So after wasting a couple of hours looking for a Christmas tree (that we didn’t get!), here’s my thoughts;
I’m going to look past some major problems at first and say that this was a cracking win.
After going one down, I thought we did well to get back into that after having lots of possession, but not being able to do anything with it.
The team spirit seems really good and the manager seems to have an attitude where, “it’s not a problem, we can outscore them”.
Which is so refreshing. If we were playing that game under Bruce, I’ve no doubt we’d have crumpled under a constant barrage of attacks, while sitting back and trying to catch them.
It’s blatantly obvious to anyone that our attacking threat majorly outweighs our defence, which leaves us with the only option where we have to go for the jugular.
We’ve known it for ages and Dean Smith obviously agrees, given his subs.
So it amazes me that Bruce didn’t or just refused to see it.
I’m not happy to say it, as I liked Bruce, but frankly I’m glad he’s gone.
So while it was a cracking win, in analysing the game, you can’t really say it was a good one.
I know, I’m moaning, but we have to look at what went wrong too.
Nyland has to be replaced as soon as possible. I actually thought he was doing ok up until the first goal, where he just went missing. I’ve tried not to complain about him up till now, but he’s had plenty of time to settle, yet still looks a massive liabilty at what should be staightforward stuff.
What’s up with Chester? He too looked mostly ok, but his lapses in concentration are shocking and he gave the ball away far too easily at times.
We missed McGinn’s energy big time today and were humping long balls upfield, to little effect. It just shows how important he is to us, as without him, there’s no real outlet in the middle.
Grealish often came deep to try and take on that mantle, but I really don’t think that’s his game.
We look seriously dodgy at any set piece and that’s a worry.
But it’s nothing we didn’t already know.
What surprised me was that blues didn’t try more of the ball down the middle, that we know we’re also susceptible to.
Fair play to blues, they tried to play proper footy, I thought.
But enough of the criticism, as today was all about the result.
We got it, quite convincingly in the end, with some of the noses leaving with more than 10 minutes to go.
Which I thought was poor, given that they had put up a pretty decent show.
That win puts us up to 8th, where suddenly our next fixtures don’t look nearly as daunting as they did a few weeks back. Our confidence must be growing all the time.
Dean Smith won’t be happy with the performance and indeed he’s said as much.
But he knows where our weaknesses are by now and will surely be looking to improve us in the January window.
It bodes well when we have a manager that can genuinely see our strengths and weaknesses and won’t need to splash stupid amounts of money on risky ageing players.
And it also bodes well that we’re winning games without playing particularly well.