Scarcely a week has gone by since our sorry demolition at the hands of Stoke, but our ‘brave’ boys briefly emerged from the comfort of their sun loungers on Saturday, to give the new kit a decent first outing.
Nothing trends on Twitter quite like a new shirt and I’m sure Danny Rose’s new do was the product of careful consideration for colour matching…
Stoke the week before was so dire that I’d had three aborted attempts at writing a match report. In the event there was little of use worth contributing to the already festering pot of Internet bile out there.
I did something useful instead and turned off my 3G, ignored the Twitter breakdown and got on with my life.
Not that Saturday was much better. Hull arrived well placed as favourites to go down and it says a lot that I fully expected them to turn us over. I’m sure most of us did.
Recent performances from Fazio and Chiriches have had me wondering whether we’ve actually regressed further than first thought, and nothing puts the frighteners on quite like a team of scorned exes.
Dawson in particular is worthy of special consideration…
We’ve conceded an alarming 53 goals this season – two more than Hull who are now dead certs for the drop. It’s not hard to make a case against Dawson’s sale last year with that in mind.
He was sold because he’s a passionate but ultimately limited player. Not the standard to ensure regular champions league football, granted.
However, only the wildly optimistic fan thinks that the team as currently constructed has more than an outside chance of breaking into the top 4 consistently and Dawson’s sale was an oversight when you analyse his replacements.
Returning to the game and there were some positives to take from Saturday:
We’re now likely to qualify for the UEFA – seen as a curse in some quarters, but undoubtedly our best chance of getting into the champions league.
So too the much maligned Chadli’s 11th league goal of the season; a well timed reminder that he brings added value to a team which has relied on Kane to the point of his inevitable exhaustion.
Lamela, too, continues to improve. Whether this run of games has merely placed him in the shop window again, or if it suggests an emerging significance to the team I’m not so sure. Either way our Erik’s a player we’re all desperate to see succeed.
For far too long he has seemed destined to disappear the same way of Johnny Two Saints before him, but his assist on Saturday means that he has been our most creative midfielder this season in terms of goals provided…
Pochettino demanded more consistency from the team in the post match interviews and it will be on that basis that his tenure is ultimately judged.
We can’t forget the wonderful performances against Chelsea and Arsenal, and the character showed in getting to Wembley – even if we were ultimately outplayed on the day. But it is a young squad and they were unfortunate to see the season slip away over two crucial games in three short days back in February.
That said, the season has been slowly petering away since the return of Timmy with Villa and in spite of the above I can’t help feeling exhausted by it.
They say it’s the hope that kills you, I think it’s the ticket prices and the apathy of half of the players. Regaining momentum is vital Though, and a good performance at Everton on Sunday would go a long way towards restoring morale before the summer break.
For me that break can’t come soon enough. I think we need some time apart.