A draw, having been in the lead with only a few minutes to go was disappointing of course but judging by the radio commentary from Radio London it’s probably what we deserved. We sounded tired and not quite at our best, especially in front of goal.
At the end of a bit of a nothing first half we took the lead when a couple of kind deflections allowed Van der Vaart to turn home Assou-Ekotto’s cross. At the start of the second period we had a number of opportunities to increase our advantage and as at Norwich draw the oomph completely from the home team’s play but we didn’t take them and paid the price as they brought on some rested players and after a long spell of attrition where we struggled to take a grip on the game they equalised when Friedel and Kaboul both missed a cross from the beautifully named Angel Rangel and Sinclair tapped in at the far post. We pushed in the final few minutes and the roar from the crowd at the final whistle betrayed which team were most pleased with the point. It wasn’t us.
According to the commentary Sandro and the centre halves were our best players which gives an idea of which areas the game was mostly being played in. The stats show that Swansea had more possession, more corners and more attempts on goal. As at Norwich Adebayor was left to fend for himself most of the time but unlike at Carrow Road Bale, VdV and Modric weren’t able to provide decisive support.
The fixtures come thick and fast and as Redknapp ponders the upcoming home games against West Brom on Tuesday and the psychologically important follow-up against Everton next Wednesday he’ll have several things to consider. Not least of these is the fitness of Scott Parker who was carrying an injury in Wales and didn’t make it to the end. In Sandro and Livermore, all things being equal, like-for-like replacements are available.
The same isn’t true though of Adebayor and when he went down in the second half at Norwich it looked serious; the vibe running through the away section wasn’t a good one as the possible implications of losing the man currently playing for “the best team he’s ever played for” surfaced. Thankfully Adebayor was able to continue but the shiver down the spine when he collapsed to the floor should be taken as a warning sign.
The absence of Lennon has been an obstacle we’ve ignored rather than got over. With no adequate substitute available, we’ve just not bothered to play anyone in his position for most games and have hoped that increasing the numbers in midfield will do the job. It doesn’t of course. So with the transfer window now officially propped open Harry’s giving it the official line – “I can’t see us bringing anyone in”, but surely that can’t be the case? With Adebayor’s deal only a loan one and the lopsided nature of the team without Lennon a clear hindrance in our best season for many a year then surely this is just bluster. It’s vital that we strengthen up front and on the right if we’re to take advantage of some of the results that have been occurring round the country over the last couple of weekends.
Three home games in a row beckon. The target must be nine points and then to take that momentum to Middle Eastlands on January 22nd – the first of a potentially momentous few days, Harry’s trial is due to begin on the 23rd.
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