COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
The Yak is back as the Blues stroll to an emphatic victory in a most one-sided game. The manager made five changes and in the case of Heitinga his third position in three starts, versatility personified.
The game started in stuttering fashion as the new look bedded in, yet within 25mins we were three up, game over, and we had hardly started playing any football.
The Yak started the ball rolling when a couple of ricochets on the edge of their box saw the ball fall to Bilyaletdinov who fed the Yak and he did indeed score with a clinical top striker's finish, the fans assembled sang the song as the Yak sprinted to our dugout and hugged someone.
Osman, our captain for the night, then started to orchestrate from centre midfield and it was becoming clear that Hull were no match for us as we took a grip all over the park, Rodwell was breaking things up and striding about without breaking sweat and one of his forays forward on twenty minutes saw him upended, Baines swung in an excellent arching free kick, Jo rose highest and the ball winged its way into the net, much to the delight of those assembled behind that goal. The players hugged and kissed like kids enjoying a party with gifts included.
Osman continued to link things together and five minutes later we were all celebrating again when the Yak was fed and with the spot of a sniper he fed in Gosling one-on-one who tried nothing fancy but just put his foot through the ball and almost uprooted the net. The game was effectively over, the foot came off the gas, and the back four got a run out with nothing much to trouble them.
The second half started minus the Yak and Fellaini in his place. Not a lot happened in this half as the Blues were content to control and see out the game and give the manager food for thought come Saturday. Hull had made subs at the break, one being Kevin Kilbane who got a great reception from those travelling but later blotted his copybook by going through the back of an Everton player.
Then on the hour mark we scored again without really trying, Hull had managed one over the bar which woke us up a bit and Osman headed for goal only to be upended on the edge of the box. After much debate, Heitinga stepped up to blast a rocket at the wall, the ball broke the wall and first to react was Osman to gleefully add number four.
It was easy street and the Blue fans were relaxed and singing, the players conserving energy knocking the ball about well and then scampering to get it back as some half-hearted moves broke down. We were that laid back it was no surprise when our back five was called into action twice during the last ten minutes...
Hull attacked! Hit a post and right on the death, Howard made two great saves from McShane, first a parry with the hands and then a deflection over the bar with the legs from the follow-up. Final whistle and the Blues fans celebrated, the home fans booed and used some pure Anglo Saxon phrases toward their manager.
Overall I thought we showed that we do now have room to rotate a little without sacrificing too much quality and those that came in tonight will have given themselves and the manager confidence.
Bilyaletdinov showed he has a wand of a left foot and prepared to put the work in but I would have loved to have seen him show us what he can do running at his full back and getting to the by-line and crossing, no doubt that will come as he settles more.
Neill got a run out at right back with Baines coming off and Hibbert moving over to left back thus showing his versatility. Youngster Agard was given 10 minute look at first team footy.
I made Osman MotM; it was hard to make a judgement on anyone on the pitch for us such was the paucity of opposition except to say, no matter the opposition, we did show quality in all areas.
Pompey next and quite a different line up and game will unfold I have no doubt. I am getting used to these 3 and 4 nil wins, I hope the players are too.
UP THE BLUES
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1 Posted 24/09/2009 at 14:24:08
Osman MOTM? Lordy, some people on here are going to go into overdrive with that one :0)
2 Posted 24/09/2009 at 14:45:05
Let’s hope there are no longer term effects. Fortunately they brought him off at half-time as a precaution as Yak felt his hamstring was a little tight.
3 Posted 24/09/2009 at 15:58:14
4 Posted 24/09/2009 at 16:18:06
5 Posted 25/09/2009 at 00:26:05
6 Posted 25/09/2009 at 10:41:30
Also, I saw the game and would not have given him MotM. Yakubu was the best player on the pitch by a mile while he was on and did more in 45 mins than Osman did in 90!
7 Posted 25/09/2009 at 18:07:12
Individually no-one really had to stand out as just doing their job & being clever was enough to see off this poor side but a special mention should go to Dan Gosling, who gets very little press compared with Rodwell, Vaughan, etc but has played all across the midfield and at fullback for us & looks nothing less than accomplished in every one of them, plus its obvious the kid knows where the goal is. Looks a top little player for me.
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