Fresh from a mauling at Manchester City I’ve been pondering just where we are to go from here.
No I’m not pressing any panic buttons just yet and I actually saw some positives at the Etihad Stadium yesterday, just like I’ve seen positives in some of our other games this season, mainly those against the bigger teams if I’m being honest.
Now admittedly there have also been some gaping negatives which have come against sides we should have been looking to get more out of, but our start has been difficult. I the opening eight league games we’ve faced both Manchester sides away from home with Chelsea and Arsenal at St James’ Park. Swansea aren’t too shabby either and neither are Southampton while West Ham can and have taken some notable scalps so far this term. The other game was Watford where we did fall woefully short.
And it is that part that worries me.
Yes we’ve had some tough games thus far but it’s not those games in which we’ve struggled to put a shift in. Against City we should have been two or three goals up and paid for it in the second half by allowing a world-class striker the time to shot at goal. The result was five goals for Sergio Aguero and a 6-1 defeat but for 45 minutes we caused problems. Real problems.
With ten men against Arsenal for the bulk of the game we held our own and against Manchester United our draw was deserved, as was the same with Chelsea. In fact against Chelsea you could argue that we should have got more than we did.
But we now have in international break to stew on all of this and when we come back there is literally no room for error. If we play like we’ve done against the big boys, all of the time, then we will pick up points and with games against Norwich, Sunderland (who will have another new manager in time for the Tyne-Wear derby!), Stoke, Bournemouth, Leicester and Crystal Palace taking us through until the end of November there are opportunities to collect points.
I’ve heard people talking about relegation already and with the sacking season already seemingly in full swing there is always the option to make a rather large change. But we should know by now that changing a manager is extremely unlikely in our current setup. Both of those are out of the question currently.
However the longer things go on like they have and the longer we go without picking up wins then it’s only natural that nerves will jangle but we’ll learn a lot more about this lot in the next few games than we have in the first few of the season and we can then see if they have the bottle for it.
What are your thoughts?