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The friendly matches

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I''ve not been able to attend any pre season matches because of holidays etc...

I have a few questions for people that have attended them :)

a) what are the main weaknesses?

b) which players have been the stand out performers?

c) lastly Anthony Pilkington- obviously delighted that he''s played 30 odd minutes of preseason- how good is he and does he look anywhere match fit?

I know you shouldnt read much into pre season but I''m curious

Thanks in advance OTBC

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a) From what I''ve seen, there don''t appear to be any glaring weaknesses. I''m sure some will say Ruddy but his error for Zaragoza''s goal was made up for with other saves in that game in my opinion.b) Stand out performers for me have been De Laet, Morison, and Naughton. De Laet seems to be a popular opinion for stand out player amongst the fans and the EDP writers. He''s a definite starter in my opinion. Morison has stood out for me because of his good hold up play, he''s a lot quicker than I expected, and he''s scored a few goals as well. With russell Martin''s injury that could make the decision between him and Naughton an easy one but once Martin is back Tierney could lose his place at left back because he''s played well at both left back and right back and he puts an amazing cross in with his right foot. Three times he overlapped Bennett yesterday and put in really dangerous balls including one for a goal.c) He looks ok. He''s got good pace and he didn''t look unfit yesterday but he didn''t play that long. I can see him playing 20/30 mins a game and being an effective impact sub compared to what we''ve had in recent history. It will be interesting to see if we go with him and Bennett much this season because I could see there being a lot of goals created and scored with Pilkington, Bennet, Naughton, Holt, and Morison on the pitch.

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I dont normally go to friendlies but went to see real zaragosa and Parma. The latter was supposed to be the stiffer test and we cruised to a 3 nil win.

I left both games with a great deal of optimism about the whole squad to be honest

I agree that De laet seems to be a real find and so fast! Naughton played both left and right back and looked very good in both positions. I dont think he will start in either but he will probably be first reserve for both positions.

For me Morison looked ok but more to come, he is pretty fast as well. Pilkington came on as sub in both and showed some very good touches he on early showing looks a better prospect than Bennett who is clearly still easing his way into a new club

Johnson shows promise but needs to lose some weight and improve his fitness levels.

Holt and jackson look very good and i am sure the pair will start the season of together.

ruddy looked pretty good as did almost everyone

surman deserves a mention he look v good against Parma as well as scoring twice

Lambert will have lots of options. I would have to say if we signed any more players i am not sure where they would fit in at the moment.

Also credit where it is due Chris Martin also looked good when he came on againsy parma

The star for me in these games combined was Fox pinging passes all over the place

Off to wigan saturday hope the optimism doesnt come crashing down

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I''ve only been to the Parma game but anyway...


a) There didn''t seem to be any weakness yesterday tbh, completely bossed the game and Parma didn''t pose much of a threat.


b) For me yesterday Bennett was the standout performer of the new boys.  He''s got a lot of pace and puts in a really good delivery.  Naughton was also very solid and looked good going forward.  For the new players Johnson was the one I was least impressed with but he didn''t play very long.  Also I just have to add Tierney was excellent and Wes absoulutely ran the show.  I still have doubts over Surman.


c) Pilkington didn''t play for very long yesterday but he looked good.  He''s got pace and likes to cut in on his left foot from the right although he did also show he can get to the byline and use his right foot and that is where our 3rd came from.  I can''t see him and Bennett and playing together much because it could be a bit of a risk but either could be a good impact player. 

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