This was a workmanlike performance, with little guile, and a slightly flattering scoreline, but who cares? We won our first game of the season, and I have little doubt that we will play a lot better, and lose at various points during the season, so let's just enjoy a solid start eh? The centre of midfield was the principal area of weakness today, and I am not entirely convinced that Nicky Bailey from Southend is the answer. Racon played very well today, but he, like Shelvey seemed to fade as the game went on, and neither ever really controlled the situation.
I was glad to see Bouazza though, as he should now give us a left hand side that carries real threat, when both Youga and Basey are available. If we do manage to secure Martin Crainie, then the right hand side starts to look quite tasty as well. Oh, and when was the last time we scored from a corner?, or a corner like set piece come to that?
All in all an acceptable day, despite the roads trying their best to stop me getting to The Valley at all, but am I the only one to think that Alan Pardew's after match interview carried a certain degree of controlled anger? He came across as someone under pressure to deliver, but who feels that he hasn't been given the tools for the job yet. He struck me as being irritated that he still has players to sign, although his "and another one, and another one" comment, if taken literally, would see four players arriving at the club in short order. Despite reports of a good meeting with the board last week, I am fast coming round to the belief that Pardew has limited time to impress. The Covered End may have chanted "Super Alan Pardew", but I am not convinced that those in authority at the club believe that.
Oh, and the DD family will be dining out at a Spanish restaurant today. Senor Martinez side will do ok in this division, but someone should buy him a coat!