Friday, November 13, 2009

City stalemate and euro knockout

Right. Brief synopsis. I saw very little of the 2-2 drawat home with City. By all accounts it was a fair result in a boring match. Nice to see us score from a set piece but painfully predictable to see us concede from one. Skrtel let himself down again here. Also very predictable were two more injuries, to Agger and then Babel. What the hell is going on with our physios and training? Every player should be on a strict diet of horse placenta.

Last night saw us crash out of Europe despite a 1-0 win away to Debrecen. Ngog continued his fine scoring form. But again we failed to convert our dominance into more goals and let inferior opposition back into the game. For once, we managed to hold onto a clean sheet thanks to some great defending and saves from Pepe. Alas it was all for naught as Lyon lost in Florence to consign us to third spot and the Europa league. So we'll have Thursday and Sunday games to look forward to for as long as we stay in Europe. I hope we go for it and win it. The 2001 Uefa cup victory was a great game and a huge victory for that team.

It's the derby with the Blueshite on Sunday and we can look forward to a rousing atmosphere. Use your own cliche about the form book going out the window in a derby but it's probably for the best here as both teams are in shit form. They, like us, have injuries to contend with but I still feel we should be good enough to win. We'll need the defence to try and build on last nights clean sheet and concentrate on set pieces. It's going to be war.

Norman Hubbard at ESPN has a great article examining the facts about Rafa's reign. The Times has a downloadable pdf which you can keep and refer to whenever spending and signings come up.

19 year old Defender Daniel Ayala has signed a new deal. You can watch him and the rest of the reserves in action here during a recent 4-1 win over Hull city reserves. Good performance by Daniel "Patches" Pacheco.

According to reports in Spain, Cadiz prodigy Suso, will sign for us in January. The deal could eventually cost us almost a million euro if he becomes a first team regular. 15 year old Luton Town prospect Dave Moli will soon sign for the reds. Here's a good piece on Della Valle. The Finnish Wayne Rooney? Martin Kelly has spoken about his healthy rivalry with Daniel Ayala.

The Daily Mirror reckon that we've had enquiries about Lucas but have turned them down as they don't meet our asking price of £14m. With Mascherano's long term future at the club in doubt, I don't see us selling the Brazilian anytime soon. Dossena's agent says that he hopes we let him go in Jan. Eitrecht Frankfurt are interested in signing Voronin in January according to the Echo.

Dutch winger Eliahas been linked with a move from the Bundesliga. He's a talent and might be what we thought we were getting when we bought RyBabbs.

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