You may have noticed I never bothered writing a match report after the 4-0 loss to Manchester City on Monday evening.
In truth I expected the loss and knew it might be heavy, but we were outclassed from start to finish and can have few complaints as, quite simply, we were beaten by the better team.
However the thing that has annoyed me the most is that we’ve seen no signs of progression from last season, no change in approach, no change of thought or anything like that. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t suddenly expect us to be 100% better than last term and I understand that it’s difficult to play against teams like Manchester City with the quality they have at their disposal, but I expected to see some signs of improvement.
For once this is nothing to do with transfers either. A new player or two may have freshened things up but it wouldn’t have addressed the problems that we, as fans, have been picking up on for months and months now.
Defensively we were poor, in midfield we were no better and in attack we were virtually non-existent. Our set pieces were awful, our passing was rubbish and we just looked like exactly the same team as we did last season. Forget the fact that it’s the same personnel, there is no sign of a new approach with those personnel and that concerns me.
Take Papiss Cisse as an example. People are quick to jump on his back but I actually sympathise with him. He is not and never will be a hold-up striker. He is a a poacher and a good one at that. As such he needs service provided for him which we just aren’t giving him. No wonder he cuts a frustrated figure. When he finally does get the sniff of a ball he is up top, alone, with a whole defence and goalkeeper to beat with little to no support from his team-mates. Either that or he’ll get into a good position only to see a team-mate go for glory rather than setting him up. I’d get fed up too.
It’s like we’ve not had a pre-season. The same problems are happening all over again and whilst it’s still early days and things may change against weaker opponents than Manchester City, I would have thought we’d see at least something different.
The fact we didn’t is what concerns me…