From the lower seat numbers of row B of the Trevor Brooking Stand you get a great view of anyone taking a corner, the lino wobbling along the touchline and the twenty or so kids in the former Chicken Run attempting to create a â€˜menacingâ€™ atmosphere. No decent view of any meaningful action on the pitch is possible; and all for the princely sum of forty six quid. My letter of complaint will be falling on David Goldâ€™s desk on Tuesday morning and I fully expect it to have no effect on the enjoyment heâ€™ll get from taking my cash to the bank.
So unless you want a critique of the chubster with the flag, Iâ€™m probably not the best man to give you an eye witness account of the events at Upton Park on Saturday. What I will say though is that two years ago it was blatantly obvious that Jenas and Huddlestone in midfield was definitely not the answer (hence the purchase of Modric, Palacios and now Sandro) so what question did Harry think he was responding to by starting with that pair? We were piss poor through the middle all game, runners werenâ€™t being picked up, Parker and Noble were catching us in possession and unless Modric or Van der Vaart was involved everything was being done at Corluka pace.
As for the defence, any long ball over the top caused blind panic and we were second to everything. None of our first choice back five played (or in Charlieâ€™s case, played in the position their good at) and chuck Gallas and Kaboul in and the number of MIAs rises even higher. For his goal, (and I know this from watching the replay on the â€˜bigâ€™ screen at half time before you ask; I of course had no view of the action as it happened), Piquionneâ€™s biggest task was outjumping two of his team mates before nutting the ball goalwards. And why didnâ€™t we have anyone on the far post to knock a pretty soft header clear?
But despite these moans about the midfield and the defence itâ€™s the attack that is probably of the biggest concern. Redknapp let the transfer window go by without signing a striker and Defoeâ€™s injury has shown that error up in stark relief. Six goals in six league games so far says all you need to know. Weâ€™re in deep doodoo unless we find a way of hitting the back of the net more regularly.
As Iâ€™ve said before, weâ€™ve gone from being a settled accomplished unit to a work in progress. Itâ€™s a project that needs resolution sooner rather later if weâ€™re not going to look back at this season as one big wasted opportunity.
Have something to tell us about this article?