- Aug 25, 2010
I do get you're drift Shelfie, but we created far more at Norwich away before we eventually scored. Even in the first half we were looking very dangerous and had several good chances.I think this kind of problem is a difficult obstacle to overcome when you are trying to make that transition between a good team to a top, ball dominating team like we aspire to be. Teams sit deeper and suddenly the likes of Lennon and Bale don't have room in behind to wreak havoc. Possessional football is historically frowned upon in this country, and when teams like us find it hard to break down a 10 man wall the commentators almost triumphantly point out how 'it don't mean a fing if you don't put the ball in the net' etc - well quite, but what they fail to grasp is that having possession even in less than dangerous areas is not just a means to an end in itself, it's about the gradual breakdown of the opposition mentally and physically. That's why I have sung the praises of our game at Norwich to the point of boredom, we stuck at our game and moved the ball around from side to side until eventually VDV found Ade with a perfect ball in who in turn found Bale in the slightest pocket of space. All that supposedly meaningless possession had eventually paid off. Today we were doing the same, but the goal changed Redknapps mindset, i'm convinced - and bringing on Lennon was the panic button. In mitigation we didn't have anyone on the bench that offered us that bit more guile on the ball, although in the past Harry has overlooked Kranjcar to bring on Lennon/Defoe. Those kind of players are good at exploiting space, but we need more players who create it and see that space in the first place.
In recent seasons we've been allowed more space by the opposition, never have I seen us have 70% of the ball at an away game before this season and we need to improve that part of our game, more patience in our approach, more craft and better off the ball movement. We've shown we can do this, but as I've said a few times Redknapp doesn't seem to entirely trust this - he has been schooled in the british 4-4-2, up and at them, direct etc way of doing things. He seems to be in conflict with his old methods and this new fangled continental stuff that seems to be big in Spain right now!
Ultimately our problems stem from several areas, recently I have become convinced our players have been overplayed and have lost that sharpness which was turning similar performances into wins earlier this season, the rub of the green may have deserted us a bit, poor tactical decisions and inherent poor habits have let us down which has been done on SC time after time. Under Redknapp I think 4/5th is probably our limit and our bad run can probably be described as a regression to the mean, it just looks really bad that our season is defined by 2 contrasting runs. It just comes down to the fact that we need someone who can push those various small margins into our favour that Redknapp hasn't managed.
Now that's all a bit rambled I apologise, I am tanked to the gills with gin, but I hope you get my drift.
I just don't see them as similar performances whatsoever.