Tampere United 3 Honka 0

TamU played much better last night, with Sakari Saarinen and Jari Niemi doing particularly well. They linked up for both goals, Saarinen getting the first with an excellent piledriver of a strike, and Niemi the second with a simple tap-in. Rafinha also did well, and the midfield looked a little bit more solid with Savolainen sitting fairly deep and Ojanperä supporting him.

It was interesting to see Chris James playing. He’s neat and tidy but very, very quiet. Normally when an anglophone player is on the pitch, he shouts a lot, but James was quiet as a mouse. It was noticeable that other players would shout at him in English, but he hardly said a word. I’d like to see him play a bit more aggressively, as he has the skill and awareness to be a very good player.

When Daniel and Hynynen came on TamU picked up the pace, and Daniel in particular looked decent. He seemed to have gained a yard of pace and his concentration was better, showing three good touches including his well-taken goal.

TamU have the same problem as last year, in that they have no real left footed players. The balance of the side is still not right, but Kujala and Petrescu didn’t play yesterday and they still won comfortably. They should be able to get a very competitive side together this year, injuries permitting.

As for Honka, it seems my previous confidence was misplaced. They were very weak in midfield (Otaru didn’t play and Weckstrom was only a substitute, this might have had an effect), and although Vuorinen caused problems they did not get the ball to him nearly as much as they should have done. They look like a real ‘transitional team’, with too many youngsters to make any real impact.


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