Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Somehow we still remain atop the league..

After tie with bottom feeders West Ham, Carlo declared:
“We didn't play a good match. What happened in the first half was not good.
“The second half was better, but we came up against a strong team, a tough team, who put a lot of pressure on our midfield.”
Is it just me or this is becoming a recording...? C'mon Carlo! We all watch games, we all can see that we're not playing well. Since loss at Man City, we've been struggling against any teams that has pressure on our midfield. If not for Frank Lampard's heroics, we'd be talking about a loss.
Carlo also mentioned fatigue. Players are tired... once again, bit of obvious news there, but aren't other teams tired too? Surely, some teams might not play as many games as not every team is competing for all of them Cups, but also let's consider the fact that some teams have injury crisis bar none. West Ham is one of those tams. Yet, we see fully motivated team doing all they can do to salvage every point. We had a golden chance to go 6 points above Man United whom struggling on their own. I am starting to think that Carlo has issues motivating players, could it be language barrier or is it plain and simple as our players getting old? So many of them are playing out of their preferred positions.
How I miss days of Robben and Duff terrorizing defenses. We need someone to step up or purchase someone capable of magic, during winter transfer window. We can only rely so much on our Right/Left Backs to offer width. Yet, Carlo remains adamant that we do not need any new signings... Secretly I hope it's a smokescreen.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Finally a win

What a nervous place Bridge was yesterday evening! We've outplayed Pompey, but yet again we found ourselves level after, yet another, set piece blunder. It seems luck is going totally against us these days. Anyone who believes that we're going to be "totally fine" when African Cup starts must be deluded. Without Drogba, we're totally different team, much weaker.
When you think about it, ANY team would miss Drogba. Whatever you think of him, opposing teams count their stars when he is not in the starting lineup.
In any case, we've finally gotten valuable 3 points in the game that was supposed to be a total blowout, after all, Pompey are bottom dwellers and we're league leaders! It's amazing what a loss can do. After our Carling Cup exit, we've not been the same. Loss at Man City highlighted our fragile state. Petr Cech and defense are fighting to regain some sort of composure during set pieces, an ugly flaw that has crippled our team. And when you think that not that long ago we were boasting quite impressive shutout record at the Bridge, it's quite mind baffling that we're so poor as of late. then again, it's all about confidence! not just ours, opposing teams.
Every team watches us and will try to exploit our flaws, it's part of the game. There is no reason for us supporters to give them more ammunition. Booing own team is exactly that ammunition that opposing teams seek. Instead of cheering our team, we opt to silently eat our own fingers and moan about every time our player looses the ball. Bridge resembled a cemetery yesterday.. quite amazing feat when you take in consideration that there were 40000+ spectators... why bother going to the game then?

Monday, December 7, 2009

0 for 2 for Carlo

After beating Arsenal, life looked rosy. We were cruising on top of the table and starting to open pretty good gap between us and United.
Then came Carling Cup tie against Blackburn...
Carlo decided to imitate Wenger and play kids! Sure, a noble gesture to give them some playing time, but was there such a huge need for it, especially when we have all but meaningless game against Apoel in Champions league? Sure, some kids will not be able to play, but I'd rather see Jose like mentality. Play first squad, get a few goals ahead, then introduce kids. Instead, we start weak, then rush into decision to replace 3 players during half time. Love and behold, Kalou is injured, we go down a man, fight back to force penalties, but loose. Should have Kakuta been last to take penalty? Another point to debate.
Hughes didn't make this mistake, while playing strong squad, they have dismantled Arsenal and we ready for us. It's amazing what confidence can do, isn't it? Citeh's work rate was incredible. We were all but bullied all game long. Terry and Carvalho had no better ideas but to pass back to Cech, who in turn would kick ball and we'd eventually loose ball possession. Citeh were fantastic. Tevez and De Jong were playing like a madmen. I think everyone, but Carlo has anticipated a physical game, otherwise, why was Deco playing again? He is not good when it comes to physical games, nor he is good when he doesn't have time to sit on the ball. Deco also drifts in and out of the games and usually doesn't start playing well until clock hists 70th minute mark.
There is no need to moan about ref calls nor about potential hand ball that lead to first goal by Citeh, there is a reason to whine about Carlo's tactics and team selection.