Sunday, May 04, 2008

Home finale

I'm very late with my post this week. The weather in Dublin has been great and I got a bit distracted by the sunshine and sights of the city. Maybe my passion for football was drained somewhat by the champions league exit. This is the first time that our season has been effectively over by the end of April under Rafa. Hopefully it won't happen again.
The city match was our last game at Anfield this season. As is the case on these days, the players take their families with them on a lap of the pitch. The funniest part of the day was seeing the two young Carraghers chase each other from end to end. With that kind of work rate and courage, I say stick them in the first team next season, alongside their Dad. The team of Carraghers that we all dream of may not be that far away.

The game itself was nothing spectacular. We played some nice football in the second half and could have scored a couple more. Kuyt was unlucky to hit the bar. Babel could have helped himself to a few. Hart made a great save from a Gerrard strike. When it did come it was courtesy of Torres. He latched onto Dirks flick and beat the defender before slipping it between the keepers legs. Another Fernando classic. That makes it 23 in the league now. Not bad for a player who was said to be unprolific. It was good to see Insua get his chance at left back.

It's Spurs at White Heart Lane this Sunday. Niether team have anything much to play for so I expect it to be fairly drab, as the city game was. We may get to see some more of the youngsters which might make it worth watching. It would be great to see Nemeth get a few mins after the class he's shown with the reserves this season.

Gary Ablett's reserve side won the league final 3-0 against Villa. It's a great result for them and is even more pleasing given the fact that they are such a young team. We've seen Insua, Lucas and Plessis make first team appearances this year and maybe we'll see Nemeth

We've launched a £10m bid for Gareth Barry according to to the liverpool post, but we're facing competition from Arsenal who're trying to replace Flamini. Crouch may go the other way but wages are an issue. Does Barry mean that Xabi is on his way back to eSpain, or maybe Italy? One website has him linked with a move to Juve. But Rafa says that Xabi's going nowhere. Rafa's going to have to add to the back room staff as Alex Miller is off to Japan. Sammy Lee is the front runner at the moment.

We are being linked with a move for Aaron Ramsey of Cardiff. Steve Claridge is a fan but he's an idiot so I wouldn't take much notice of that. Spurs and Utd are after him too apparently. We tried to sign him for £1m last summer but no dice. A young Polish defender called Lukasz Kominiak has been on trial with the club for the last few days. Rafa does love to sign a few 18 year old centre halves every summer.

This is a fairly shameful story, but it's hardly surprising at this stage. I always liked Pongolle and I think that he could have been a good squad player and impact sub for us. But he wanted to play every week and has done really well for Recreativo Huelva over the past two years and is linked to a move to Valencia and Atletico. On this evidence, I doubt he'll be choosing Atletico.

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