Date: 21st October 2011 at 8:42am
Written by:

Good morning.

Far from as bad as it has been. That would be my overall sweeping statement type analysis. Certainly far more positives than negatives so let’s have kick off with the bestest bit.

What a goal. Churlish of some to dismiss such a sensational strike as simply anuvver couple of mil on his transfer fee. The boy has class. Defoe is one dimensional and crucially did not score last night. My argument in support of ends with anyone looks good playing alongside Adebayor.

And so to the Gomes business. Has the rest done him good or is he a man playing well beneath his pay grade due to a bad case of perception? The answer is, ‘We’ll never know.’ He will be sold is my prediction. 

The stand out thought about the back four is that looks like someone we could probably massively rely upon in the future. Bassong was horrible and demonstrated why we couldn’t even flog him for buttons in the last window.

Livermore was of course out of position and that showed. But Walker and Rose weren’t up to scratch. The Rubes were a decent enough outfit – and it was only Pav’s goal that separated the two sides – but they were pretty wet when it came to our 18 yard area. Had we been playing someone with fewer competency issues in that dept we would have been undone.

Carroll is drawing plaudits from every quarter. My verdict is that he’s alright. Dos Santos is an accomplished player but didn’t seem to really find his groove last night. Azza Blud gave what has sadly become the norm – yet another – ‘just back from injury’ performance. Dull in the first half, fizzled out in the second.

was in a similar boat ring rustiness wise, but he looked more resilient and I would expect his next showing to be better still.

Defoe did little aside from make much of Pav’s unwillingness to pass to him which possibly made me laugh louder than a good Steptoe & Son.  Defoe is one of the most supremely selfish footballers on planet Earth.  He only ever passes if he can’t shoot. Pav outside of the goal didn’t do much himself. My defense of this would be to ask you to take a look at the team behind him.

The attendance was low. A little over 24,000 Client Reference Numbers on the premises and from this figure we must deduct 1,500 freebies for looter victims. Levy & Co missed a trick on the pricing here. They were up against the game being televised on a terrestrial channel, it not being a season ticket game and perhaps the first genuine cold snap of the Autumn.

The reality is that too many players are being fielded in these games that aren’t worth the current price of admission. You want to tell me that these guys are young? Thanks for that information. You want to dispute what they are worth, don’t bother. I base my observation on the fleeing fans at previous games and the gate last night.

These games are of appeal to a slightly different demographic than those who attend Premiership games. And the charge needs to reflect that. The money that the Europa generates is less too, so the model just needs scaling down and a scratch over 20,000 can be pretty easily have seen 10,000 added to the figure.