Friday, April 24, 2009


A 3-1 win away from home was a case of job done. But it wasn't done very cleverly in a bad day at the office for most of the team. We were poor in a poor first half. Hull did well to close us down really quickly. Time and again we were caught in possession or had passes blocked by Hull players. Arbeloa and Mascherano were disappointing for the second game running. The whole team looked a bit rattled by the pressure exerted by Caleb Folan et al. But just before half time Javier broke down field and got a free kick when he fell over. It was really harsh on Hull but got worse when Xabi put it away. His initial effort hit the wall but he cracked the rebound into the bottom corner on the volley. Lovely strike, his fourth league goal of the season. I don't really understand how his passing is so sublime but his delivery from frees and corners is often askew. Strange.

The second half started much better than the first. Once Folen lost the plot and got sent off for a kick on Skrtel, things got easier. Dirk got a touch on a Skrtel shot to make it 2-0. Giovani pulled one back for them to make a little more tense. But Kuyt scored again in the 90th minute to put the result beyond doubt. Game over. Dirk now has 10 league goals which is superb given his position and reputation. He might even improve on that over the next few games.

Insua lost his man for the Hull goal but was much better than our other full back Arbeloa who had a really poor game. It's a pity that the spaniard has lost his form in recent games as he's had a good season to date.We can look forward to the Toon army visiting Anfield next Sunday. Shearer and co will be well up for a fight but are short on confidence. It's one that we really should win and we'll need to if we're going to push Utd all the way.

Could Rafa be interested in signing Man Utd loanee Carlos Tevez? Rafa refused to comment on him when asked in Fridays press conference. Fergie reckons he wants him to stay but we'll see. I think he'll leave Utd but I don't see us signing him, Madrid would be more likely. He'd be a nice addition to our team but we need somebody to compete for the Riera and Kuyt spots, not Gerrard and Torres positions. O'Neil seems to be preparing to let Barry leave this summer. Expect a cut price bid from Rafa given the fact his contract is up in 2010.

Lauri Della Valle scored 2 more goals as the junior reds beat Birmingham 3-1 second leg to seal a place in the FA youth cup final. Alex Kacaniklic scored the other to give an aggregate score of 6-1. They'll face Arsenal to win it.

Jack Hobbs who was part of the 2006 FA youth cup winning team, has sealed a permanent deal with Leicester. The young defender has helped them gain promotion from League one to the championship. I hope he does well in the future.

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