Growing in stature
After being selected the man of the match against Chelski, I said the following about Asmir Begovic: 'once again the Bosnian came in, and again against a top-class side, did not look out of place in the slightest.
'He seems to have good control over his defence, with a good rapport with them as well, which always helps. His reactions were sharp again, with him making a few very good saves, with his command of his area improving all the time - when he comes for the ball now most the time he gets it, whereas this had previously been an issue... Distribution is also improving, so all in all I think we have a really top-drawer keeper on our hands here!
'Now Avram Grant has to decide if he sticks with him or brings David James - if fit - straight back in again, as he has previously?
'At the end of the day you cannot help being 'ill', which is what the claims were, then again there are also 'reports' that James cannot play weekend and midweek games back-to-back - if that is the case then we may well need to look at his situation with us...Not that I want to sell him of course, although I am becoming more and more confident in Begovic's ability.
'So, I would, as much as I rate Jamo, stick with Beg tomorrow as he has done NOTHING to warrant being left out, has he?'
As it happens Begovic DID indeed retain his place in goal against Liverpool, with David James still absent from the squad, illness again believed to be the problem...
To be honest Begovic did not have a lot to do, but on the whole what he had to do he did well, so he continues to, and as the title says 'grow in stature', well for me anyway, although I am sure others will agree, right?
Like I say, he did not have a lot to do, but the 1 effort on target - serious effort - that he had to deal with he dealt with wonderfully. If you have not seen the reaction save he made, to a deflected effort, check it out! It really was FANTASTIC, what reactions he showed - he was very much going one way, yet to react as he did to save it was awesome.
After the Burnley game, which was poor but we won which is the main thing, I said that his saves, especially the second one 'could' prove our 'Pedro Mendes moment' this season - perhaps, not getting carried away, we could look back at these in May as being that moment...
We cannot leave him out against West Ham, can we?
Whilst I still do not want to sell James, should people come calling I would not be - if the money was right of course - anywhere near as concerned about him leaving as I was, maybe as little as a month ago to be honest!
I think, whatever happens, we are left in safe hands for the rest of this, and future seasons as this is putting aside the kid we have coming through the academy side too...
PLAY UP POMPEY!