>A Step in the Right Direction

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The boys did well today. Coming back from two-nil down was a plus but the sight of some confidence, heart and cohesion was very welcome. Coloccini had a excellent game in the second half especially, winning every header and reading the tackle brilliantly. Cacapa looked fairly composed next to him. Bassong at left back, after Enrique was taken off after 40 minutes, looked solid and skilled and having Taylor at right back maintained his defensive nous without having him in the main line of fire.

Despite being close to a raging tosser, Gutherie played well in the second, winning most balls and passing it well. N’Zogbia looked far more dangerous and bothered going forward. Butt was his usual self. Duff and Geremi drove me nuts most of the game. Geremi seems fairly pointless in open play and then there’s Duff. For a guy who has been paid for 15 years to play football, his right boot is worse than mine. With his lack of pace, the defenders merely wait for him to cut back onto his left which isn’t as effective as it used to be. That said, he scored with his right. Almost missed.

Shola came on. Oh shit. But he played a la Kinnear wanted. Big, strong and direct. He actually looked effective. Owen had a quiet game but not for trying. Owen’s a winner and highly competitive. He’s missed out on the England squad but that shouldn’t reflect on this game. He’s been playing with a Duff team. But Owen rates his England legacy highly. I doubt he’ll be with us in August next year.

This kind of performance will also help Ashley to sell. Times may be a-changing.

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