THE BLOG

Friendlies Are Important For All

12/09/2013 10:48 BST | Updated 11/11/2013 10:12 GMT

Last night, while some of the home nations were playing world cup qualifiers, Oman was trying to secure a victory.

During the international break, the Oman international team have taken the opportunity to play some challenging football.

It gives them a chance to mould further, to develop fluidity in the team and gives them further experience of playing in areas they might not be used to.

Their opponents were recently promoted side Crystal Palace, who used the opportunity to play most of their reserves and people returning from injury.

But the first half was far from exciting. There were no goals scored and not that much talent was shown. It was clear this was a good learning experience for some Crystal Palace players as well as just giving them a chance to have a kick about.

In the second half it got a lot livelier, both sides seemed to develop some passion and drive to win. Oman seemed to improve and a couple of the players actually stood out for all the right reasons.

With Dobbie and Da Silva scoring, the result at full time was 2 Crystal Palace - 0 Oman.

While this might not seem a surprise with Oman being ranked 95th in the world, it is worth considering that on Saturday they won a match against Reading 2-0, with Ismail Alajmi and Ali Albusaidi scoring.

It was just a short trip to England for the Oman team, but I hope that they have learnt some things from this, even if it is just how to make their team work better against different strategies and players.

The Oman side even took the chance to try out a new keeper for their side, Muhanad Al-Zaabi, rather than playing Wigan's Ali Al-Habsi. He certainly gave it his best effort, and I hope the Oman side consider giving him many more chances in the future.

I also hope that it gives the players at Reading and Crystal Palace a chance to consider a better tactic and that perhaps some of the people left out of the squad or about to leave the development squads are actually good enough to play some games.

It was great to see players like Parr on the pitch yesterday, and the crowd certainly seemed pleased with his performance as he comes out of injury. Some supporters were understandably confused at seeing Marange on the pitch, mainly after the media hype about how Palace signed him, left him out the squad and he apparently is very unhappy with the club. It is safe to say his performance seemed nothing special though, and I do not think he proved anybody wrong.

For me I was more pleased to see 18 year old KaiKai take to the pitch as a substitute in the second half, as it was a perfect game to show how he can work well with more senior members of the squad and how he can help the team to perform successfully.