It’s hard to say it but whichever way you try explaining this afternoon’s disaster it started at Slav’s door and was exacerbated by some very poor performances from several players.
The minute I saw the team sheet – probably like most of you – I knew we were done for! Andy Carroll through the middle and Diafra Sakho wide? Never…not in a million years – we’ve been here before and it doesn’t work. End of.
Sakho’s effectiveness was reduced by about 50 per cent and Carroll didn’t reach that percentage in another awful display.
We really can’t keep feasting off one winning goal against Chelsea from him however tasty it was at the time.
He is not a threat and his reputation is rapidly becoming a myth perpetrated by people with an agenda. Andy Carroll as the replacement plan for a team that plays around Dimi Payet – err sorry how does that work?
Blimey, even the £2 million Nikica Jelavic looked a far better player than him and produced a great ball for Lanzini’s goal. In other circumstances we’d be raving about it as Payet-like.
Sakho has to play through the middle. it’s as simple as that and as has been said many times, at best, Carroll is an impact sub.
Like the boss I didn’t believe we were out of the game at half time but not for the first time a defensive error – again by James Tomkins – sealed our fate.
That was most certainly not JT’s first error of the season that has led to a goal and today’s incident may be the moment when his run in the team came to an end with Anglo Ogbonna fit and raring to go being recalled.
After all an £8 million signing can’t sit out on the bench forever and Tomkins may have made it very easy for the boss to do what some of us have been hoping for over the last two weeks – recall the big Italian.
Talking of leaving players on the bench, where does Michail Antonio go from here? Surely the perfect moment to see what he’s got arrived when the third goal went in and there was nothing to lose.
That he didn’t get anywhere near the action was a shock to me and starts to pose big questions about his future. Mauro Zarate gave us nothing and could himself have been withdrawn to make way late on for the £7 mllion signing.
The sub-plot in all of this that went almost unnoticed was the arrival Alex Song taking the place of the man everybody has been naming as the victim of his recovery from injury – Mark Noble.
The captain can I think prepare for a difficult rest of the season should Song come back to anything like his best.
The manager has had a bad day at the office but I refuse to throw stones. In the words of an old song: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
We are gonna be fine but today was horrible. We simply have to suck it up and move on.