- Slow out of the blocks, yet again
- Persisting with apparently disinterested, driftwood players
- Refusal to pick or involve any youngsters
- A pathetic 8 mins of two strikers
With another six or seven games to go before any reinforcements can be brought in (inc Man U, Arsenal & Liverpool at home) you wonder where the next point is coming from. A flying start in the August sunshine v Spurs, & a sublime second half hat-trick from Lukaku at Sunderland seem light years ago.
More worrying still, what is the Manager willing or indeed able to do about it? The incredible superlatives of Martinez have been replaced with Koeman’s laid back demeanour “But OK, that’s football”. Pragmatic, honest yes, we love that about the new boss, but I don’t buy his powerlessness until the next window, & I’m not liking his apparent lack of passion & connection with the fans.
At the final whistle yesterday he should have sent all the players over to thank us fans for travelling all the way to the South Coast on a Sunday. He should have come over himself & shown his appreciation.
After the opening game, slow starts have characterised our season to date. Yesterday was just pathetic: our kick off, lose the ball after 10 secs, concede within a minute. Koeman has to take his share of the blame for that, as he does for the way he set us up at Chelsea.
For weeks there have been calls for Davies & Holgate to make the starting XI, for Dowell, Calvert-Lewin & others to make the squad. Rhino’s U23s sit atop their League, why not replace some of the disinterested “regulars” with keen, hungry & able kids. Dropping Holgate for a fit again Coleman was questionable at best, playing McCarthy in favour of Davies v Swansea was baffling.
Yesterday only two players ever showed for the ball: Gana & Barry. Everyone else hid, when Barkley did get it he tripped himself up, time & again (sums up his last 2 seasons). Lukaku was isolated, trying to survive off long balls. He is not a lone striker, he needs a partner up top, so Koeman spoilt him with 8 minutes of Enner Valencia yesterday.
Players’ body language stank the place out yesterday, not for the first time. Where does that come from? Well Koeman was hardly animated, sat down 95% of the time & skulking off down the tunnel at Full Time.
There is a school of thought that Koeman has given up on Mirallas, McCarthy, Deulofeu, Funes Mori & others, even Jags. If that’s true, then stop picking them, because, of the above, nearly all seem to have lost interest, & Jags has lost all form, pace & confidence. Yes we need a real clear out &, yes, this is a three or four window “project”, but losing at Burnley & Bournemouth, failing to beat Swansea & Palace at home is piss poor.
There are games to play & points to be won before January, the Manager can do things now to arrest this slide.
- Stop rewarding mediocre, lazy performances with continued selection. Competition for places is a must.
- Try 2 up top from the start
- Give Williams the arm band
- Don’t take the fans for mugs, celebrating “still being unbeaten at home”, & telling us you’re not worried about results.
We are, and right now things are far from OK. That’s football.