What a frustrating night. Get over to the uncle’s to watch the footy on the big-screen, only to find we cannot get the Active to work because (cue Daniboy) Austar don’t have nuttin’ until September 8. A night filled with Gamecast and sporadically watching Chelsea and Portsmouth bore the hell out of each other (though, Portsmouth did themselves proud).
A 1-0 win to see us keep up our encouraging start to the season, and it’s hard to make up the mind about some facets of the game, isn’t it? An 80th-minute Cesc Fabregas winner from a sweet, sharp angle brought as much relief as any after a missed van Persie penalty and plenty of faffing around around Man City’s box.
As lauded as their defence is, Man City really were looking like clowns at one stage, and it’s very infuriating that we could not put them to the sword because of it. Richards and Dunne were desperate at times, as Kasper Schmeicel looked quite clueless dealing with crosses in particular. Man City were not without their fair share of chances; Petrov and Mpenza in particular spurning good chances.
One player to really shine (and a well timed incidence it is too) was Manuel Almunia. Two very good saves off of Petrov and Schmeicel (of all people, right at the death) meant he’s made the right start to any run in the team he’s going to have, now. May the sun bounce off your head like so many angelic fluffs, ‘Munia.
Still, mix and match what to make of the game itself. In the end, we won, with a clean sheet (albeit with Gilberto in defence – would have preferred giving Senderos a better go). But we’re still driving the stadium fans up the wall with the “shoot, shoot!” wails getting very noticeable as ever. The win is encouraging, no doubt – I just hope it’s not encouraging the wrong thing. Still, Hleb was very good value for his assist – he still vindicates my faith in his dribbling ability, which had the defenders very unsure throughout the game. A bit too much sideways passing, though.
Adebayor’s return to the team was good, in parts – one backpass of his splitting the defence wide open, but there’s still a bit of rust to be rid of in time. Gilberto in central defence means he isn’t as effective a player in closing down the opposition, relying on the hard-working but less gifted Flamini in front of him. I really would love to see Senderos given another go in defense with Gilberto in his proper position.
As for those bemoaning our lack of signings, I ask who we would really want that would change the team mentality. A winger would cross more, but I see no reason why Clichy and Rosicky wouldn’t try any of that anyway. The only signing that’s been bandied about that would make any real sense, really, is Chelsea’s Diarra, funnily enough. A utility player to bulken up the squad ever so slightly. Frankly, with the new scrappy mentality the team’s acquired, a winger would not make too much difference. We’re still creating chances, whether you like it or not.
All for today, have to say. News and other whatnots tomorrow, of which time I cannot say the blog will be posted. Probably early morning for the Euro-readers. Here’s hoping.
Ciao for now…