Saturday’s attempt at hara-kiri is behind us but not forgotten quite yet. Pochettino’s tactical aberration in shoe horning palpably insuitable personnel into the wing back based system was as unexpected as it was, and is still, unexplainable. What was he thinking? The amount of defending required from our normally staunch and steadfast defensive heroes as a result led to errors the like of which we’ve never seen before. It was unpleasant and confusing.
The statistical and territorial dominance we showed, apart from in the all important goals for and against columns, despite the mess of a formation we played indicates that if we had played something more familiar, the shape that has been thumping sides and keeping clean sheets during the last few weeks for instance, then we’d definitely now be looking forward to our first final for 26 years and blimey that’s a long a time for what used to be ‘a cup team’, way too long.
If we win on Wednesday with a brace each from Davies and Walker then then you can only tip your hat to Pochettino and congratulate him on keeping his full backs rested, it’s more likely though that we will all be wondering ‘what if?’ for the rest of our days.
The visit to Crystal Palace was originally scheduled for the weekend of February 18th. At that time Palace had just lost their latest home game 4-0 to Sunderland, and were on a run of one win in their previous eleven Premier League games, quite a contrast to the current state of affairs which has seen them win six of their last eight including wins over Chelsea, the Gooners and Liverpool. Hm.
Zaha, Benteke and Townsend are getting plaudits going forward whilst the acquisition and form of Miliojevic and Sakho has transformed the defence. Even with our full backs returning we’re in for a bumpy ride, the mentality of this side is in for a test.
That same mentality has already been given a bit of a beating by the passing of poor Ugo Ehiogu, what a shock that must’ve been for the players, especially the youngsters. It’s important to remember that no matter how sick we all felt on Saturday evening, at least….well, you know the rest. Poch’s ‘live for the present’ type comments at his press conference were undoubtedly influenced by last week’s shocking events.
Jonathan Moss is the referee.
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