Date: 6th November 2017 at 10:58am
Written by:

Thin and Ugly

It was a win; by a fine margin and could and should have been better, but we won.

I`m grateful to ‘ItsMe` – a quality poster from the front page. Having returned from the game late on Sunday, I was about to put my thoughts on paper, but read the front page comments first and was about to say that it was a performance short on quality, but long on endeavour, but the win was comforting – not so long ago, we’d have lost or drawn this – but there really wasn`t much to feel overjoyed about, but in the end saw no reason to disagree with a single word in ‘ItsME` post match thoughts, so my gratitude to him as I`ve lifted it wholesale because it`s a first class summary;

“We were lucky and yet we won ugly. I thought over all GK did well, not played in how long, started yippy and made a couple of poor balls out towards the end but more than made up for it with three fine saves.

Jan and Dier and Sanchez played well in what I thought was difficult due to a poor Aurier, he has a lot of work to do to get to PL standard and our usual standard of Walker before and now Trippier.

Sissoko still doesn’t cut it for me, did nothing in frst half, yet he does makes some good tackles and runs but then also doesn’t very little else and still cannot control a ball, how he gets in before Dembele is beyond me.

Son was very poor today other than his goal, he just couldn’t control the ball and he messed up when he got free, but he scored the winner, he is not in form this season though.

Not a great game but I think he was carrying a knock, I think he was not able to push himself just in case so he wasn’t as effective but not too concerned about him, be happy if he, Winks and Dele miss England games, be good for them to rest imo and not aggravate injuries on international duties.

Rose played well, ran out of steam but was effective for his first full game back. Overall not pretty, too many lose balls and not enough creativity. I still think Lamela would add to this team and a Barkley would be a good enough addition going forward. Llorente, still not sure he is going to be adequate back up, too slow and I just cannot see him getting enough game time to bring him up to fitness and effectiveness. I think it’s time to bring in a proper centre forward but a youngster. May be that is the way to go next season, keep Llorente but have a third young proper striker who can may be play a few games and be brought up to scratch.

Thing about this game was we won and we won at Wembley again. The Wembley hoodoo is over and we managed to win without so many first teamers and after a gruelling few weeks. Shame winks went off, he does retain the ball well even though he can lose it occasionally. When we get a fully fit squad we will be very good, but too many injuries causing us problems. Wanyama, Lamela, Rose, all been out for so long and now Toby.

Overall happy but it made me nervous. well done lads. “


19 Replies to “Thin, Ugly but Comforting”

  • If you want a top four finish you have to keep winning, how you do it is secondary. Mourinho has always understood that which is why he has the track record he has. The game was pretty much what I expected, we struggle against teams that come to defend and we were always going to drop our level after playing Madrid a few days earlier. Add to that the fact Palace have the pace in Zaha and Townsend to play on the break and it was never going to be easy. The one thing I do wonder about is our tactics. When we are up against a team that sits deep there isn’t a lot of space to run into unless we score the first goal and force them to come out. So is Son really a better option than Llorente ? Would we be better off with Llorente’s aerial threat and fire in crosses ? Or is it simply the case that we can’t play like that ?

  • I am seriously beginning to have doubts that Llorente offers a threat of any description; he still appears slow, seems rooted to the ground when he should be jumping and his physical presence seems to be almost non-existent, or am I being too harsh. I think I’d rather have Crouch sitting on the bench!!

  • jod, I agree re tactics/Llorente. Often when he is bought on, we’re winning and playing counter attacking football, as the opponent leave gaps at the back, desperately trying to grab a late equaliser. As we saw yesterday, that situation is where Son is at his most dangerous, but not so much Llorente, who just doesn’t have the pace.

  • Guyver, can you please read your PM I sent – You won the FP prize for October, but I need an address to send it to! Many thanks, EX

  • I know we all (including me) expected Llorente to replicate some of his Swansea form (14 goals), but thus far, not only much game time, but not very effective in our system. May as well had kept Jannsen ….as Vincent contribution was on par with what we have seen of seen of Llorente thus far. I think the reports were that he DID want to stay and fight. So, basically we spent, what was it 18 mill on Jannsen and another 17 on Llorente and for 30 odd mill could’ve done better!

  • A win is a win is a win … unless it’s a loss. These are the toughest games to win and the kind of games we would come unstuck on in the days before we were Spursy. 🙂

  • Man. city seem to be getting a lot of off side goals, however, they still have a suspect defence. Arse set up wrong against, not starting Lacozete was a major blunder by Wenger (he is losing the plot and becoming very hit and miss if i was an Arse fan i would want him replaced by a younger manager with new ideas it seems very stale at the moment). left a gaping hole on the left hand side where Delph was playing, however, Arse never exploited it. I think spurs and Man.u are both good enough to beat city, if kane is fit he will run stones ragged and i think the spurs defence is good enough to repel cities attacks. Coys PS: yesterday was a scarey win, however, i enjoyed the game as CP gave it a go and got their tactics right but not the execution, at least Spurs won it with a quality goal and that is the difference Spurs always had that quality whereas CP didn’t. Coys

  • Like the 532 set up it makes use of the squads midfielders. Think all of the squad bar Gkn/ Foyth have come in and done a job.

  • I thought Vertonghen was the best player on he pitch by some distance yesterday. I actually also valued Sissoko’s contribution, who in a scrappy/physical game, made his presence felt defensively. The unfortunate ankle roll aside, this is exactly the type of game I was talking about in the thread about Harry Winks, and his lessened effectiveness in physical games. As for Llorente, as I have said before, he will only show his value if we play to his strengths. He is a proven performer if you do, so if Llorente fails to deliver, it will have been the club’s fault for either signing an ill-suited player for the system we always want to play, or for failing to adapt our tactics to the strengths of the players on the pitch. But as others have said, a win is a win. It keeps us in the top 4 race, but we’re some ways off the title-winning pace set by City.

  • So far Llorente is reminding me of when we signed Siggurdson and tried to play him as a winger. If you aren’t going to play to someone’s strengths why sign them ?

  • jod – great question for the recruitment team, as this is far from the only time we have bought players who were/are ill-suited for our tactics. Ask Clinton NJie.

  • The simple lesson from this game ( and other games like it when a team comes to park the bus) is to move the ball much more quickly before they get their players in place and to take out defenders by taking them on rather than pass around them. That is why we need an old fashioned dribbler at times,. Edwards and Lamela might fit the bill when they are ready.

  • Stan Rosenthal ~ Edwards and Lamela?… well, that’s another season of backwards and sideways then! The problem is that we bore ourselves passing around so much that when we do make that incisive pass our recipient is shocked and wastes the opp (Son x 2 v Palace). Basically, the chances arise so infrequently, we just need to be more clinical…. heard that before!

    The other scenario is the we score early and make them play football.

  • Prior to the game against us on Sunday Crystal Palace had played 10 games, had one 1 and dawn 1 and lost 8, this is a factual assessment of their quality so far this season, and we in fairness struggled to beat them, and but for the performances of Vertonghen a defender and the rookie GKer we could well have lost. We really need to develop the ruthless streak the Man City display, before we will become genuine prospects to win the PL.

  • That one win Palace do have, was never-the-less, against the reigning PL champions. Surely we’re not writing Chelsea off as well as Spurs, Frank? We didn’t lose. Chelsea did. It happens to the best. Losing that is. As does winning a match that we may well have easily lost.

    Regardless of Palace and their terrible start to this season, they did play very well against us and so they at least deserve some credit for that. They defended like troupers and made it difficult for us to break them down. However 1-0 gave us the full 3 points. When we lose, albeit having payed some great, neat passing and possession football, the team is then criticised for losing ‘pretty’. (No points for looking good etc). Winning ‘ugly’ has to be better than that, once the match is over and the 3 points are on the board.

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