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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Single digits!

Obadiah Milner strikes again! Sounds like we hung on by our teeth this time, but it was well worth the ride... we made it all the way up to 9th on the table, even if Spurs have a game in hand. Are things finally starting to come together?

Well, we have a pretty darn good XI on our books now, if they can just get healthy. In fact, we have more than we need in some positions. If TDH could choose, they'd look like this:

F - Owen, Martins; M - Duff, Parker, Dyer, Milner; D - Edgar, Onyewu, Taylor, Ramage; G - Given

I think Dyer's earned a starting spot, and it's clear he can play in the hole. Milner is also impossible to drop at this point. TDH never thought Emre would belong outside the starting XI, and the fact that Zog and Nobby can be left out shows how much quality we actually have. Would that the same were true in defense, but at least things are improving a bit.

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In other action, TDH had the choice of watching Goons v Spurs, Manure v Watford, or Roma v AC Milan this afternoon. And the choice was surprisingly easy. The first leg of the North London derby was tons of fun to watch, even if it was the Carling Cup with a bunch of kids. Heck, those kids run a lot! So TDH tuned in again, and the game, though not quite of top quality, was plenty entertaining. In the end, Jaws's failure to put on Lennon probably made the difference. So what if Kiki Ron and El Roon scored again and Totti missed another penalty?

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So, Masche has finally escaped from the hell he found in East London. I'm not exactly sure why FIFA made an exception for him, except for the old chestnut that their rules have no import if they get in the way of making money. And that's true even if no palms were greased to make the transfer happen. Tevez will continue to suffer, though...

2 Comments:

Anonymous jonathan said...

Oooh Mascherano is away is he? I suppose it was only a matter of time. It seems of the two Argentinians it is Tevez who has coped better with the demands of the Premiership, and of the West Ham soap-opera. Amazing to think that a year ago that club was held up as a byword for stability and sensible long-term planning.

Aye, I'd go along with a lot of your XI- Dyer has certainly earned a start. I wonder also whether the inexperience in defence could be addressed by turning the enforced experiment with Nobby at right-back into a permanent career move? People keep pointint to the Peruvian's lack of pace but I'm sure he's no slower than Carr. And in that position I'd still go for positional awareness over pace anyway.

Speaking of defensive qualities I was heartened to see your informed appraisal of Onyewu in the previous post (in fact I had come here expressly to check out your thoughts). A big, strong, authoritative defender is what we have been crying out for since- who, Woodgate? As a bonus, it would be great if the new man could act as a mentor to the rookies around him. Edgar, Ramage and Taylor do show promise, but we all know there are some rough edges to work at before even Taylor (the one with most games under his belt) looks anything like the finished Premiership article.

7:38 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Well, I wrote after my trip to SJP that I, too, liked the Nobby experiment at right-back, simply because he always knew what to do with the ball at his feet. I was also very impressed, however, with the way Ramage handled Berbatov. Perhaps the thing to do is give Taylor the heave-ho and put Ramage in the middle with Onyewu, then stick Nobby on the right. Plus, he's a useful guy to have on the pitch when it's time for a free-kick. And though he's not so quick, he's got great vision on the counterattack.

4:37 PM  

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