Written by Neil Dawson
At the start and end of a season, points are more important than performances. There is no doubting that and as a result, we have made a good start. What we now need to see is if this team grows into each other and becomes an effective unit. At the moment we look like some quality individuals playing a formation that doesn’t produce much. As a result, our games are getting settled by special moments rather than effective team domination.
We (some of us) put up with low possession at home when Eddie changed to it because a) it was the premier league and b) it brought the odd amazing result that lived in the memory. At any other time of this club, 36% possession at home would not have been welcomed and the only other manager to try it – Pulis – got short shrift. When journos called for Pulis type managers during Eddie’s dodgy spells in the Prem the fan-base rightly pointed out they would rather lose playing Eddie’s bravery than draw or win with West Brom/Stoke levels of possession at home.
That’s my worry. 36% possession to a poorer side than us…….at home. This needs to change – unless our perception of the type of football we want to watch has? Football is about getting at people, getting on the ball, making magic. Today was efficient and dull and relies too much on a moment of magic and other teams not making use of 64% of the ball. So while a glance at the league table is reassuring this team has to develop a joy of playing and an identity if it is to entertain us and ultimately succeed. Let’s hope we are cracking on with working that out and I’m sure we are.
I think a switch back to a back four would facilitate this – our wing backs were so deep again today and it left huge gaps on the flanks that allow teams to strangle the middle. This wouldn’t be bad if we had players in the midfield that were able to operate in small spaces but of the four central midfielders on the books, only Cook can do that and as is often discussed – erratically. Billing and Lerma aren’t small space players so the final ball is often laboured and predictable.
All of these are things for new managerial teams to work out and I’m sure they are on it. We need to get higher up the pitch and we need to create over-laps and use space on the edge of the area much better than we are. However – it is a results business and todays excellently organised defence and the ability of Danjuma to conjure means the effective start to the season continues. With Coventry up next it could be ten points out of twelve which would put a smile on all our faces.
Man of the Match against Norwich?
Waz afcb wrote…
I think you can put the possession stat down to us sitting back in the second half to protect the lead, I didn’t think it was necessary to sit so deep but at the end of the day, it got the job done. At half time the possession stats were roughly 50-50 and I thought we actually played some good football and created a couple of very good opportunities through good passing moves.
On a side note:
-a 7 for Steve cook today and a 5 for Solanke are incredibly harsh. Cook was immense, reading of the game and positioning. While Solanke held the ball up and linked play well in the first half, a lot of our attacks were built around him. Yes, he missed another sitter, but if you watch it back I think you’ll see that his all-round game was pretty decent. – Join the conversation, click here.