Juventus – class - 03/10/2002
It’s good to be involved again, even though I didn’t get to play an active part. Sitting on the bench gave me a close up view of some absolutely fantastic Juve players. We all knew about Del Piero’s reputation, but I have to say he was even better than I had expected. His movement and in particular his touch were something else. He’s said to be playing at the peak of his form and he’s certainly up there with some of the greats. The two goals were just symptomatic of his class - a great, great player! Another guy who really stood out was Pavel Nedved, again we knew he was one of Juve’s ‘names’, but his quality was outstanding – and that was with Andy Griffin marking him and doing a great job. Griff was on the fringe of the squad only a few weeks ago, now he looks like he’s establishing himself as a regular.
After the game we were all a little flat, we’d played well, created chances and AL scored a goal that even the referee later admitted was a good one. It’s tough, but that’s football. Having said that, we’d looked at Juve’s results going into the game and looked at our own, I think subconsciously we may have been a bit apprehensive, but that’ll not be the case for the return game. Taking all things into consideration, our disappointment is a positive – it’s disappointment based on the fact that we didn’t get something out of the game, rather than the fact that we played poorly. One things for sure, if we’re playing Champions League football next season we’ll be all the better for this years experience.
We’ve got West Brom at home on Saturday and the lads will be looking to build on last weeks win at Birmingham. It’s often quite an advantage not to play the promoted teams too early in the season, but nevertheless, I’m sure they’ll come up here without much pressure on them so it’ll be interesting to see how well they play.
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