Check out my last blog for the review of the 1-0 at Cardiff. I've since re-watched the game (Football Choice) and Match of the Day 2. It's funny how I find myself contradicting things I've written, in thought, whilst seeing the game a second time. Thought we looked even better on the second watch, probably because I knew how things would end. No stress and over analysing.
Some additional thoughts:
Still think he did the right thing in rushing out to attack the ball. Took a risk and it paid off. You want your keeper to be decisive. He still looks like he's recovering from his bout of illness. That might explain the lackadaisical touchline control that led to a corner that led to the disallowed goal. Lucky Lloris? Well no. Just clumsy with the control. The disallowed goal was justified, although perhaps you could argue a case that the luck was thanks to the ref seeing the pull back on Lloris. Slightly easier to see a keeper being held back than a keeper rushing out to 'handle' the ball on the edge of the pen area. Or perhaps not, with view obscured thanks to the bodies in the box.
Sig loves a bit of wood. He must hold a club record for the amount of times his efforts have struck the framework. He hits the bar more often than Ollie Reed did in his heyday. That's it, nothing else to add. I just wanted to make the Ollie Reed joke. I think it went well.
His technique when striking a shot, wonderful. His finishing? Unlucky so far. Nothing perfectly clean, with the keeper always in the way. But even with the lack of service he's still finding the space and the ball to get himself into a position of chance. To also clarify the whole 'lack of service' debate. With the way he plays (doesn't exactly drop deep) we need to cross far more often than we do (although again, this is up for debate as the whole inverted wingers tactic will see players cut in or accept a diagonal ball from Eriksen).
I guess its about spacial awareness, releasing the ball at the right time. Not necessarily to the feet of Soldado - because it's up to the player to sniff out the opportunity and attack the space where the ball might end up travelling to.
Okay. Let me try that again.
He's a striker. He spearheads. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with how we're playing currently aside from the fact we can improve on some positions with starting better players meaning the quality of the final ball will improve. That crispness will come. If you have the ball out wide and you can guide it across the six yard box, do it. If you can't cross, if you cut in, you don't always have to shoot. Look for someone that can deliver that cute ball.
Also, let's not ignore the fact that although he cost a packet, he's still settling into Prem life. He hardly looks uncomfortable with it.
Re-watching the game, you really got the sense that Paulinho wanted the goal and would eventually get it. Love how we attack the box, giving options, pulling the defenders apart. The drive, the willingness...the desire. That alone can win you games, more so when you consider the quality of the players is top drawer. You find that next level, that shift in gear - you'll always be in with a chance to score. Still, ironic that we couldn't for the first 90 minutes.
Watch the highlights. He was involved, be it with a simplistic pass, for the Lamela assist (lovely cross) and one or two other attacks. Just wanted to credit him (and AVB) with the subtle yet vital impact.
Good, solid performance. The type you would expect from him and the type you would like to think he's capable of against better opposition. Say, Chelsea, for example. Why do I think Sandro will come in for him on the weekend? I guess I fancy Sandro to f*** s*** up more than Dembele can.
A brand new squad, two summers of new acquisitions. This is Villas-Boas Tottenham. Consistent. Creating chances / shots on target for fun. Not conceding goals. Away form still strong (a continuation from last season).
Villa up next. Rotation time.