Much better and well done to all them for getting their acts together. The game itself was extremely watchable and it was to our credit as this looked like the Aston Villa that McLeish fielded, a token striker and 10 men behind the ball.
The tactical shape was pretty much spot on and I think we’re slowly but surely growing into and developing a tempo that both suits and can be sustained. One prominent factor was our ability to pinch the ball off the Villan’s toes. Postionally we used the width of the pitch more and it showed.
Some kindly souls thought I was overly beating Brad up last week and so here’s a thought for you. Yes, Lloris did boot the ball up the field but he did it a lot less. The net result was a passing accuracy rate of 67% opposed to Brad’s 18%. I know it’s boring, but if you give the ball away you’re a liability, you’re not a benefit.
Okay, let’s fly through the individual performances and see what we saw.
One iffy throw out but I thought he looked brand new. Lively coming off his line on a couple of occasions and a good punch out. All this Brad’s lost his place stuff in the media needs to be sniggered at. We paid good money for this lad. Brad’s 141.Get over it.
On her way to the city, Dorothy meets Kyle Walker, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion , who lament that they lack respectively a brain, a heart, and courage. Time to make a definite separation in people’s minds between ‘athlete’ and ‘footballer’. If Levy is cute we can flog him to some schmucks who haven’t clocked the fact he can’t defend. 53% of Villa’s attacking moves were down the left wing. You work it out.
Won 5 headers, won 2 off-sides and generally ran the back line show like a good’un. The influence of Billy must not be glossed over. What happens when Kaboul returns? Difficult decisions are the burden of rank.
This is very out of character for me. This ‘kids’ coming through always have some glaring deficiency that seemingly only nasty old me can see. You know, until they’re loaned out and disappear into the ether. But Caulker is a cut above. Thoughtful and technically mature he really could become quite some player. A 92% pass accuracy rate.
Almost embarrassingly busy. It’s ‘interesting’ to consider the difference between his forward runs and those of Benny’s. Add to this that we don’t appear to suffer from the ‘all hands on deck’ routine that normally follows one of Benny’s forays.
He was pretty exceptional out there. The midfield was packed. It was messy. But he genuinely did a job on the Villans; add to this a pass accuracy rate of 90% and you’re looking at an indispensable player.
He had one of his best games in the shirt yet. Head up, he was looking and elegantly achieving wherever he went. Every time he got the ball he did something useful with it. Few footballers can be accused of that. The only player to match the passing accuracy rate of Caulker.
Really frustrating performance. Yes a goal and I’m not being dismissive, but his runs seem to increasingly achieve little. Most of his attempted crosses also fall into the same category of indifference. He’s been called up for England and I really wish he’d decline and focus on the Lilywhite.
He’s going to be one of those guys who occasionally comes good but is unlikely to set the world alight for us. A really excellent vanilla ice cream.
Much more involved and I swear I came away from the game thinking he’d really made an effort defensively. Fortunate not to get booked for the dive. We’ll be discussing that in depth on the next blog a little later.
Exasperating. His shots were so off target it was painful. The Caulker ‘goal’ was a mental blast from 3 yards out that was heading towards a hamburger stall before it was deflected. 6 shots and the one on target was weaker than a blind kitten in a tumble dryer.
Really mixed it up and that puts the Midget Gem back into a file marked ‘Impact Sub Only.’ He opened up channels and caused havoc drawing markers and doing something with the ball analysts are referring to as passing to team mates.I’d like to see him play with Siggy ‘in the hole’ behind him instead of Dempsey. Creatively that appeals. Lots.
The boss got a good performance out them and if you squint your eyes we’re quite frequently playing push and run. He needs to be sharper with his substitutions. I thought Dempsey and Defoe both looked time expired by the half time whistle.
A few gifs for