18's cup game v Reading this morning and a pretty tough encounter it was. A few new(ish) names to look at including my first look at Tommy Doyle. He is a very combative midfielder, reminds me a lot of Matt Smith ( that's a positive). Worked his socks off but rarely any room to look up and play and he did find it hard but looks a decent player finding his way at this over age group for him. Loves a tackle and looks to play key passes but I think it will take a while before he starts to really get his game established at this level.
Our front 3 were Poveda, Simmonds and Ogundby and I think all 3 are wingers.Ogundby was off side too much ruining some good situations, Simmonds didn't have his touch today and lost the ball too easily and Poveda was the pick for me with his quick feet and good runs. Nmecha (Felix) really struggled to get involved and also gave the ball away too much.
Pozo in the holding role was pretty good along with Doyle and the defence were largely ok led by Eric Garcia who was captain. Rosler alongside him ( with Uwe stood behing me watching) was good and brought the basll out from defence quite impressively at times. Jeremy Frimpong at right back I really liked. Not a big lad but quite feisty and not at all intimidated by bigger players. Defended well and attacked well.
Reading went ahead and it has to be down to some sloppy defending, just not sure who to blame, but as the ball went looping in the air nobdoy attacked it so it was allowed to bounce and then get volleyed in off the keeper from a very tight angle. We dod attack a lot in the 2nd half and had real chances especially one for Touazi ( he came on for Simmonds) who took a tough too many when it looked like he had to score.
The equalizer was a pen in the end for hand ball ( ref very certain and he booked the guy) and Nmecha took it with extreme confidence. Maybe a fair result but a rad disappointing.
Also I thought it was a very physical game and as ever they looked a more mature, developed side. Just the sort of experience these lads need.