After having a day or so to sit back and reflect on what was one of the most painful 96 minutes of football we are likely to experience this season, here’s our look at the positives and negatives from Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Cardiff.
Finding positives wasn’t easy, but here’s a few we can take:
- It’s a point on the road – Don’t get me wrong folks, this is a game we should’ve been looking to win, but it’s a small positive that we played so awfully and still managed to get a point away from home.
- Clean sheet – Clutching at straws perhaps, but it’ll hopefully be the first of many. We were abysmal, but I’m not actually sure Dubravka had a save to make in the end?
- Lascelles and Clark solid – Aside from Shelvey, they were probably the only two players who can come away from this one with their heads held high. They dealt with a lot in the air and stood strong when the pressure was put on.
- If Cardiff couldn’t beat us, I back them to go down – It’s obviously best to focus on ourselves, but it perhaps says a lot about Cardiff that we played so poorly and they still couldn’t even beat us. I’d be VERY surprised if they didn’t go down after watching them over the weekend.
- This from Salomon Rondon after the full time whistle (see video below!)
— Clinton Forde (@FordeHaveMercy) August 18, 2018
- Lack of intensity, desire or discipline – Three things we’d pride ourself on last season, but three things we were sorely lacking all afternoon. Worrying signs, although you back Benitez to nip this in the bud as he always has after rough starts over the past two seasons.
- Kenedy had a shocker – Failed to complete a single pass in the first half, should’ve been sent off after kicking out and missed a penalty in the 96th minute. An awful day at the office for him. An overreaction is not needed, but this is perhaps a reminder that he is a young player who will have his off days despite his talent and flair.
- Our lack of options at right back was exposed – Manquillo just isn’t good enough at this level and the fact we were forced to bring on a want-away Isaac Hayden in his place says a lot about our lack of cover at full-back.
- Diame didn’t look himself – He admitted he wasn’t fully fit to play Spurs and I’m hoping this was also the case at Cardiff as he looked sluggish and failed to impose himself on the game.
- Joselu and Perez really struggled – They may not have had the best support on Saturday, but they were very ordinary. Perez needs to pull his socks up and Joselu needs to be replaced by Rondon next time out.