Archive for January 29th, 2006

Defeat, but this time not without a fight…

45 comments January 29th, 2006

I was expecting us to lose to Bolton, and lose we did. But I was not expecting a brave performance in which our youngsters dominated, and whereby we ourselves could easily have nicked a winner.

The star of the show was Johan Djourou at centre-back, who looked a more suitable partner for Sol than Philippe Senderos. Something that always strikes me about Djourou is that like Toure, it’s obvious he has played in midfield: his ability on the ball, and in starting attacks off, is excellent.

Abou Diaby in midfield also looked to be a good prospect. Physically imposing, tough in the tackle, and skillful on the ball, he might now be hard to oust from the team.

Generally, the young players dug in, and we certainly showed Bolton we weren’t to be bullied – particularly when Diaby scythed into their best player, Ivan Campo, forcing him to withdraw from proceedings. I’m not condoning fouling, but it did give us a psychological boost.

Late on, Djourou and Gilbert tried to play offside against a swirling Gardner cross, Campbell and Senderos were left behind, and Stelios arrived unmarked to head home a cruel winner.

Out of two cup competitions in one week.

All focus has to be on the league now. If we don’t come fourth, we’re in really big trouble.

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