Three games into pre-season with no win but there is some reason to be hopeful because our four new signings are looking good.
First of all I think Cresswell is settling in well and looking really comfortable in the left back position, another positive about his play is he is very good going forward and can actually score a few goals. We’re not used to have our full backs go forward like that, it wasn’t something O’Brien and McCartney done a lot. So far we haven’t seen him in defence that much but I’m sure as time goes on and he works even more with the rest of our pretty stable back four, Demel, Tonks and Reid, he will get even better and adapt to the Premier League.
Kouyate, from comments on Twitter has really impressed, I think he will be a great partner alongside Noble in midfield. He played well during the New Zealand game especially as he continued after being on the end of a pretty nasty tackle, this means he may not be able to play Saturday but we just have to top it’s not too serious. I think we could come to rely on him a lot this season and will act as a replacement for Diame but will play in his right position. He looks strong, pacey and can finish which is really something the team needs from midfield.
We haven’t seen much of Zarate yet, due to lack of fitness in the first game and precaution in the second meant we only saw him play for about 20 minutes but in the first New Zealand game we got to see a lot more of him and he really changed the game when he came on. Not only did he score a great goal to make the result a little less embarrassing but linked up well with Jarvis and Downing, so should he play a lot this season, which I hope he does, he has wingers who can really help him get a lot of goals.
Diego Poyet is the last of the four signings and he has done really well, consistent and solid in the role he plays. He’s played in all our pre-season games so his fitness levels are good. The thing we don’t know yet is if he’ll stay with the first team all season, go out on loan or play more with the under 21’s. I hope it’s the first one with a few of the other youngsters that are in New Zealand.
Valencia is the last signing, subject to a work permit and even though there have been rumours about him being injured, Jack Sullivan insists he passed his medical well. Him and Zarate have got to have big seasons to cover the again injured Carroll.