Harry’s team today smacked of giving players a game or a rest, as the case may be, because he felt they were due one. In doing so he underestimated Norwich who in the end, fairly comfortably won a game of mediocre quality.
At Chelsea we discovered a formation that appeared to be the way forward, here we started with the system that struggled at Stevenage and has done so on every occasion it’s been tried again since. I started writing ‘Saha was poor and Bale anonymous’ but it’s unfair to pick those two out as everyone from King forward was disappointing. Ledley had real problems with the physicality and even the relative speed of Holt and played a lot like a man with dodgy knees who barely trains. Writing in the immediate aftermath of a disappointing showing like this is with raw emotion but I suspect it’s time to stop sending Ledley to the well. Playing him next Sunday would be a gamble; Kaboul’s injury might mean we have no choice.
Bad as things were today, they could’ve been worse. They might have had a penalty just before Defoe’s goal and Kaboul appeared to kick out at Holt (he’s obviously a lovely bloke) at the start of the second half. Taking Livermore off for Van der Vaart was a huge gamble in terms of possession and we only have Norwich’s ineptness to thank for them not scoring again once we’d handed over the midfield.
Modric sent people away with a few stylish passes, Defoe took his goal with great aplomb and if Benny or Bale had made the most of their chances at 1-1 it might’ve been different. That was it though.
We were poorly laid out and didn’t play to our strengths. Indeed by weakening the midfield and not fielding our best players we played to theirs. We were open, outnumbered, rushed and uncomfortable. Five games to go and we need to win all those. Two wins in ten though doesn’t bode well. Now would be a good time to rediscover some consistency and a cutting edge.
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