With everyone expecting me to go down the safe route of using the Eric Clapton hit “I shot the Sheriff” I choose a different song just to confuse you all. But were we wonderful last night (Thursday)?
Whereas whenever Clapton played, be it in one of his many bands – Yardbirds, Bluesbreakers, Cream, Dominoes et al – or as a solo artist he usually played with a swagger, a panache and above all a passion and a fine rhythm. Last night, as a team, we had none of those things.
We certainly lacked rhythm and against a better team would have been made to pay – Chiriches and Vertonghen were caught out a few times to be saved by a timely intervention by the linesman´s flag. And when that did not appear Chiriches got back to make one of the blocks of the season – at least making up for an earlier slip.
We lacked passion – even the Beast seemed uncannily subdued – and there was no swagger. Players like Eriksen and Lamela – who would be expected to shine on such an occasion – made very little lasting impact, flickering here and there never dominating. Lennon looked like he was getting back into his stride, and Defoe did what Defoe does best – scored the second goal – but beyond that there was very little to cheer about.
Of course there was one thing to cheer about – we won and kept another clean sheet – and in any sport winning is almost everything. We can all moan about the quality of the football on display but the end result is what counts. We are all but mathematically through to the knock out stages, it would need a seriously weird series of results for us not to progress.
And now we have to get back to winning ways in the Premiership. Last time we came back from distant shores with a less than convincing win under our belts we didn´t turn up on the Sunday and lost – heavily – to WetSpam. There must be no repeat of that debacle!
Whilst our front five from the AVillain game have all been rested to some degree or another – Holtby appeared in a cameo role, with Siggy and Soldado unused on the bench while Paulinho and Townsend didn´t even travel – this must give a clue as to who is to play this coming Sunday. With Sandro replaced after just over an hour yesterday and the defence likely to remain unchanged it means that we will, in all probability, field precisely the same starting line up as last week.
So what of Hull. Having won promotion last year their start to the season has been reasonable with three wins two draws and three defeats giving them exactly the same record and points as Manure and Newcastle but their goal difference of minus 2 puts them in 9th spot, with the champions one place higher. Their performances have hinged on a midfield duo that we know only too well as Livermore and Huddlestone have been almost ever present since they arrived.
Of course this will have to change as Jake is still a THFC registered player so cannot play against us – good news for us, but what of THudd. He still has that silly hairdo and apparently the bet that he will not cut it until he scores – for Tottenham – is still in force. Any chance that we see an own goal ?
Personally the only Thudds I want to hear are when the ball blasts into the back of their net. It will be a hard fought game – they know they will have to defend and defend deep but an early goal will settle us and get them to come out more. I predict another torrid afternoon with us having the majority of the possession more control and more shots but winning quite easily in the end.
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