Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Italian Revisited

Oh, I've been in a Willie Shakes mood lately, re-watching the Band of Brothers speech from Henry V and thinking about picking the complete works back up and try to get through some of those tales I have missed. I re-watched the Man City a day later to try to get some new insights into the new players and revisit the old and was struck with David Di Michele's play throughout the match. His play put me in mind of that other roving Italian and to paraphrase Antony, I have come to praise DDM, not to bury him.

First off, the new guys. Kovacs is easy to spot on the field with his blond mop bouncing around the pitch. Unfortunately, in the Middlesbrough match, it was often bobbing completely out of position. He worked hard to get where he was going. Then he would work a little harder to get where he actually should have been. He reminds me of current Denver Nugget, Renaldo Balkman, when he played at South Carolina. He was boundless energy, unencumbered by responsibility. Renaldo finally figured it out and has made a good pro career out of it. Kovacs made a huge leap in his second game and was much better against Man City. Relax, you've got the job.

As for Savio, he is coming on quick. He contained Bellamy's speed on a run just before the 60 minute mark and showed his offensive skill on the goal by Collison. He eats up the pitch with his speed and the power of his shot was impressive. Can we all just start sending him a few bucks a week in an attempt to keep him around for more than two or three years? It is worth a shot.

On to the old guys now. Cole was a monster for much of the match, He is able to impose his will on defenders playing with his back to the goal. Headed forward, he is still gangly looking. As long as he contains his action to a few square yards, he looks unbeatable. I assume Zola is working on expanding that circle of skill. If you have the chance, go back and watch the match at the 29 minute mark where Cole and DDM played a beautiful two man game. It was world class but for the very end, but is one of those plays they will get with more matches.

I liked DDM on the free kick and corner he took in quick succession in the first half. Both balls were in play and dangerous to City. He also had a series of very nice entry passes at the beginning of the second. On one, it took Cole getting mugged to prevent a shot. On another, Parker stepped in front of a ball intended for Collison who was in a much better position to play it. He did give one away cheaply at 69 minutes, but overall, I thought he was key in creating the opportunity for goals. he was involved in the Collison goal with a nice flick to Savio, streaking down the side. Wow, that's nice to say isn't it? A West Ham player STREAKING! The old saying is, "You can't teach speed," and Savio doesn't need the lesson. As for speed, DDM may not have the same spring he used to, but he is all over the pitch, playing 3/4 of the field and making tackles deep in WHU territory. He may run out of gas, but he gives it his all when he is out there.

The best part of the goal was the celebration. Collison didn't run off to celebrate. He found Cole and wrapped him with a hug. Cole can be a leader and it showed there. You could see the joy in his face. On the replay, I hoped you all noticed where DDM was when the ball went in to the net. After starting Savio off on his run, DDM ended up in the center of the goal, ready to pounce on any rebound. That is where he will score. He sneaks around the goal and will get a few more this year. I have no problem with Cole and DDM up front for now. I think it is the best combo WHU have, and with Savio starting to exert his will, the strikers will get a little more space to operate in the middle.

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