Sunday, 16 November 2008

Hull 2 - 2 City

This game taught us nothing knew, but reinforced much, almost all, that we did. It reminded us:

  • That we have an error prone and poorly organized defence. Even without the great opinion-splitter at centre back today, we had what we have become familiar with: the individual errors, the poor communication, the sense that something important - trust - is missing. Oh how I long for Distin and Dunne! Only Stoke, Blackburn and West Brom have conceded more.
  • That Darius Vassell is a Championship player. He is a hero for his two goals in derbies, but is disastrously out of place. He almost went to Derby County fifteen months ago, and would have fitted in well. Anyone who remembers his misses against that team last January should know that he is just not up to it at this level. One for the January giveaways.
  • That there are few central midfielders in the Premier League currently playing better than Steven Ireland. The talent's always been there, but he has become physically and mentally stronger than any of us thought he could be. The first goal demonstrated his battle, the second his brilliance. On current form, I can think of only one midfield in the country he wouldn't get into.
  • That we do not a sufficiently good centre forward. Jô may be a great prospect (although my mind is slowly drifting on this), but does not have the experience or application to start every week in the Premier League. Benjani can do some things well, but does not have the quality to get the best out of his suppliers. We have asked much of Evans and Sturridge already (seven starts between them so far). Bozhinov may well be the best striker at the club, but that's irrelevant and will be for some time yet.
  • That this is a team that cannot hold onto a lead. We were ahead against Chelsea, Brighton, Wigan, Liverpool (by two goals), Newcastle, Spurs and now Hull. The fact that our last two league wins were 3-0 and 6-0 at home I think looks worse in this light.
  • That we can be an irresistible attacking force. Ireland-SWP-Robinho led counter attacks will be too good for many defences we come up against this season. We are still the league's second top scorer. That order goes: Chelsea 32, Man City 26, Man Utd 25, Arsenal 25, Villa 22, Liverpool 21. Of course I'd rather have 26 points than 26 goals, but it's still pretty cool.
  • That Mark Hughes has still not got this group of players playing at the level they should be.


Don said...

Richards' decline in form is the most disappointing and disturbing for me. Why has this happened? And what can be done about it?

Culla said...

the hull game was there for the taking in the second half. what disappoints me was how we couldn't step up a gear to make this happen, we'd only have needed 10 minutes with our breakaway flair to put the game out of sight. instead we have to rely on darius vassell who if he can only manage an airkick in his first chance was unlikely to be able to lob the keeper at the death. this system is still very disjointed and will be until January but we should still be able to exploit what opportunities we do have to get maximum points