Amateurs 3 Aalborg 2
Abject, horrible, amateurish, gruesome, dismal, shite, awful, appealing performance. That’s the first half review out of the way. Second half was played with the type of tempo that makes you wonder why we didn’t kick off in the same manner. Jenas off (injury) allowed for some tidy tactical changes with Zokora turning ‘defensive enforcer’ (LOL) and Chimbondo moving back into the right back position, with Dawson central and Huddlestone free to play those killer balls we all know he is capable of (keep on losing the weight and he might just turn into a decent player with mobility). And a killer ball he played. 1-0, and before you could blink, 2-0 and the players were off celebrating like they had something to be proud off, with Ramos pointing to the centre circle. Bent was also on for the second half (for Lee).
Look, I’m not going to complain that much. When you’re in a certain situation (as we were with Jol before he left) a win is a win is a win. No matter how unbalanced. Even against a team of players that practically cost nothing. Hudd’s ball into the path of Berbatov was superb and all the Bulgarian had to do is outstretch and slide it home. The second was just as incisive with Steed placing it with effort into the top corner. Bent’s effort was a simple tap-in, from a simple free-kick. We could have had more, but with Aalborg so plucky in possession, they probably could scored again too. Their opening goal (within a couple of minutes) was decent enough. Robinson beaten from distance, obviously. Their second goal saw us cut open like Mary Jane Kelly. It was gruesome.
Credit to Ramos and his half-time team talk. And well done for our millionaire players for responding with a degree of respect to the clubs reputation and fanbase. Such a hard life. So much effort required. All Ramos can do is work with this lot, without being able to truly build his vision for the future until he brings in players that are capable of achieving what he wants. So many of them out there last night need to be sold on. Zokora. Christ, if you think Jenas is redundant. Sure, he performed admirably in the second half, but should still make way for someone who has more to offer. Like first time touch. Comolli should be sacked on that signing alone.
We have more or less qualified, and a point in Anderlecht should do the trick. Though a 100% improvement has to be made if we’re gonna survive the next round. I expect a lot more on Sunday too.