The time will come when I will look at the if’s and what’s and maybe’s of the survival race. Wigan have an important game on Saturday first, then we have to cross our fingers and hope teams fall by the wayside on the Sunday.
Yet if we were to get the chance of another shot of survival can we take? Currently I don’t think we can. We have lost too many defenders to be able to put a full one together and the team is really starting fall apart at the seams.
At the moment we arguably are in our best attacking form of the season (having scored five goals in two games) but we have also conceded as many. Against West Bromwich Albion the two goals we conceded were both due to lack of defensive planning.
The first one, with Paul Scharner bursting forward to open up the space, none slipped in behind him quickly enough. Ben Watson was unable to react fast enough, and so Shane Long had a tap in. For the second goal Arouna Kone was made to mark one of their big centre backs, whose clever idea was that?
Against Swansea the defending was poor at the worst of times. All three goals could have been stopped, and two of them could have been stopped by one man Gary Caldwell. The defender was pulled out of position too much and wasn’t quick enough to react to the ball for the two goals; His time on the side-lines very telling.
Changes have to be made defensively, and they have to come quickly. If it means a change in personnel so be it. Adrian Lopez is a player who seems to have disappeared into the woodwork at the club, and after his performances earlier in the season, if he is close to fitness he has to be risked.
Going forward though you have to praise the lads attacking play. At the weekend all three goals were well worked interchanging move which managed to get players free in the box. The final touch for all three was in the six yard box.
The two against Swansea were also well worked and taken. Roger’s volley was so sweetly taken that it beat Michel Vorm before it had hit the net. James McCarthy’s goal was thanks to the one good thing Gary did against Swansea. The defence splitting ball allowed McCarthy through on goal and the midfielder tucked the ball home.
Like I said there are good signs. Unfortunately none of them are in areas where we need them to be.
Can the lads pick themselves up? They are going to have to, and so are we the fans.
Keep the Faith!