at Neil but his wallet seems to be more important than his carear. Fair enough. Rumour in Holland is that we've agreed a deal to sign a young dutch striker from Ajax called Jordy Brouwer. He's 18 and will only cost us a few £k in in compo. Can't say that I've heard of him but could be another one of Rafa's investments for the future.

6 comments:

Duncan said...

Wow Mal, fantastic blog! I might be more up to date on things in future. A dignified, nay imperious response of yours to the Arsenal lashing - I was all sack cloth and ashes myself. But great game on Saturday anyway. Maybe it was a devillish ruse from Rafa after all!

Mal said...

Thanks Duncan. Send the link onto Brendan and the lads. You and I must meet up to watch a match in town again soon.

Katherine said...

Dunno what you were on about there, but I do agree that Peter Crouch is a nice boy.

duncan said...

Poor old Crouchy, the other boys give him awful jip for doing the science fair and the chess congress... Hullo Katherine! I looked at your blog too. Quite agree with you on the vexed Roses question - Orange Creme and Strawberry Dream all the way. Mal, I have sent the link to Bren and the folks back home.

Mal said...

Cheers Duncan. Looking forward to getting back to some league action against West Ham now that the distraction of the cup is out of the way.

Katherine said...

Hello yourself Duncan - still liking the old football I see.