Well that was a pleasant surprise and I don’t just mean Chadli getting a standing ovation – which in itself is worthy of a an article or seven such was the abuse he received for the majority of last season.
We were excellent but QPR were astonishing in their tactics and half heartedness, their manager questionable in his commitment. “Harry Harry give us a wave” sang the Park Lane. You could almost see the thought bubble… ‘We’re four nil down, or up, I dunno. I love it at the Lane. I’m looking forward to the Olympics. Joe, is it time to bring Crouchy on? Wave? Yeah, I think I will, why shouldn’t I?’. It didn’t go down well with what was left of the away fans by that point. Four down and your manager giving the old pals act to the opposition? Not a good idea.
The defence was much improved on last week – apart from one mistake by Kaboul when it might’ve mattered, Rangers never had a sniff. Rose looked better than adequate for a change and set up goal four beautifully, Dier was excellent in timing, strength and passing and Vertonghen seemed to enjoy himself the way Superman does after ridding himself of green kryptonite. There was a bite and snap in his tackling and challenges that’s been missing. In midfield Capoue was a man with Bentaleb his apprentice alongside him, Lamela a revelation in skill, strength and attitude but especially strength, Eriksen a sure touch and Chadli…..well Blimey. Up front Adebayor worked hard linking play wide and deep allowing Eriksen and Chadli in particular to run beyond him.
The energy and pressing we were expecting from Pochettino’s new system was far more in evidence than last weekend, Lamela in particular harried like he was born to it. We broke dangerously each time we won possession, it was though the build up to the third goal that summed up how dominant we were against a thoroughly supine opposition. Forty odd passes between white shirted players gave Rangers plenty of opportunity to get themselves organised defensively however the move ended when Lamela beautifully turned past two defenders and chipped into the middle where both Chadli and Adebayor were waiting in space. We were, as I say, totally dominant.
A different and stiffer challenge next weekend when Balotelli and the new look Scousers come to WHL on Sunday. This was as a good a way to prepare as any, a really impressive display. COYS.
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