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Friday, 16 September 2011

A New Hope

Although the end result was the norm in European away games, last night went some way to get some much needed pride back in the European arena. Even Craig Burley, the miserable bastard he is, was kind of complimentary towards our performance. The fact that we were never out of the game last night, even after going 2 - 0 down, against a team which cost probably ten times more than our starting line up gives me alot of hope.

Even though there was the customary early goal, the main difference from the usual away farces was the players got their act together almost immediately.  3 minutes after the opening goal good play between Samaras, Kayal and Hooper almost got the equaliser. Only a combination of a poor touch from Hooper and the pass being just behind him stopped that. The only time we looked vulnerable at the back in open play was at the second goal, only slight naivety by Mark Wilson let them in on the left flank. I think we can take some consolation that we were only breached by two players worth £60m combined. Our Midfield was solid and rarely gave the ball away, Kayal looking like his old self, Ki growing with every game and Ledley keeps the game ticking over effectively. James Forrest hopefully keeps progressing as he is and could be a great player.

The main thing I took from last night was at no point were we over-run at the back or midfield which normally happens on our travels. We didn't look out of place aginst a very good side, who I would say did well to snuff out Hooper and Samaras. With Udinese winning the other game in the group, the Udinese game at Paradise next could blow the group wide open. I can see the other 3 teams taking points off each other, Rennes look like a good outfit and will be difficult to beat. If we can have the sort of Home form we are accustomed to in europe and maybe grab a point on our travels we could be in good shape.

Hopefully the performance will give the players confidence to go to Ibroke on Sunday and take the game to the HMRC XI. Not going to speculate on team line ups for the game as normally I get it totally wrong. All i know is with the Huns using two new centre halfs it will be a different proposition than Bougey and the old man from last season. With the possibilty of Broadfoot playing left back and Forrest maybe on the right wing, anybody else getting excited, we can only hope Mo Edu keeps his place too. If we get it right in the midfield then things should fall into place, this was the case in the majority of Derby games last season. (Note I will no longer use the the term Old Firm, I urge you all to do the same).

To all attending Ibroke on Sunday like myself be careful, got a feeeling the anti - sectarian force will be looking to make an example. So think long and hard about your song choices.

Hail Hail

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