So back comes one creative player and the difference is immediate and enormous.
For several games – and I make no apologies for my own comments about the performance at Villa Park – many have been claiming we can’t keep pleading injuries as an excuse for sub standard performances.
Sorry and all that but we can yer know as was shown when the ball carrying and genuinely creative Manu Lanzini returned for the second half and made all the difference in the world.
My only complaint is that he wasn’t on from the start because he looked more than ready and up for it with the sort of 45 minutes we haven’t had at the Boleyn for a long time.
It was great to watch and when Dimi Payet returns just watch us fly. So please no more nonsense about injuries to hugely talented players not mattering.
The other great plus this afternoon was Michail Antonio. In injury crises players need to grab their chance and he did that brilliantly with a goal and an assist. It’s no formality that Moses will march straight back in when fit.
Carroll looked fit enough too and grabbed his second match winning goal of the season and again I must single out James Collins who did great against the very good Shane Long.
I said at the beginning of the season we’d finish in the top six. I’m glad it remains very much on.