Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday April 5 2006
Text is : Last night I somehow convinced my girlfriend to miss 'It's me or the dog celebrity wife swap you are what you eat' and join me to watch the reserves take on Wolves at the Bucks Head in Telford. We won 3 v 1 with goals coming from McGurk, Gardner and Agbonlahor. Here's a brief run down on the players I could recognize/put a name to: -
Taylor - His kicking was woeful. Other than that he didn't have too much to do. Hung on well to a couple of crosses.
Lund - When he first got the ball I thought 'there's never a footballer there', but he went some way to proving me wrong with a few assured touches. Lanky and solid.
Cahill - Looked at ease at this level and didn't seem to go up to 5th gear at any stage (mind you he didn't have to). Commanded the defence quite well.
Osbourne - Tall and long legged. Broke up a few Wolves attacks and then distributed the ball to the more accomplished players like Gardner and Agbonlahor. One of only a couple of our youngsters that are above 5' 10'. Think a raw version of Viera (a very raw version).
Gardner - He really shone at this level and I got a better idea of what he was all about. Ferocious in the tackle, he doesn't seem to think anything of getting his head in amongst everyone else's boots. In that respect he's like Bryan Robson. He still has a way to go though as a couple of his passes were wayward. Took another great free kick that bent into the bottom corner. One to watch over the coming seasons.
Whittingham - He seems to have beefed up slightly to upgrade himself from being built like a gyppo's dog up to near pubescent boy standard. It's weird to say this, but in a way he plays like a left footed Beckham. All the defenders and midfielders look to get the ball to him so he can play the cross field ball to Agbonlahor. In his credit he has got a sweet left foot and he always plays well for the England under-21's. Is it too late for him to make the step up?
Agbonlahor - All this guy can do is run. I'd love to say more about him, but that is all there is to his game. There were a couple of occasions when McGurk made a nice run for him and he could have played him through, but Gabby kept his head down and played the ball back to midfield. I don't think he's got what some would call a 'footballing brain'. His pace caused Wolves problems all night and led to the free kick for Gardner's goal and then he scored a nice goal after a long run late on.
McGurk - My mate informed me that he'd scored a cracking over head kick just before I arrived (I was hungry and there's a KFC next door. Ok?). He is the antithesis of Gabby. Lovely control and vision, but no pace. He could go on to be a decent forward, but he will need to develop further.
Sub: Zoltan Steiber - When I saw this guy warming up I thought he was a ball boy. He didn't look a day older than 13. Looked very dangerous in the couple of minutes he was on the field. Dare I say that there was just something about him that looked dangerous. His movement was good, but everyone else was knackered when he came on.
Kevin MacDonald - Was up on the touchline the whole game rollocking anyone and everyone. Gave the ref some lip every time a decision went against us and instructed the players on who to pass to on occasions. What a refreshing change from you know who.
Wolves - They had some very average youngsters, but also played the South Korean (Seoul) as well as Jody Craddock, George Ndah and the Romanian
International (Ganea - I think I caught that once in Tenerife).
Hardly any of these reserve players will make the grade, but it was refreshing to sit pitchside (amongst the action) and seeing the management team actually care. A lot of those youngsters looked like they'd run through a brick wall for MacDonald something that the first team would do well to look at.
Date:Wednesday April 5 2006
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