As he tends to do after every game, Ian Porter from the Blackcats list has come up with an astute summary of the positives and negatives of yesterday’s 1-0 defeat …
Tomorrow: Pete Sixsmith’s Old Trafford verdict …
Well, this wasn’t the total whitewash I was anticipating.
It was what I’d hoped for though, which was to give a good account of ourselves. I don’t think we were playing ManUre at their best, but that shouldn’t detract from what was a very good team performance.
We were on the defensive for long periods, but we closed down well and Westwood wasn’t troubled that often. Equally though, we created a couple of chances ourselves to score.
Westwood pulled off the nearest I’ve seen since Monty’s save in ’73. I was really pleased by Westwood’s performance. I think the writing’s on the wall for Craig Gordon, but I think if he isn’t offered a new deal in January, he can leave on a free ? TBH, I think whatever he’s offered, he’ll turn it down and leave anyway, so we’ll lose out on a couple of million I guess.
Whilst I think Turner will always be too slow for this league, he seems to be striking up a good partnership with Brown and wasn’t exposed yesterday I think. Rico again played well at full back and showed again that he’s incapable of passing a ball to a team mate, but did get a couple of crosses in. He’s kept Nani and Walcott quite in recent games & he deserves credit for that.
It seemed that our midfield was non-existent for long periods, but whilst they may not have been seeing much of the ball, they were working extremely hard closing down fast. I think Cattermole played a big part in getting what “success” we did have.
Colback too, he was chasing shadows a bit at first, but came into the game more as time went on. Larsson made his usual set-piece contributions, and worked hard getting back to defend. Biggest disappointment and our worst player on the day was Sess. Too easily knocked off the ball when he did get it and persisting in attempting stupid 35 yd attempts. Most of the time though, the game just passed him by out wide, because we were playing narrow.
Wickham’s game was over as quickly as it started. I hope the lad makes a speedy recovery and doesn’t require surgery. I was impressed again by Ji’s workrate and how comfortable he is in possession.
Bendtner worked hard, held the ball up well and had a good chance to score late on. I’m not sure whether he was getting impeded.
Even the subs did OK. I hate to say it, but Elmo made a (positive!) difference and Meyler looked more comfortable than he did last week, and even had a shot at goal.
SAF spoke highly of our performance and said he thought we had a very good team developing there.
In certain quarters, people are saying we’re going on a relatively easy run now for the rest of the year. Personally, I don’t see it that way, even the likes of Wigan, at times seem to play better than we are, QPR are playing some good stuff at home especially and Blackburn are fighting for their lives.
I’m reasonably upbeat after yesterday’s performance, and I really think we are starting to gel, I just hope we don’t fall flat on our faces against Fulham, where we’ll be without Larsson and I’d fully expect SB to replace with Elmo…. I’d really like to see McClean play left and Sess move right though.