Sunday, April 29, 2007

Am I bovered?

In short, no. I can't remember being more unconcerned about a league defeat. We played the B team and they lost. No big deal. Fratton Park isn't an easy ground to go and get a result at, even for the A team. They've taken points from us there a few times over the last couple of seasons.

I was glad to see some of the youngsters getting a run out and it seems that we played better in the second half. Insua did well at left back and looks confident in his passing abilities. One of my criticisms of Riise in the same position is that he tends to hoof it out of defence rather than try to find his man. Insua is only eighteen but it'd be good to see him challenge for a place in the match day squad next season. Paletta was as good at centre back alongside Sami. He's a big chap but he doesn't look ready for this level yet in my view. Maybe a season out on loan might do him good. El Zahr was lively when he came on as a sub and put in a good cross or two.

From this selection, we can take it that Rafa has given up on getting results in the league and will just use it to rotate players and give youngsters experience. I hope that this pays off when we play Chelsea tomorrow at Anfield in what is now the defining game of our season. We should be fresher and their confidence might have taken a dent as a result of them throwing the league away. If it goes to extra time then our superior fitness and freshness might be a factor. I hope that Carvalho is out but give Jose's record, I wouldn't be surprised if he starts. The news that he left Stamford Bridge on crutches could just be a ruse. I think that we can do it, but it'll be really tight. I think we'll scrape through. First goal is vital.


JJ said...

Couldn't agree more, I watched the results come in and when I heard Dudek had blundered for the first I just shrugged, said 'meh' and went back to watching West Ham v Wigan. Tevez looked excellent again and I'd like to see him replace Bellamy at the Pool.

On the subject of Paletta, Tim Vickery, the BBC's south american correspondent wrote on him a while back and said the move from Banfield to Anfield was probably too soon and that he should have spent some time at somebody like Boca before making the step up to Europe. Here's hoping he goes out on loan to someone next season, gets some experience and comes back to challenge Agger and Carra.

Mal said...

I too like Tevez but I wonder if he would score enough goals for us. Maybe he would enable the likes of Crouch or Kuyt to score more.

I've heard Tim Vickery on Five Live making that point about Paletta. I agree that a season out on loan in the championship or a lower premiership club might do him good.

linda said...

IMHO, Tevez is not what you're looking for if you need a 20 goals a season man, which is what I thought Liverpool were after?

But nevermind that, congratulations! Disregard Mourinho, you guys fully deserve to be in the final. I hope Liverpool triumph in Athens.

Mal said...

I like Tevez a lot but I would have doubts about the number of goals he'd score. But maybe he'd create the openings for Crouch/Kuyt to finish.