It’s come to pretty poor state of affairs when you have to turn past golf, cricket, Lewis Hamilton and his dodgems and rugby league in the sports section before you find the football news. Page 12 is was on! Not that it really mattered as there wasn’t much about us. Transfer wise we, and truth be told many other clubs, appear to be leaving it very late this year?
There was some small fall out from the weekend. Rafa has moved to allay any fears about Steven Gerrard’s injury. The long and the short of it is that it’s not serious and shouldn’t rule him out for the start of the new season. Said Rafa
“Steven’s problem is not serious but he cannot train so we decided to send him back to Melwood. He should be OK in about a week.”
Rafa then commented on the Wisla Krakow game. Although we struggled at times it has to be acknowledged that we were still rusty and under strength whilst Krakow, with the Polish season already in full flow, were faster fitter and stronger, at times anyway! Nonetheless Rafa remained upbeat.
“I think we did really well in the first half. We had good possession, the understanding between the players was good and we showed a good attacking mentality. We were playing against a team that was well organised and it was a step up in fitness for us. We had chances but they did, too, so a draw was probably a fair result.”
Of debutant Andrea Dossena he said.
“Dossena did okay, it was important for him to play his first game. He needs to understand our system and the way we play and he will get better with the more games he plays.”
Again fair words no one can expect Dossena to slot straight in. Perhaps the biggest plus from this game and the ones before that against Lucerne and Tranmere, was the form of Daniel Pacheco. This is not news to Gary Ablett, the reserve team manager speaking on the official website he said
“Dani is a young lad with a lot of potential, last season was his first here with us and he more than played his part in what was an exceptional campaign. I have always said our main goal is to get players through to Rafa’s first-team squad and it is pleasing to see Daniel doing well in the games he has played in pre-season. People have to remember, though, that he is only 17 and not to expect too much too soon, but there is no better man than Rafa to help him to achieve what he wants in the game.”
On wonders if Rafa will take a real punt and give Pacheco more of a go in the first team than he has with other youngsters? I’m not suggesting he should start, seventeen years is still young, but it’s not unusual for players to be involved at first team level at that age. In the past Rafa has appeared fairly cautious over this sort of thing however, perhaps potential funds restraints may tempt him to look closer at this avenue? The fact that Pacheco has started every one of the pre season games so far might suggest so?
Meanwhile the show moves on to Berlin were we play Hertha tonight at the Olympiastadion, host for the last World Cup final, which should up the anti if not in terms of opposition then certainly venue.