Sunday, 22 February 2009

Now, more than ever, this team needs our support

We weren't very good on Saturday. But the hyperbolic criticism is just that: overblown and nonsense.

It's incredibly popular at the moment to criticise Song and Denilson. So lets go over a couple of things: How many times did you see Makelele play a great incisive pass for Chelsea. I can't remember him ever doing so. And therein lies why the criticism of Song is unfair. Song is playing as our holding midfielder and his job is to screen the defence. One goal conceded in six games shows he's playing his role as he should be.

Denilson came into this season as an incredibly inexperienced player who was being asked to play the role of somebody far beyond his youthful years. How did he respond? By settling into the holding midfield role well and improving with each match.

Then, Cesc got injured and he was asked to be the more creative of the midfielders in the team. So having finally settled into playing as a holding midfielder, he then had to change what he was doing completely. So what if he passes sideways? If you don't have the ball, you can't score a goal. When there is no space up the field, it's better to retain the ball and be patient, then go for some ridiculous ball which has a 5% chance of being successful.

What's more, the only reason we're deflated is because we failed to win yesterday. Yet, people are criticising Denilson for this. He played a great through-ball at one point, Robin couldn't stick it away. We created chances but our strikers had an off day. On another day we would have won one or two nil and everything would be hunky-dory: we'd be praising our team for a good workmanlike win. Instead, from every corner this team is being lambasted.

We actually did create chances yesterday and this team needs our support not our criticism. I agree that its hard to understand why they only show real commitment and drive to their attacks in the last 10 minutes, but if we cheer them on a bit more, maybe they'll come flying out the blocks.

On Champions League matchnight 3, we scored 3 goals in the first 20 minutes. Just because this team hasn't done that recently doesn't mean it can't.

So cheer the boys on against Roma: one of the striking things about us is our frighteningly good record against Italian teams. They haven't shown the drive needed in recent Premiership games so it could be difficult to qualify for the Champions League from the League.

But there could be another way...
Keep the faith,
Adam

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