The preseason is now officially in full swing with the Reds now jetting off to Asia for a few matches. However, there is much that can be gleaned from the first match. While friendlies are hardly worth in depth analysis, there are a few things that could be seen from match. Some points to think about:
-Was the pitch argyle for Shanks, a Scotsman? Ether way, I was impressed with the lines mowed into the field.
-Allen was a bit overzealous too often for my liking. Making full hearted challenges as the holding midfielder that hard, but not winning the ball is a good way to leave your defense out to dry. I would rather see him just try to slow play up enough to allow the rest of the team to get back.
-I said on twitter this was Assaidi's last chance most likely to prove he belonged in the first team. Yeah, I don't think we'll be seeing him any time soon. He was anonymous and wasteful, especially with that effort late in the first where he was played into the box.
-Ibe looks like the real deal. He reminds me of a young Raheem Sterling and is picking up right where he left off after last saeson's debut on the final day. However, he needs to see Sturridge for some ideas on what to do after scoring. Trotting around with a confused look on one's face is not intimidating to the other team.
-Pacheco really like the preseason. He looked pretty good in the sort of CAM role and controlled play well for a large part of the second half. However, we know he can't reproduce that in the regular season so we might as well put him in the store front window while he is looking good.
-Umm...yeah...that Coutinho kid is pretty damn good.
-Speaking of Raheem, he was at a whole new level today. Sure, you have to take into account the opposition, but his hunger is what I liked and the opposition doesn't matter for that.
-In case you were trying to place a tenner on the next vice-captain, Lucas had the armband in the second half. It was difficult to see with the new design of the kits with the stripes around the sleeve cuff. Agger had it in the first. The only other person ahead of them is likely Pepe, but that is if he is in the long term plans. If Pepe doesn't get it we'll all know where he stands.