Thursday, March 8, 2012

Both Defoe and Livermore need to be given a proper chance

A game to forget against United, no doubt about that, but something really good came out of it. Lets not forget the fact that we were undoubtedly the dominant side in the first half and the reason that was possible was due to the fact that Jake Livermore really left his heart out on the pitch and even though the dominant act was an obvious one, the tradition against Manchester United of bad results continued.

Even though Livermore was the star of the night, I would like to point out that Defoe was just as good and has shown Harry and all of us what we've been missing the whole night. Jake was all over the pitch, pointing out what we were lacking against Arsenal.

Defoe did something similar, pointed out what we lacked to convert our chances into goals with an energetic display and a world-class finish, when he did just what he intended to do, when he was given space by the disorganized United defence. A lot of our attacking play is based on counter-attacks, so we need sharp strikers like Defoe, who are a menace for any defence. Saha had a dream debut, but has not shown much since, except a lucky goal against Arsenal, and in my opinion, is our third striker and should occupy the bench as long as Defoe is available, since he was brought in to fill the void left by the departing Russian.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What we've learned from the game against United

After a painfully humiliating defeat against our bitter rivals Arsenal, my expectations were a lightning reaction from the team and a change in tactics. Harry made a few changes today and tactically, you can't blame him for anything today, we were not afraid to get a little bit physical, exactly what was needed after a pretty poor display against Arsenal. After another defeat, I can rightly say we were clearly unlucky.

Extra-pressure was on Modric today who had to fill in the boots of the absent Bale, but he kept going to the middle, though this allowed some extra space for Benny, who had an absolutely outstanding game today.

Though BAE was at his best today, a special praise goes to Livermore, who fought like a lion in the middle of the park which saw us keep the possession of the ball most of the time, ensuring us to control the tempo of the game and play the game our way. We were very dominant throughout the game, but again lacked the finishing touch. Giving Saha a chance and leaving Defoe on the bench was an obvious mistake when Defoe was introduced. He didn't have time to make much impact, but his finish in our salvation was brilliant and cold-blooded.

Friedel barely had anything to do in the whole game, yet he went to his net for the ball 3 times. Stats clearly do not show the end result of this game, when you take a look at the possession of the ball (54% on our side), goal attempts (11:6) and unfortunately, I cannot find areal play, but that's where our domination is obvious, since United players barely left their half of the pitch.

With Arsenal now 4 points behind us and 11 games left to play, it is pretty obvious that we have to pick up ourselves and bounce back with a win against Everton next weekend.