Thursday 1 March 2012

An apple a day...


Not a lot happening today apart from the results of the international friendlies that happened last evening. If anybody watched the England vs Holland last night, it was as friendly as it gets. Amazing game, and I mostly watched it for RVP, I have not other reasons to strain my eyes at 1:30am in India but to watch him. RVP played for only the first half, maybe because of a minor niggle. There was not much of him to admire in the first 45 minutes and he got substituted after that. Huntelaar started the second half, and just when my eyes got a bit heavy Robben scored the first goal and then Huntelaar struck 5 minutes later. Although, I don't know how much he knew that he had scored after having a heavy clash of heads with Chris Smalling. Both had sparrows swirling above them and had to be substituted. I switched off after 75 minutes with Holland leading 2-0 and certain to win, only to find out this morning that England decided to make it more interesting, but finally Holland did win it 2-3.

Apart from that we have our daily dose of rumours. Today, it's the same one doing the rounds again, and apparently Podolski has agreed terms with Arsenal and maybe sent out his jersey size to Nike too and blah blah blah. There was an article that I read in the morning, and I can't seem to find it now, which said that Podolski shouldn't sign for Arsenal. It just looked like a refreshing change from the daily "Podolski joining Arsenal". Maybe he should, maybe he shouldn't, we still have a mountain to climb before we see the summer sunrise.

As we move closer to Saturday, the focus shifts on our next assignment at Anfield. There is still no concrete news about fit players yet, but as far as I know there are no major calamities. Everyone looks as strong as a race horse, or maybe a normal one. Trick is to keep working on your fitness, drink lots of water and the Lucozade stuff they brag about. Basically anything that makes your bladder wake you up in the morning, your metabolism is working fine.

TV played the full 90 minutes against Greece, even though some suggested that he had picked up a knock in the derby, so good news there. Djourou looks to be out for a while with another injury and, with Per out for almost till the end of season, our next line of defense onus will be on Squillaci. I would prefer having Miquel, or maybe someone from the reserves would do just fine.

The sooner the team gets back in training together, the better for them to rebuild on their momentum. Personally, I wouldn't change a winning team and strategically speaking you shouldn't, unless you are playing the FIFA12 on your PS3, but we have been so unlucky with players fitness', it would be better to rest some of them. But then again, I am not so much comfortable with our bench options. Ramsey clearly looks to be out for sometime and there is no more news about Jack returning sooner. Till then, I guess we would have to work with our last weekends team. I feel Benayoun should get some playing time and he had a decent game against Rottenham and even came close to scoring that day. Maybe not the full 90, but at least he can play for an hour or come as a second half substitute if things are not going our way.

Ox has spoken about his qualities as a finisher and like any other top flight player, he puts some price on his end product, because otherwise he would be better off running in the Olympics 100metres.
He says,
I scored a few goals at Southampton, but it’s a big area of an attacker’s game and it’s one I’ve always wanted to work on particularly. When I was younger I scored quite a lot but that dropped off as I got older and went into midfield. It’s something I always look to bring to my game – and if I can’t score then at least I can set somebody else up.
It's interesting that he says, "When I was younger,..", given that he is just 18 and has his whole career ahead of him, he just looks like player who has his head screwed to his shoulders. Just shows that he understands the kind of responsibility he has taken himself, without anyone pressurising him, and to accept the opportunity with both hands, are a mark of a great sportsman. I would definitely give him more opportunities, and even though he did not start last Sunday, I would definitely start him at Anfield.

Liverpool maybe struggling in the league, but they have done very well in domestic competitions and looks like they are concentrating on these cups more, just to have a feel of what it's like to win a trophy. The Carling cup would have been a major confidence booster and will definitely be charged up for the game, but so were Rottenham after this seasons form. Whether Arsenal manages to cross this barrier too remains to be seen but it's going to be very tight in the next 10days! Here's to fitter and better squad!

-Blast from the past.

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