A performance as miserable as the Manchester weather but did it have to be this way? It seems that as soon as we see the kit of a top 4 team our knees start knocking and we beat ourselves before the referee blows the opening whistle. We had a decent chance tonight, opened the better only to find ourselves behind against the run of play.
We pick ourselves up and try again only to give up possession too easily and allow another great effort from Gibson to hit our net. 2-0 down and really game over unless we can get ourselves going and we failed to do so melting away as the second half wore on.
Both sides played people who often sit on the bench. Jenas should fancy to do as well as Gibson or better. He has loads more experience yet Gibson shows him how to deliver when a chance to show the Manager arrives. Bentley gets a rare start and on his favoured wing yet doesn’t really get going and cannot beat the first man from any dead ball situation. Hutton has loads of good runs but cannot cross the ball with any accuracy.
Why is that? How can these guys not know what to do to get the job done.
Ok, I accept Vidic played well but did we do our best to put him under pressure. Jenas has a great engine I’m told but all I see is him ambling between boxes without the ball and getting rid when it comes to him. What does he offer apart from defeat when he is in the starting line up? The only answer is a lack of desire and motivation.
What else do these guys have to do apart from practice? And there lies the problem. It seems that some have trouble fitting in training and matches into their busy lives. What with all the drinking, car crashes and hotel room fun who would want to practice corners or moving towards the opposition goal when putting your foot on it and going backwards appears acceptable.
Yes we had good possession but did we create enough? Harry’s tactic of putting Lennon against Gary Neville was a cunning one but we failed to get him the ball in positions where he could exploit it. When Tommy came on we did try and exploit the space better as nearly every distance pass had been under hit in the first half.
We also have to believe there will be a man in the box. JD was playing so he’d be borderline offside every time but we did not believe enough to try and make the cross. Bale had several good opportunities and then checked himself. If the cross was gone for and good it’s up to others to get the head/body/foot on it so why don’t we believe a man will be there?
Tonight we can console ourselves that Top 4 is more important than Carling Cup and we are right. But we shouldn’t overlook that this was another poor performance when it mattered and a couple of thousand Spurs fans travelled 300 miles to see it.
We also have to make the top 4 and on this showing we won’t get any points against the top 4 teams because we’re too busy showing them too much respect rather than getting stuck in. That means it is questionable. Harry’s face summed it up in the last 5 minutes. It said “we’ll be in the top 3 for agent payments again next season if we really want to compete”. We certainly need to do better on Saturday.
Finally I noticed Berba’s new hair cut. Is it so that Sir Alex does not recognise him and he maybe gets picked more often?