Despite the number of stories I've found to talk about today, it doesn't feel like much is going on. I suppose this is the nature of international breaks. That said, I'm actually a proponent of them. If we all want a good World Cup, we need to give the teams at least a couple of chances to practice together before hand. Friendlies are a good place for managers to experiment, and bring new players in, such as our lovely Gary Cahill. I wrote a short post about Gary Cahill earning the start, and start he did. While I am biased, and I only saw the second half, I thought he did us proud and I hope he made an impression on Mr. Capello. He almost certainly placed himself above Lescott in the pecking order, and that's a start. A congratulations also goes out to our Martin Petrov, who scored the only goal in Bulgaria's 1-0 win over Cyprus. I'm very happy for all of our international boys, and even happier that they're all back and injury free.
Speaking of injuries, there's been good and bad news on that front. It appears that Mark Davies is not healing as fast as we originally hoped, and will probably not be able to play in Saturday's match against Birmingham. This would mean that Tamir Cohen has to step up. His involvement in football has been very limited since the death of his father several months ago. Coyle did say to him that he could take his time with mourning, but we are facing a bit of a crisis in the midfield and we do really need him. In the defense, Zat Knight has returned to training, although not full sessions, and will in all likelihood not be ready on Saturday. Coyle said on the subject of our squad situation, "I'm always confident with this group of players, regardless of who we play."
In other news, Adam Bogdan has extended his contract to 2014. He's looked solid in the appearances he's made, and while at 23 he's still obviously inferior to Jussi, it's good to keep him around. Coyle said "Jussi has probably been one of the top performers in the Premier League for the last 10 years and for Adam to work with someone of that quality, it can only help him, and Jussi knows he's now got real competition." Jussi won't be too worried just yet I reckon.
Finally an update on the semi-final ticket sales. As of right now, we've sold around 19,000 of our 32,000 allocation. They did go on sale to Lifeline and club members today, after only being available to season ticket holders, and that is expected to boost sales significantly. Rather embarrassingly, Stoke sold 20,000 tickets in their first day of sales. Let's pick it up Wanderers!