Off to a flyer for 2013
Many of you may think that 3-1 win against Reading was a good result, but I feel that all wins are a great result. We are in need of as many wins as possible if we are to finish in the top 4.
As it stands however we are in 3rd and that won't change this week.
It seems that we are becoming consistent as a team. For the past few games we have shown complete dominance in the first half, but a lack of conviction and movement up front. Defoe is coming too deep and leaving the box with just Ade to play as both strikers. We all know that it would be better for Ade to come deep and hold up the play where needed and then run at the defense. We have all come to love Defoe as the Fox in the Box (ok or maybe just on the edge too), but he must keep up front and allow Ade to drop deep.
Did anyone realise that we scored from a corner as well? Siggy had taken a great corner which allowed Dawson to squeeze in his header (redeeming himself for an earlier mistake which allowed Reading to score). Most of our corners have been poor, so it was refreshing to see some great balls go in from there. However the corners are made to look good by the players in the box, if the ball doesnt find anyone than it looks bad, so maybe we just need to practice our set peices more often?
Ade deserved a goal against Reading and it will help to boost his confidence, a run of a few games should see him getting on the score sheet regularly. Defoe on the other hand has become some what of a frustration. 1 goal in the last 6 games have seen him drop too far behind the rest of the top scores (but he is trying). It leaves me shaking my head as we all know that he is better than this (as I have been saying all season).
The midfield were very impressive over both halves. Our enforcer Sandro had a tremendous game. I lost count of the number of his interceptions! Lennon I feel had the best game of the season. The two of them were joint man of the match for me! Throughout the season both players have flourish under AVB. Siggy notched himself an assist, but he looked a little out of shape (cutting inside too often and not making the correct decisions), this will change given a run of a few games. Dembele was bossing the midfield once again. Showing his strength and ability. He was unfortunate not to have scored, but Dembele is not about that. Dempsey came on to score within minutes of coming on, which was expected as I had stated on Twitter during the match (just not that soon). Dempsey has been growing into his slot very well before his injury so I really expect him to pick up where he left off. Finally Scott Parker came on and was close to scoring himself. He is looking match fit and ready for a starting position, so what great news this is. We certainly look a solid team when he is on the pitch.
Our defense (apart from the very slow reactions from Dawson) was good. A few little slips that Lloris managed to mop up, but Dawson did score and clear a shot off the line so I am sure we can forgive him for allowing Progrebnyak to poach a simple goal. A defender that must be mentioned is Naughton. His performance was recognised by MOTD and was included in their team of the week (no surprise if you ask me as he is getting better week in week out). Walker was also looking stronger and switched well down the wing with Lennon.
So all in all a great win coming from behind (not happy that we have conceded our first goal in the first 15 minutes), but we have shown that we have the mental and physical strength to come from behind and take control of the game (that is what makes it such a great win).
Now that the window is open and with Ade likely off to the African Cup we must purchase a striker. Defoe works best when there is a little confidence and competition and only having 2 strikers had worked until Ade was fit and AVB changed to a 4-4-2.
I have complete faith in AVB (yes I said that there were better managers around at his appointment), he has truly shown just how good a manager he is. You can say that any manager would achieve the same with the squad he has, but Lennon, Sandro, Defoe and Naughton have made notable improvements under him.
2013 is shaping up to be a fantastic year, with 3 additions we would be great (striker, left back and creative midfielder).
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