I think I’m really glad I didn’t watch this game, as some of the comments I’ve been reading seem really toxic towards Dean Smith and the players.
You can understand why though when you concede around twenty eight shots against a team that’s struggled all season at home.
Good grief, that’s an effort every three minutes, yet apparently the vast majority were in the first half!
All I heard of the game was WM’s last ten minutes of their commentary and it sounded like the same sort of thing we’ve heard for months: we give the ball away far too easily and just can’t defend.
There was no mention of lack of effort, direction or tactics, but I’ve seen these very things often mentioned in the comments.
Apparently El Ghazi suffered a bit of a dig in the face and used it as an excuse to get off the pitch, only for Grealish and Mings to tell him to hurry up about going off?
I’m confused, but it doesn’t sound good either way.
There were also plenty of accusations that the players were treading carefully to avoid getting injured for the cup final. If so, that’s a disgrace when we’re in our position.
Then, someone apparently tweeted in the Beeb commentator’s name that there had been a punch-up in the tunnel between Dean Smith and John Terry, but the Beeb have said this is false news.
Add in that Dean Smith apparently looked like a broken man on the touchline, with him asking “what’s going on here?” and looking totally devoid of any way to sort things and well, none of it sounds good does it?
The trouble is, when you read comments you often get to see heat of the moment type stuff and frankly total bias, so you have to take it all with a large pinch of salt.
Yet Smith’s own comments are worrying;
“My feelings are one of embarrassment, I suppose. The performance was dreadful highlighted in the first 20 minutes. Players who last week you’d said put in good performances were poor today,”
“The thing that hurt me the most was a lack of fight, particularly in the first half. I thought Watford (away) was bad but today was on a par with that.”
“They were poor today. It’s not about me, it’s about them. They’ve let themselves down.”
He was obviously fuming and rightly so, by the sounds of it, but this seems a change of tack in the way he normally comments and he’s obviously feeling the massive pressure that Premier league survival fights bring.
Combine this with the fact that many fans are saying that our performances are overall going backwards, with little sign of the team learning and I really think it doesn’t bode well.
I suspect if we don’t pull off a decent result in the next two or three games, the clamour for Smith’s head will seriously grow.
Me, I strongly think our position is just down to the players not being good enough.
It seems Smith also said that some players have played themselves out of the Wembley game and I’d guess he might have been talking about El Ghazi.
If it’s more than just him, you have to wonder who could come in to replace them?
Lansbury, Hourihane et al?
I doubt it. which stems back to what I’m saying.
We’re playing very close to our best available eleven.
And still can’t cut it against Southampton.
For what it’s worth, I think without a massive turnaround we’re pretty much already relegated.
And I’m gutted.