Monday, August 14, 2006

Reflecting on another impressive pre-season

Well for the second year running we remain unbeaten after our pre-season campaign. I still haven't figured out exactly how important the results of summer friendlies really are to the forthcoming league campaigns. However, last summer not only were we unbeaten but we also won the Peace Cup in Korea and that filled us all with confidence. And we didn't exactly have a bad season by our reckoning did we?

Therefore, after another impressive summer (this time seven wins and one draw instead of five wins and two draws), I think we can say, "Job done!" and look forward to the start of what we all hope will be another great season. Bolton away on the first day isn't great as they've been a difficult team for us in recent years - but their pre-season form has been poor so let's hope friendly results do mean something.

My only slight doubt is: "Are players peaking too soon?" Both Defoe and Berbatov have grabbed a hat full of goals this summer - I just hope they're saving plenty back for when it really counts. All three of our main strikers need to be scoring 15+ goals this season and I really believe they can each achieve that goal (excuse the pun).

Two final thoughts on our pre-season campaign: one, the quality of our opposition were pretty strong (e.g. Inter Milan), and two, based on 90 minutes you could argue we've improved on last season relative to Real Sociedad (who we only managed a draw with last summer).

All in all, a good pre-season that has whetted our appetite for the real thing to start in just five days time...

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