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In the year 2003, at the tender age of just 9, Gerard Deulofeu joined Barcelona’s famed youth academy. The young Barca starlet found first team opportunities limited at the start of his career with The Catalans and was forced to move to Barcelona’s B team in the Segunda Division(1 division below the La Liga) for the 2012/13 season. And certainly, Deulofeu did not disappoint, notching 18 goals in just 25 appearances, becoming FC Barcelona B’s top scorer by a massive 7 goal margin.
For Deulofeu, along with Rafinha and Liverpool’s Luis Alberto, they were dubbed the “Holy Trinity”.
However, this wasn’t enough for the Barca B side, who eventually finished in a dismal 9th place after a poor run of results towards the end of the season. However, Deulofeu played a key role for Barcelona’s B team, whose crucial goals they certainly couldn’t do without.
As the 2012/13 season concluded, Deulofeu was promptly rewarded with his brilliant performances with a promotion to Barcelona’s first team. However, the excitement the Barca fans had of seeing the talented young Spanish starlet don their club colours were quelled almost immediately when Everton announced the loan signing of Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona on a season long deal in the summer transfer window of 2013. Continue reading
From the Stands
This week I was at the Valley for Charlton vs. Ipswich. I hadn’t seen Ipswich live for a while, so I was interested to see if there was any improvement or decline in our play. After the defeat at home last time out, it was a good chance to get back to winning ways against a stuttering Charlton side. I fancied our chances after winning away last time out, Charlton were a side I tipped to have a decent season, but they’ve had a really poor start.
We started with our 4-4-2, which was to be expected, I thought there might be some changes after the defeat against Leicester but it was the same side apart from Cresswell returning.
We came out of the blocks excellently, and in the first five minutes could have been 3 up if not for some last ditch defending and good goalkeeping. McGoldrick had a great chance and there was a superb double stop from a corner. But it didn’t take us long to get the goal, shortly after Smith thumped a header home from another Cresswell corner to give us an early lead. We were good and in control in the first half, but didn’t really create much after our bright opening. Charlton didn’t really threaten at all apart from a cross come shot that Gerken palmed onto the post. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out second half and couldn’t string two passes together, I don’t think we even got into their area, and Charlton dominated the ball in our half. In saying that, they hardly created anything and looked really weak up front. We defended superbly, and looked more like the unit we were towards last season. There was a late scuffle with players throwing handbags which was quite entertaining, but we held on for an excellent win, to send the noisy 2,600 odd away fans home happy. Continue reading
As you may remember, although you probably won’t, in my last article, Newcastle had just beaten Leeds United in the capital one cup. Next on the road for the ever inconsistent Magpies, was in form Everton. A horror show of a first half left Newcastle 3-0 down at the break, in particular for Frenchman Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who had a torrid time against Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku. The introduction of midfielder Yohan Cabaye had a significant impact on the game, goals from Cabaye and Loic Remy pulled it back to a respectable 3-2 in the second half.
So the inconsistencies had lingered leaving many to wonder how Newcastle would perform in their next away game against newly promoted Cardiff City.
A 2-1 win and a good performance from Newcastle in this game, left fans continuing to scratch their heads about why Newcastle had been unable to perform to this level every game, or at least the majority.
Manager, defenders and owner all had the blame laid at their feet from sections of the ever emotional support. Mike Williamson had come on a a substitute during the Everton game and had more than justified his selection with a fine display against Cardiff, could the once highly criticised ‘Iron Mike’ be writing a new chapter in his career? Continue reading
From the Stands
This week took me back to the Goldsands for the Championship game between Bournemouth and Derby. Bournemouth haven’t had a win for a while, and are in a bit of poor form, so a win would really get them going again after their excellent start.
It must be said though, they have faced some tough encounters on the road against sides at the top of the table, picking up great results at Forest and Burnley.
Its only the game against Bolton that they would have been disappointed not to take points from. As for Derby since their change of manager they have been excellent, not that they were doing horrifically before McClaren. Their away form has been particularly good and under McClaren their home form has got going too. I’ve been saying the last few weeks that they could be a dark horse this season should they keep hold of their key players in January. In McClaren they have an excellent tactician as well, even though I still don’t like him for his spell with England. I was particularly looking forward to seeing Will Hughes who has been talked of very highly this season. It was a game that I thought promised much and was looking forward to it. It was also good to see a full house, which is as it should be this season at the Goldsands. Continue reading