2 in 2, the man is on fire! Seriously though, while on Thursday night Manu got a goal, his performance was still lacking, however on Sunday the Togolese striker looked almost back to his best. He grabbed the early goal, hit the post for the second, showed a lot of desire, determination, work and some very good touches. There were a few ropey touches as well but I think they have always been in his game.
He’s rightly taken a lot of stick this season but on Sunday he was one of, if not the best player on the pitch.
2 in 2, the man is on fire! With Bale moving inside, an opportunity opened up on the left and Siggy is now first choice in that position. He offers a goal threat, will get in the box, and while he still needs to work a little more on his movement off the ball in the build up – you really feel for the left back when he gets the ball on the halfway line, looks up and sees everyone twenty yards to his right – the Icelandic midfielder is providing vital goals from midfield, something we have lacked for a long while (Bale excepted).
His set pieces were a little disappointing on Sunday but I don’t think there is a question mark over that left midfield slot anymore.
Two starts, and two quite impressive performances without really standing out. Still, it’s good to see the German playing, he brings a touch of quality, technique and creativity that we lack without the pace of Lennon, Bale, Defoe etc.
It looked on Sunday like he was starting in a central position alongside Dembele, with Parker sitting behind, and as a result we were a bit more effective with the ball, competed for a lot more second balls, and just lacked real width/pace/flair in the final third.
Granted it was only a 20-minute cameo, but Tom showed what he can bring to the team, and with the evolved 4-3-3 we saw on Sunday, there is a big place for a big man who can pass the ball quickly over long distances to release the full backs in one on one situations.
96th minute winner for Charlton after coming on as a sub.
I was surprised Gallas started against Internazionale, and I was even more surprised he started again against Basel. While Caulker didn’t exactly solidify his place in central defence on Sunday, he was far better than Gallas on Thursday who was found wanting in nearly every department. Once he picked up his yellow card he became an even greater liability, because he knew he could no longer commit himself nor keep pace with the attackers, and it ruined our shape. He was a bit lucky not to pick up another yellow, and then he walked off with another calf injury.
It’s time to put him and us out of his misery. Let’s move on and work on the future.
Rumours have been flying for a while about AVB wanting a new left back, and while we all love Disco Benny it’s fair to say that he has not been playing well this season, and on Thursday he was all over the shop. He couldn’t contain their right winger, neither getting tight nor showing into dead ends, running out when he should have dropped deep and vice versa. All in all, not good.
Playing left midfield against Fulham was perhaps a further sign that AVB doesn’t trust Benny at left back, and unfortunately it would not be a surprise if he was usurped at left back over the summer.
He’s our Yid from America (woah-oh) but the ex-Fulham attacker is increasingly looking like a jack of all trades, master of none. Lacking the raw physical talents to get by, his technical play lacks the finesse we need. He had a limited impact off the bench on Thursday, and apart from some speculative efforts on the weekend didn’t really do much. With Sigurdsson and Holtby impressing, and Lennon and Bale hopefully back soon, the American did nothing to stop his return to the bench when they return.