Sunday, April 05, 2009

All bar one

It was one of those nights. We dominated inferior opposition and created loads of chances. We even hit the woodwork four times. But not matter what we did the ball refused to go into the net. We looked destined for yet another disappointing draw but Yossi wasn't having it. Coming on as a sub he stamped his mark on the game deep into injury time, drifting in from the right to fire past Swartzer and send reds worldwide bouncing. The commentary in that clip is quite special. Yossi to the rescue. Yossi got injured while away with Israel. I doubt Rafa was too impressed with that but maybe he'll forgive him after this.

Rafa made three changes beforehand by bringing in Insua at left back, Lucas in the middle and Dossena on the left wing. All three did well. Insua is going to be some player and between him and Aurelio we're well set in what was once a problem position. Dossena was a potent threat going forward on the left while he was freed from defensive labours in this position. This could be a better role for him as he has been shown up defensively at full back. I still don't know if he has a future at the club beyond the summer but he will contribute during the run in.

It would have been a grand miscarriage of justice if Fulham had managed to hold out for a draw. They were beaten all ends up by us. Swartzer made some good saves to keep them in it and the width of the woodwork thwarted Xabi, Torres and Dossena twice. But we got our just deserts in the end. Now we have to hope that Villa can do us a favour today.Chelsea. Yes that's right, Chelsea. Yet again. I'm sure we'd prefer to have the second leg at Anfield as we saw in the tie last season. Hidink has them well organised and it won't be easy. I find these games interesting rather than exciting but I think I'm the only one there.
Stevie G gave us a good start to the weekend by signing a 2 year contract extension. The backroom staff have all followed Rafa's lead and signed contract extensions. Not to be outdone, Dirk agreed a two year extension. Let's hope that Dagger jumps on the bandwagon.

Del Bosque is impressed with Xabi's beard. Maybe we should all grow beards.

Rafa has denied any interest in Valencia attacker David Silva. Valencia are broke and are selling their stars to balance the books this summer. Could Arda Turn of Galatasary be a target this summer? He's a fan going by this interview. He's fast, tricky, plays wide and has performed well against us in the champions league. Sounds ideal. The BBC gossip column has us linked with Eto'o for £18m. While he is a class player, I don't see where he'd fit into our current formation. I'm not really into paying that much for a squad player or playing him out of position. Maybe we'd change formation? They also say that Hertha Berlin have agreed a £4m deal for Voronin. They should have the cash as they'll almost definitely finish in one of the champions league spots. Not bad for a player that we picked up for free. Agger isn't in any hurry to sign an extension. I had hoped that Rafa's new contract would have given him some encouragement but alas it doesn't seem to be happening. I fear he's off in the summer and maybe Albiol will be his replacement.

Here's a good sky compilation of footage and player interviews after the win at the theatre of prawns. Worth a full screen viewing.


JJ said...

Nifty little vid from sky sports there dude. On more pressing matters - yesterday took the wind outta my sails I have to say.

Great win for us at Fulham after playing brilliantly but United doing the same after playing terribly pissed me off no end. I think it's a good thing that Pool are straight back into the champions league though to continue the momentum. Here’s hoping Ricky Sbragia has one more rousing speech in his locker before they play United next weekend as well.

Mal said...

I know what you mean JJ. The most annoying thing about it was how predictable it was. I knew they would score when 2-1 down. Once they got one I knew they'd get another. Villa could have played smarter though. Great goal from the kid to win it.
I'm not putting too much faith in Sunderland. The problem now is that it's hard to see too many instances where they'll drop points. I'm hoping Arsenal can beat them but beyond that it's not looking too hopeful. But even if we push them all the way and finish just behind, it's much better than where we were after the city match. Utd will probably win it but it might help us to win it next season.