Not a lot to report on day 7 certainly not on the football front (also due to the crazy, bonkers night on Friday in Dusseldorf old town……
more about that later) so I'm just putting them both together for this one.
On Friday it became evident that large amounts of fans arrived just for the ‘Gladbach’ game all of which headed for the old town,…..good lads and lasse’s, good craic and berserk SAFC fans.
Friday night in Dusseldorf was absolutely bonkers! I have been to many cities and towns and I can quite honestly say this place takes the biscuit. Take the following: ‘The Big Market’, Benidorm, Majorca, Ibiza, Dublin and Liverpool roll them all together…….you get Dusseldorf old town on a Friday night. Also we have a huge fair going on which probably doubled occupants up, what a night! Loads of SAFC faces scattered across all the pubs and restaurants, and as I’ve already said before most of whom I know from previous trips……..from what I gather, no problems or trouble occurring despite the amount of drink consumed. Saturday night was exactly the same by the way. Great memories.
It just goes show 'you can the lad out of Jarra, but you cant take jarra out of the lad'......cheers lads, great laugh being with you!
We made our way over the Monchen Gladbach by train, it was some 30 mins journey…….eventually found a small pub some 200 metres from the train station, strange how word spreads, within 30 mins more it was full of fans again, got to say it was a bit of dump though, but the beer was good and effective? Free shuttlebus to the ground in Borrusia park, I say shuttlebus? It took us 20 mins…….imagine if we had free shuttle bus services from Gateshead, South Shields or Jarrow and Hebburn…..don’t thinks so, it would help Niall’s quest to boost attendances maybe?
Some hilarious attempts at the German language by some lads mind…..” excus’o mate, does this bus go to the ground’o’….probably the best one FFS!
The stadium is an excellent stadium situated well out of town, easy access obviously helped by public transport. Superb facilities once inside, lots of variation in food bars all of which ‘wop the arse’ of anything we have back at the SOL, then of course there is the drink?
Once again it’s great to be able to have a drink while we watch the match, although I must say that the majority who were drinking were us lot. Less numbers of SAFC for this one, not sure where they all went to? It was expected around 1500………no where near that I think about 500-600. Great atmosphere though, German fans loud and annoying as ever before the game, marching music and fucking drum banging, tell you what, if he had been sitting next to me banging that drum he would have been wearing the fooker after 5 minutes! Now I know where The Arsenal get that style of player announcements from, you know the one I mean?....where the announcer shouts the players first name, then the fans shout his second? Not sure about that mind?
It felt from the off like a ‘proper’ game and certainly not like a ‘soft pre-season’ run around, Gladbach came at us fast and meaning business. It became obvious as well straight from the kick off that the referee was a pile of shite! First half was lively, and we struggled at times to stop them coming at us, after about 20 minutes we settled down and started to knock the ball around quite nicely, with Richardson looking good along with Vaughan and once gain Ji always busy.
Defensively Bramble looked solid and once again Turner didn’t. The play acting by the German players was shocking, and the referee gladly obliged by giving them free kick after free kick…….ridiculous at times and shocking tactics by them, watching Steve Bruce on the touchline it seemed he wasn’t happy either by the way. Very few attempts on goal by us, if any…..but they had numerous, with woeful finishing I have to say.
Half time…….refuelled with grub and ‘more beer’ we settled down…….a repeat performance by the referee and oscar winning performances by the ‘Glad Bach school of acting’….it was obvious that 0-0 was going to be the final score with neither team able to pierce through on goal. We had similar substitutions in the second half as we have had over the last two games, with Steed looking busy and Sess looking class, and of course Bardsley doing his usual. Bramble’s sending off was a joke…….referee once again shite decision, I hope it doesn’t affect our start to the season?
This was one of the hardest pre-season games I have seen for a long time and certainly gave the lads a heavy test, with some of them shining, some of them carrying on from previous, and some of them definitely putting a better shift in this time.
These are my views on our ‘foreign soil pre-season’….I did not get the York game so I'm basing it on Germany only:
– Looking more confident and I think Bruce will start with him in goal, still prone to the ‘odd clanger maybe’……but still 4 games to go so when we get home get yersel to the games and make your own opinion on him.
– a solid 3 games and looking sharp down the wing, still would like a little more out of him, but so far I'm quite happy with him so far.
– looking fit, strong and confident a good 3 games from him, dont look to much into his sending off by the shite referee yesterday
– Not sure what is going on here……..slow at times and certainly a worry for me, over the 3 games, can’t really judge whether or not he will start.
– The last two games have seen much better performances IMHO, with yesterdays performance the best out of the lot.
– From his performances at Brum last year I'm confident he will be a good addition to the team, however over the 3 games……a tad disappointing for me.
– For me our best player over the 3 games, in this fella we have our own Peter Beardsley (certainly in looks
) although he has competition from Sess! Looks excellent and very comfortable on the ball, rarely gives the ball away or misplace a pass, great signing Brucey!
– A great game from him yesterday, although the previous 2 games he was distinctly average, when he is at his best……..great ball winner…..at his worst, a liability, I believe SB will start with him as captain.
– Looks good and over the 3 games he done OK, set pieces will be better with him the team, good on game 1 quieter over games 2 and 3, another good signing Brucey!
– Cannot wait to let him loose next season!....He looks excellent, ‘busy busy busy’ with this lad, always a threat, over the 3 games…..top performer for me.
– Holds the play well, still getting to grips though, still 4 games to go, check him out, he will be OK very impressed with him over the 3 games.
– Raw talent, it has been said about him…….true! Big strong lad and can still learn a lot from those around him. He needs a few sessions with Quinny, same height but his physique is excellent and another good addition to our club, certainly a great one to have on the bench and bring on late in games for his first season, he will scare defenders by his presence.
– Quiet first game but when he brought on in games 2 & 3 he looked sharp as ever, very nearly scored twice!....if Steed scores we are on the pitch eh?.
– Great professional! He really has impressed me on all 3 games, solid as a rock no problems from ‘Bardo’……a starter for me.
– Whats all this ‘play me or sell me shit’…….looks a s confident as ever, still expecting him to establish himself next season, over the 3 games……very satisfied.
– From what I have seen of this lad, he will make the grade, very ‘Johnny Evans like’…..good bench warmer for next season?
– Anton looked good! Over the 3 games he was very competent at what he had to do in different positions as well.
– Big, powerful but just not sure he is about really……..just not sure.
Sorry if I have missed anyone……..Dusseldorf nights you see?
Not the most exciting or scintillating pre-season we have attended, however a good work out and testing field for our club, we still need 2 more players in IMHO….obviously Gyan has not played so he will make one of hell of difference when he does, nor has O’Shea (apart from 20 mins) or Brown. Pre-seasons cannot be an indicator of things to come………we will be fine next season, stop worrying and get yersels to the games………Mr H and Mrs H saying Auf-weidersein and signing off from Germany.
Due to work commitments wont make Kilmarnock, will be a Burnley and Hibs, not sure about Pool game.