A step up in opponents this time as we played Borussia Dortmund in the final of the the Feyenoord Jubileum tournament in Rotterdam on Monday. Mind you we started in the semi-final so there wasn't that far to go. Borussia,one time Champions League winners,have fallen on hard times since but gave us more of a challenge especially up front. But in the absence of King and Woodgate our reserve pairing of Dawson and Huddleston were just about up to the job and apart from one scare from Valdez coped pretty well.
Zokora was a more than adequate stand in for the injured Hutton and is proving to be the kind of versatile player that Ramos likes.
Bent scored early on after good work from Jenas who was again captain. A good turn and shot which wrong footed the goalkeeper set us on our way. Again we kept possession well, played the ball on the ground and even without Modric looked composed in midfield.
Berbatov came on for the second half and was not match fit and took a knock early on. He set up Giovani Dos Santos with an outside of the foot curler and he should have scored. He did soon after from a good ball by Jenas. Borussia were a little more positive in the latter stages and Gomes made a couple of decent saves though nothing from close range. Once again he rolled the ball out constructively and looked to come for every ball,not always appropriately but it makes a pleasant change. He oozes positivity.
A third goal after a quick passing movement involving Lennon and Adam Smith, an academy youngster who set up O'Hara for a close in finish late on gave us a clear,deserved and impressive victory. Jenas was named as player of the tournament,which will surprise some Spurs fans and might just shut them up long enough while they have more thoughtful look at a player who is right at the heart of Ramos plans for this season.
My enthusiasm is beginning to rise,but then it always does so I'm just going to go with it. Bent has certainly earned his place in the starting line up, O'Hara has played well twice and it is good to see young players given their chance by Ramos. Bale was again something like the player of early last season even though he was given some rough treatment and two Borussia players were booked.
Just announced tha Jenas is vice-captain for the coming season and will therefore play as captain quite a lot. I am delighted for him and hope that it will give him the motivation and confidence to show his doubters what he can do.