Monday 6th February 2017
Everyone knows and can see that the first goal we conceded on Saturday was a foul. In fact, if it happened anywhere else on the pitch not only would it have been penalised but there is every chance it would have resulted in a sending off. We could see it from the away end….but the officials got caught up in the moment and excitement and decided to let it stand. Believe you me that is not me offering an excuse for getting beat but those who argue it wasn’t crucial and influential are simply wrong in their conclusions.
If we had won in the week against Watford, Saturday would have been ever so slightly easier to take. It still would of hurt. All defeats do. But if the gap was an unlikely one to bridge before a ball was kicked it is almost impossible now. The likeliness of the Bank of Russia losing 4 games between now and the end of the season is as likely as us managing to win all of ours.
I don’t like going to Chelsea. And before anyone suggests that is hardly surprising in recent times, I never have. Even during the period when we pretty much used to get a result over there every season. Those victories used to make it a lot easier to endure of course but since the money has changed them from a middle sized ‘yo-yo’ club to one where they can persuade anyone to join just because of their unlimited wage budget, the trip and surrounding area are still remarkably irritating and uninspiring.
My emotions approaching the game were a little bit confusing. Everyone knows I am extremely positive and consequently I go to any game confident we can win. But Saturday morning that feeling wasn’t there. Once I had convinced myself that Tuesday’s disappointing defeat doesn’t make us a bad side overnight however, I entered the turnstiles after the usual almost degrading body search feeling far more optimistic.
Overall I think we played ‘ok’. But nothing better than that. And away at the team looking most likely to take the league title, that level is never going to be good enough. Our hosts don’t let in many goals. But we created chances on the day. And there were some crucial moments too, none more so than the opener and the header we missed during our best spell of the first half.
But the fact we still continue to concede goals is more worrying for me. We know we can score. And generally, pretty much in every game we play we do just that. In all 5 of our league defeats this season in fact, we have done just that. That means if we had kept a clean sheet we would have won those games. But every game we play at the moment I feel we could let in goals. And that is not the sign of a side that will go on to win trophies.
We have endured a seriously bad week since our win at Southampton in the cup. But there is still an enormous amount to play for. And that is more important than anything else right now.
That starts with the visit of in form Hull City on Saturday lunchtime. It’s a game where we need to start again. Create a new base to build upon. And the only way we can do that is to take the three points.
Keep the faith.
Victoria Concordia Crescit.