On tour with Liverpool... Red Army descends on tiny town Zug

22 July 2010 02:55
It was like a bizarre scene from JFK. Hundreds of spectators on a grassy knoll, craning their necks for a view of the cavalcade passing through town.

A red army descended on the tiny town of Zug last night and its even tinier football ground. If they came to watch a decent football match, they may wish they hadn't bothered.

They did get a view of Joe Cole. Those in the main stand opposite the grassy bank saw his back for 90 minutes. A few took photos, pleaded for shirts, programmes and scraps of paper to be signed.

Standing back: Hundreds of Liverpool fans turned up to watch the Grasshopper friendly in Zug

When he arrived at the Herti Stadium and left after 90 minutes of tedium, Liverpool's new free signing posed for photo after photo after photo. Danny Wilson, his fellow new addition, was barely recognised by comparison.

This game against FC Grasshopper of Zurich was not about entertainment or the result of course.

This was the chance for Roy Hodgson to view his younger players in match action as they build up their fitness.

Cole fire: The sight of new signing Joe Cole cheered Liverpool fans

Jay Spearing, David Amoo and Martin Kelly looked the brightest and set down markers, Jonjo Shelvey appeared for half an hour in midfield, Thomas Ince even made an appearance.

Lucas Leiva, still unbeaten as skipper, led the midfield from the familiar anchor role and Alberto Aquilani, still looking to justify his £20 million fee, did most of the running and shooting for the visitors, but typically with little end result.

Liverpool supporters from England and Switzerland, who queued for what felt like hours for refreshments and delicious sausages outside the stadium, baked in the evening sunshine on a balmy night.

The Grasshopper fans who travelled the hour down from Zurich made plenty of noise and literally rattled the cages surrounding the pitch.

The largely relaxed atmosphere spread to the pitch as keepers from both sides were restricted to just a handful of saves.

In fact the biggest cheer of the night for Liverpool fans came when Cole tapped a loose ball down the touchline towards Hodgson, marking his first touch in a Liverpool shirt - albeit the bright red club T-shirt and from his pitchside bench.

Talking tactics: New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson talks with Grasshopper coach Ciriaco Sforza

To Germany for the next slice of action, and still Hodgson will stick to the fringe players and use the game against Kaiserslautern to build up their fitness.

If he gets his way, the players here will be the basis of his squad for next week's Europa League kick-off. Suddenly Saturday night becomes a much more important friendly after all.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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