Football karma restores balance to the Facere

vertigoclinic @spooky23 - I can't see the match here in the states, but from the sound of it Myhill is 20 feet wide and made of granite (via Twitter during the game)

Oh hum. Let’s try and sum things up.

The performance

Far from vintage in some ways, but arguably, you can’t frown at the amount of chances created. You could perhaps inquire as to why every shot was aimed towards Myhill’s body but then that would be doing a great injustice to what was a 2 point match saving performance from Hull’s wonder-keeper. We should tag this game and line it up alongside the Wolves and Stoke games. We did enough to beat Wolves but lost. The Stoke game – based on performance – was probably just about right as we didn’t do enough on the day. And then Hull. A team who got battered yet lived to tell the tale.

Frustration. That’s the tag.

The question mark is simply one of a tactically nature. How best to break down a side that defends with 11 men behind the ball?

We can’t expect them to turn up and play open football. Granted, it’s not pleasant to watch a side time waste in the manner they did and doubly not great to see the ref fail to control the antics. Again, not that I’m saying we need protection and aid. We should be able to pick off these sides. They play like this because they respect the quality we have. But alas, not enough of that quality in the right areas to break best them. I’m talking in general here based on the other lickle clubs who have ‘done us over’ at the Lane. If we genuinely have the quality then we need to get into the habit of using it in situations that force us to adapt accordingly.

But hey, this is all a little harsh. We dominated. And Myhill probably won’t stick in a performance like that again for a long long time.

Overall, the tempo was slow at times and our finishing not clinical enough.

Player ratings

I’d say Bale impressed. Along with Moddle who was busy but not quite outstanding (give him time). The defence was compact but our forwards not quite with the midas touch when it mattered most. Niko was very very quiet and Huddlestone, in a game you’d hope he’d grab by the scruff of the neck, seemed to lack the required oomph to do so.

The ref

Weak. It’s fine if Hull want to play anti-football. They’re fighting for survival so good luck to them. We should be big and bad enough to still find a way through. But would be nice if the ref imposed himself and layed down a few ground rules at the first sign of anyone taking the piss. Failed miserably in stopping the time wasting tactics Hull introduced very early in the game. Booked a player for it, then seemed to ignore everything else.

The stats

First draw at the Lane since February 2009? Last one was against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Cup. Last Prem draw was in the same month at home against Arsenal. The stat to shout out about is the one that sees us 547 minutes without conceding a goal. 6 successive clean sheets. Last goal conceded by our back four? December 12th.  Obviously also worth nothing that we’ve failed to score…at home…against Wolves, Stoke and now Hull. Grrr.

Gareth Bale

There is no jinx. Don’t believe the hype. Wasn’t his fault he happened to play in a side, every now and again, that was utterly shit. His current form, based on a foundation of confidence, is one that should be applauded.

Robbie Keane

He is far from any sort of pulsating game-influencing form. Far far away. He’s still managed to notch up some goals for us (mainly in the Cups) and Redknapp is perhaps a tad too loyal in starting him. Much like Bentley there’s a lack of sustained belief and the want for that little bit extra in his performances. The Liverpool experience has been beyond detrimental. Can he be saved? Will he rediscover his mojo? I hope so. Wouldn’t want to think this is it. One thing that won’t aid him to return to form (and yes I get it, we’ve been patient enough) is the abuse he’s currently getting from some fans. Wash your mouths out. Yeah he left and yes the embarrassment of us saving him is probably half the reason he’s had the wind knocked out of him. But he needs inspiration rather than moans and groans.

Although he did miss that absolute sitter…How the fuck did he not score? Robbie, you ####ing ###!

Other results

It’s football. Anything can happen. And in some ways karma has restored balance to the Facere. Well, karma probably isn’t the right term, but still let’s rejoice in further evidence that this season refuses to settle down. City lose. Liverpool draw. Villa draw. And up we go back into 4th. Obviously it would be nicer to have a cushion or two protecting us from those within touching distance. Seems the race for 4th is on and off and on, every few weeks. Still we await for some one (please let it be us) to start pulling away from the chasing pack. I pray to God that we don’t go into April needing to win, let’s say, 3 games.

Repeat mode activated. We are in with one hell of a chance as long as we start to up the tempo now. People scoffed at the start of the season because all assumed that the Top 4 would walk it. Times are changing, but the Sky Sports Cartel are far from dead.

Liverpool away

I’m fearful. Okay, so Liverpool are God awful at the moment, have none of their key players available and all eyes on Rafa and his future once more. We are – brace yourselves – favourites for this. Complacency. Mus be avoided it. We have to be professional and ruthless. Go for it, that jugular, and make a statement of true intent. Yes, beating Liverpool might not be such a crowning glory these days but the fact we’ve failed to win away to any of the ‘Top 4’ for around 200 years means that rather than take this opportunity for granted we should work our socks off like we’re the underdogs and we’re the ones fighting to prove a point. How Harry prepares them for this will be vital. Along with selecting a side that will cause them untold problems at the back. I suggest Crouch + Defoe for this one.

Cue special atmosphere at Anfield and miracle 4-0 win for the home side.

Seriously, let’s just END the scousers.