Fifty Shades of Naivety
Thursday 26th February 2015
Yesterday was my birthday. Triffic.
I always think its extremely easy to say we were ‘shit’….or this player was ‘useless’….or that player was ‘lazy’ etc etc etc. When you are so gutted with a result however, I also find those kind of reactions completely understandable.
Providing a more ‘balanced’ analysis is far more difficult I feel, even more so when you have such passion for the team that you can’t help but feel has just completely let you down.
The basic facts however, show at half time in the tie we have a mountain of Everest proportions to climb if we are to progress.
So what went wrong?
For me I was relatively satisfied after about half hour. We had dominated the game, created numerous half chances and looked extremely comfortable at the back.
The opening goal was unlucky whatever anyone says. I accept we maybe could have closed the player down but I dont remember a single game where there hasn’t been at least 3 or 4 similar shots taken from such a distance and the vast majority offer little threat. We are quite happy to praise the Ox for his fine strike for example but I’m sure Monaco will look at the fact he could have been closed down.
Whatever way we look at the goal it was definitely exactly what we didn’t want to happen. Despite that however, I still felt if we carried on keeping the same shape and applying the pressure we were well capable of getting a positive result from the remaining hour.
Olly had one of ‘those’ nights. His effort and movement were good but he couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo. Every chance that came his way was miscued. On another day he could have scored a hat-trick inside a few second half minutes. And when Welbs’ goalbound effort hit Theo on the deck and sailed over the bar it totally summed up our night in front of goal.
All of the above I can accept as part and parcel of the beautiful game.
What happened defensively in the second half however, I am really struggling to understand.
At home to Man Utd, when playing well, we went behind to an extremely unfortunate deflected goal. And then we went gung ho, left ourselves extremely exposed at the back and got picked off. All with plenty of time on the clock to get something from the game.
We all hoped we might have learned from that experience.
Last night suggested we havent. How we can leave ourselves so exposed at a time when we were seriously banging on Monaco’s defensive door is almost beyond belief.
At 2 nil we had to take risks. Again I understand that. And it that situation there is always the chance you might concede again against a counter attacking side. But we worked extremely hard to prevent that from happening whilst trying to get ourselves back in the tie.
The Ox’s strike gave us that lifeline. Above all else at that time it was massively important not to concede a third.
And we managed to do the complete opposite with what can only be described as a comical and suicidal last few minutes.
I am a very positive person and always try to see the plus points from any performance.
At the moment however, I am stunned.
Roll on Sunday, we desperately need to bounce back against The Toffees.