Written by kirsikka
A game that was one-way traffic almost from start to finish. Although we took the foot off the gas a little after scoring in the first half Coventry wasn’t really in the game and should have been multiple goals down at half time. LOL moment of the night was the half time pundit Clinton Morrison saying Coventry deserved the equaliser. Presumably out of pity? The second half we were all over them like a rash from the first second until the sending off when we strangely gave up all attempt to attack. I think I preferred us playing against their XI!
Man of the match against Coventry
I wondered after the last match how Tindall would approach a match where we should expect to be more assertive, as opposed to the other games we’ve played so far. Great to see he absolutely nailed the tactics. Pressuring high on the pitch, dominating the ball and seizing on mistakes was evident right across the whole team. They’d been well briefed and, apart from the aforementioned slowing down after scoring, never relented until the game was ended by the red card. I can’t fault him, I’d absolutely delighted with what I saw.
A word on the ref. We all know Lerma was a marked man in the PL, repeatedly getting booked for lesser fouls than other players from both teams were getting away with in the same game. So it was brilliant to see the ref recognise he pulled the tackle when he fouled the Coventry player, hence no booking. Last season that was a yellow because of who he was, not what he’d done. Equally, Østigard doing something very similar but not pulling the tackle got a yellow. Up until the scuffle, the only player who could feel hard done by was Surridge who bizarrely seemed to get penalised constantly. The red was soft and I’d be hacked off if we got it but I guess correct under the letter of the law. I thought it killed the game though and would have preferred yellows for both. I suspect that’s my wishful thinking rather than how the law actually is though.
The three at the back looked far more settled although I’m unsure if that’s due to not so effective opponents or the players getting more into the groove with it. However, it looks like it’s here to stay so great to see it work so well.
Stacey and Smith worked really hard all match. Width was a big burden on their shoulders with no Danjuma or Brooks in the team. I thought at times they were looking for a man that wasn’t there for some interplay although it was good to see the centre backs get forward in support of them and try to provide that body. Credit to them both though, they must be knackered.
The SaS front line was a contrast of performances. Solanke repeatedly got himself into excellent positions without managing to find that finishing touch, although once again he’s the victim of a worldie from the opposition, this time a defensive goal-line clearance. He also had some poor touches but if he keeps getting into the right areas there’s surely going to be an avalanche at some point. Surridge didn’t have the same impact but did put himself about and can also count himself unlucky not to have scored with a couple of headers and a snapshot. A very positive first league start for him.
Their keeper did very well over the course of the evening, even if he did channel the spirit of René Higuita at times. On another night both strikers would have bagged a goal or more.
Lerma continued to look good further forward, another great goal from another great Solanke lay off. Very interesting to see the JT reaction which seemed to indicate this was something they’d been working on and so we may see more and more. Gosling had one of his dynamite performances, all over the park and two good goals.
I don’t think anyone is worthy of major criticism there. It’s the kind of game an Eddie Howe team would have pulverised the opposition in and won 6-2, letting in sloppy goals in search of more of our own. The slightly more pragmatic approach from Tindall ensured we was almost never under threat even if it did mean letting the game peter out when we had the man advantage.
10 points from the first 12. I’d have taken that in a heartbeat before the season started.
Overall grade for tonight: A-
Excellent all over the pitch. Brilliant intercepting in particular on show. Not going for the jugular is understandable but if we’d been ever so slightly more ruthless in front of goal we’d have thrashed them and I wouldn’t have included a – in that grade.
JT definitely putting his stamp on the team and how he wants them to play. To the lad’s credit, they have adjusted to JT very quickly and some look very happy with their new roles and instructions. Coventry looked bottom half material but you still have to beat what’s Infront of you. We still need another striker, we can’t rely on the midfield to score every game. – Join the conversation, click here.