What did the game against Olympiakos tell us?
Firstly that you shouldn't draw too many conclusions from pre-season friendlies. Remember Roma!
They weren't really bothered so its difficult to judge Bassong's performance. He didn't do very much because he had no pressure and he did it competently apart from one 'Newcastle' moment which he just about retrieved. He looked sound enough.
How does he do that? Spends the whole summer in Levy's pool and comes on as smooth as the smoothest thing since Mr. Smooth put 'NappyRash Cream' on Baby Smooth's bottom. A top class act.
Naughton looks Premiership ready apart from the odd misplaced pass.
Rose could make the grade this season. Tricky and knows where the byline is.
Boateng seems to have calmed down and played some good passes.
Crouch A very tall person which seemed to encourage his team-mates to punt the ball up to him at a great height which was boring and ineffective.
See under tactics.
Livermore Going on a month's loan to Derby. Not far off squad standard.
Bostock Another that looks strong and capable. Could make the squad.
Modric The pick as usual. Pass inside the full back to Lennon to set up the first goal was a gem. Encourages others to play.
Pavlyuchenko Scored one, made one and showed for the ball well. Could be 'the man' this year.
Gomes and Cudicini Good stoppers though neither kicks well. This position seems sorted.
O'Hara Another good performance by this unfashionable and underrated player.
Defoe Lively, keen and determined to score which he did. Denied a clear penalty.
Keane I was not impressed as he and Crouch seemed to be trying to re-invent the old Berbatov/Keane dynamic duo. Important element missing there though. Didn't benefit from being partnered with Crouch. So that's two players he can't play with. Give it time Jimmy, give it time.
Huddleston Usual performance, slowed after half time ,some excellent passes and some poor.
Ekotto Always offers the goalkeeper and the centre halves an out, once they stopped whacking the ball in the general direction of Crouchy. Air controllers on full alert.
Corluka Usual. Looks slow but skill gets him out of trouble. Good goal from close in.
Bentley Wants to succeed tries hard when on the ball but doesn't quite have it for me. Been reading Zokora's shooting manual.
Chimbonda Could be a useful utility player this season. Should have scored.
My fear was that the arrival of Crouch would lead to us playing the long, high ball game and though I was assured by fellow fans that this would not be the case it did pan out that way. Olympiakos just sat back and picked up the second ball.Whether this was on Harry's instructions or against his wishes I don't know.
In the second half with the arrival of Defoe and Pavlyuchenko, Lennon, and especially Modric we got the ball down on the grass, passed it sweetly at times and scored three good goals. Defoe and Pavlyuchenko look a more promising first choice pairing than any of the alternatives but with Keane as captain I am not holding my breath.
Hopefully this high altitude game will be stamped on by Harry. But as with the purchase of Bent you assume that there was some tactical purpose involved, perhaps just to give us a variation of attack but some tactics don't suit our playing style or tradition and just as Bent's transfer was a bad move for him and us, so too with Crouchy perhaps. He's better on the floor anyway.
But its early days and as the title suggests you can't read too much into one pre-season friendly can you?