Well that was a whole load more positive!
The first point I want to make is, I’ve disliked John O’Shea for some time now. That performance though, was brilliant. From where I sit in the South West corner, you could literally hear him controlling the back four. He kept them organised and was shouting constant instructions – what a difference his inclusion made.
I think the kick up the backside was clear to see from the off, we looked a lot more calm and collected on the ball. As I noted previously, M’Vila – what a player he is looking to be. So cool on the ball, and has great vision to match. Both teams started as well as each other, with no sniff of on goal for some time. The ref’s early decisions showed how the game was going to be ran. Within 25 minutes he had lost it. Every 50/50 went Swansea’s way. The booking of Cattermole left a sour taste, too. He went through the back of the player, but he did get the ball. Yellow card. 5 minutes later, Montero did the exact same thing and we were given a free kick, but no card for the lad!? On Montero, what happened to a booking for simulation? Twice he went down and din’t get back up, only for the referee to let us play on while he was still dancing about on his back. Swansea get possession back and he’s back up and running like a whippet. It’s disgusting that players are still getting away with this.
It was pretty basic stuff with only minutes to go until the whistle went for half time. Swansea came on the attack and Coates got on the wrong side of Gomis, who in turn put the ball in the bottom corner of the goal. Another basic defensive error, and one that needs to be fixed so we don’t see a hideous celebration like THAT ever again.
The second half started pretty much the same as the first. Good passing from both teams, but no real threat from us. Swansea had a good chance though, Montero getting a low shot off but Pants was equal to it. Then, from nowhere, we scored in the exact same manner as Swansea did. Lens managed to spot the diagonal run of Defoe who threaded between two defenders and put his shot in the exact same position as Gomis did. Game on. You could see the confidence that goal had instilled in the players, but it didn’t seem to stop the momentum Swansea had built. Swansea’s shot’s were now hitting the target. Knowing what happens in our games now, you just knew one was going to land in the net. A few moments later though, we had a huge shout for a penalty. Everyone in the ground could see it was a clear handball, except Neil Swarbrick, who reckoned Williams had his hands by his sides. Crazy crazy decision, and it’s this type of decision we’ve become accustomed too!
Towards the end of the game, it was Pants to the rescue again. Pulling off a world class save at close range. It got the crowd going and the lads started pressuring again, but we just don’t have that killer instinct in the final third, something I hope the club are still working on.
A very good point against a team who are technically gifted and brilliant on the ball
Some points to note-
-PVA was shocking, again
-Duncan Watmore loves to run at defenders, being away from home, I think he should start the next game to see if he can cause some real damage out on the right
-The team meeting meeting seems to have worked. Let’s have two of them before Villa this weekend