Written by kirsikka
– We won. We’re through. If we somehow scramble past our bête noire in the next round it’ll be an FA Cup quarter-final so that’s something.
– If the idea behind playing so much of the first team was to try and blow Crawley away and rebuild confidence then we have to say it failed. The same problems that we’re suffered in our recent games were all still there, only masked a bit by slightly lesser opponents and Danjuma’s willingness to run at opponents.
– The 4-3-3 looked interesting at times with Wilshere in the central role. He’s still not completely match fit but you could see how it would work with him.
– Please take Rico off corners. If I promise to give money to a charity JT names would that help?
Even if it gives the guy a break and a chance to reset his set-piece taking and look back at what worked in Spain. It can’t have been this.
– 29 AFCB shots on goal. 10 AFCB shots on target. Yet their keeper only really has a couple that was tricky saves to make. We need to make our chances count better.
– See pretty much any previous recent game for comments on the issues playing out from the back. It still hasn’t been sorted.
There’s nothing wrong with the concept but our execution is often shocking.
– I bear no ill will to Crawley as a club but Yems can do one. Your contract ran out man. It happens to people every day. Deal with it like an adult.
– Normally I’d say children should not suffer for the sins of their father but I’ll make exceptions for a Windass or a Hessenthaler. So a nice little bonus that we sent one of them out of the cup.
Man of the match against Crawley
—- Player Ratings —–
Begovic – 6
The sloppy moment nearly cost us, even if it was from a hospital pass.
Stacey (off on 67) – 6
Up and down as normal.
S Cook – 5
After his action man performance, last time this was like a knock off version of himself bought down the market for a fiver. Not good.
Kelly – 5
Gave away silly free-kicks and a little fortunate not to give away a penalty, even if it would have been soft.
Rico – 5
I’ll give him credit for getting in the forward positions. It was a shame what happened almost every time he had the ball at his feet.
L Cook – 6
A game which didn’t require too much from him.
Wilshere (off on 67) – 7
Rusty but had moments of quality on the ball and drifted around a bit trying to make things happen. A little bonus to his score for the goal.
Billing (on from 67) – 6
He was alright. Box to box and putting himself about. Didn’t dominate them but maybe enough to catch the eye of any watching scout.
Brooks – 5
Pretty woeful still. Didn’t deserve to start this game and did little to change that. Actually looked marginally better when pushed into the central role but… it was marginal.
King (off on 83) – 7
At least showed desire and also left his selfish streak in the dressing room which should be lauded as, amongst other things, it brought about the first goal.
Danjuma (off on 78) – 7 and Man of the Match
Not everything he tried came off. In fact, an awful lot bombed. However, he was the guy trying to make life difficult for a team set on sitting in against us. Great to see him back, just a shame it has coincided with Junior being out.
— Subs —
A Smith (on from 67) – 6
Like Stacey, up and down.
Solanke (on from 67) – 6
Comical bad control in stepping over the ball for a good chance but apart from that not a lot.
Lerma (on from 67) – 6
Riquelme (on from 78) – 6
Usual story. Neat at times on the ball whilst always looking lightweight.
Surridge (on from 83)
Did he touch the ball? I know he only gets minutes and that’s tough on him but he needs to make some kind of impact when he comes on.
Overall Grade: C
Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a great performance despite dominating. It felt like that came about from a function of our opposition than from our play. Still, we did the job and got through but every question I had before kick-off about things that need addressing remains unanswered.
Tindall stuck to his system throughout and truthfully it was preferable to the three at the back. Wilshere could yet be the key to unlocking this season if he can get up to speed and we can learn to utilise him properly.
Que sera, sera. We’re going to Burnley…
Think Brooks was marginally improved on derby (albeit that was a particularly low point for him). He still gave the ball away a bit (again) but he was instrumental in King’s goal – the flick back to Danjuma was very skilful.
Billing was okay; Wilshere composed and showed glimpses of how he might be able to help us breakthrough teams that sit deep.
Not sure about the Danjuma love-in. He was good at times but was often as wasteful as Brooks when in possession. As for Rico… I feel sorry for him at times because he selflessly runs the overlap and doesn’t ever get passed the ball by Danjuma – time after time he ignored Rico, cut inside and slowed downplay. Agree that Rico’s dead-ball deliveries were poor today but I don’t recall a single occasion where he was passed the ball following an overlapping run such that he could then cross from the by-line.