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  • I watched our opening day opponents lose to a spirited Atletico Madrid side today. Call it a scouting mission if you will.

    My verdict...well, they looked sharp for the first 15 or so minutes...then you could see the tide of the game turning as Atletico settled in. Then Carragher got hurt, and while he was off for treatment they tore into the heart of the defense and scored. The other CB should definitely raise his hand in apology for that one. Carragher didn't return and his replacement was not much better than the CB who partnered him. If they're forced to go with those to anchoring their defense, then its time to throw Lennon at them as they were well susetible to speed...Defoe would turn them also. my bet is, Benitez is looking for CB cover as we speak (making it a good thing we got Bassong when we did).

    The second half saw lots of substitutions and the game generally had stopped being a semi-serious affair.

    Men to watch (as if you didn't know)...Gerrard...he didn't do much, but a lot of what happens goes through him. Torres, he didn't score, but he looked pretty sharp, battling for anything and really putting pressure on defenders (so our makeshift central defense better be on its collective toes). Other than that no one else really impressed me on the day. The one thing I will say is this...0-2 down they didn't drop their heads and kept on coming..so we better be ready for that type of thing next week and all season long...if we're up we've got to learn to kill a game off, or the likes of Liverpool will snatch anything looking like a victory to us, away.

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    • That was our problem last season, we conceded a lot of last minute goals then so hopefully we'll have a lid on that now...

      I think we might just be panicking a little bit about the defence next week: I'm expecting King to be back and according to the injury room (which I don't hugely trust) Dawson might be back, but I'm not 100% convinced. If he is and he's match fit I definitely (obviously) want to see him playing, if not I reckon it'll be BAE-Corluka-King-Hutton, which I'm really happy with.

      Even if neither King or Daws are available, we can still have Corluka-Chimbonda/Huddlestone (who was MotM for me against Barce in both CB & AM), so actually we have plenty of good options... I'll whisper it for now but do we really need the back up of Bassong?