Burnley at ‘home’ this weekend and an early chance to get back on the bucking horse and preferably ride it at full speed towards the tannoyed drummer.
(Ironic that we have drawn Dortmund probably the worst culprits for the organised sing-a-long type support going. Prehaps we should plug the microphone back in when they come visiting).
Last Sunday’s performance seems to have divided opinion with one half decrying that Poch was out thought by Conte once again and others pointing to the possession and attacking statistics which we completely dominated. It’s true that if Harry had scored rather than hit the post and others in our ranks had taken any of the half chances that came our way then things might have been different but taking your chances, as Alonso did, and not making mistakes, like Dele, Wanyama and Hugo did are pretty key factors in directing the course of any game, especially a big one. We didn’t deserve to lose but we had a part in our own downfall.
One contributing element was the set up of the side. A three man midfield rarely, if ever, deployed before with that personnel, ended up being way too narrow and slow. Eriksen was squashed out of proceedings and badly missed. Quite what the best alternative would’ve been it’s hard to say but given how patently unfit Wanyama was it’s hard not to feel an hour of Son would’ve been a better way to start the game, at least then the magnificent Dembélé could’ve done his best work in the middle rather than on the periphery.
The Clarets last visit to the capital was against the the self same Chelski what we just got beat by. They then followed this up by losing at home to the Baggies.
WBA > Burnley > Chavs > Us. Is that how it works? Let’s hope not.
Sam Vokes finished last season with five goals in five games and his double against a Cahill less, Luiz in a tizz, Chelsea defence two weeks ago shows that he’s probably the main danger man. Barnes and the newly arrived Walters started on the bench last time out. Stephen Defour has been getting some good press and we can expect the normal high energy from Burnley that we’ve become used to. The defence remains mostly familiar; Heaton, Lowton, Mee and Ward though no Keane now of course.
We have no new injuries that I’m aware of but also no-one to come in from the rehabilitation ward and be ‘like a new signing’. Sanchez is currently still waiting for his work permit I believe, we may have to wait for another week or two before we get to see what all the fuss is about. So apart from tinkering with the midfield we can expect something similar to last week I suspect.
What we wouldn’t give for a nice comfortable win, something to shut the hoodooers up and get our season back on track. It’s unlikely we’ll be given an easy ride though, we’re going to have to work to gain space and then it’s up to us to make the best of it.
Lee Mason is the referee.
Hope Hugo has spent the week practising defending his near post. COYS.
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