It really doesnít need to be pretty at the moment as long as itís effective. I donít think any more could really have been asked of Sam from when he came in. The players are slowly getting their confidence back and I thought once Davies came on last night, the team became a lot more fluid.
A big chunk of the team last night improved as the game went on. Rooney seemed to really struggle to even make a simple pass for the first hour but was much better once he had netted his pen
Holgate seemed a lot more comfortable on the ball in the second half, after some terrible distribution early on
Gana as well strolled through the 2nd half after struggling a bit in the first
The Davies/Schneiderlin sub was key as it allowed the midfield to operate properly. Schneiderlinís confidence is rock bottom at the moment and I donít think he knows what his role is. If all he does is sit and protect the defence then thatís fine, but he doesnít stay in that position ready to stop anyone roaming through the centre. He seems to have stopped playing the ball forward, so seems to slow down the play. Also if we are playing a midfield 3 where the idea is that Rooney will be the one to get on the ball and dictate the play from deep, then we need 2 players alongside him full of energy. MS does not appear to have that about his game at the moment. Davies made us click when he came on, but he still isnít the perfect solution to be starting as his form has fluctuated quite a bit this season
For me the tirelessness and hard work of 3 players last night was ultimately what had us set up to win that game and they were Jonjoe Kenny, Aaron Lennon and Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Lennon in the first half particularly really showed his desire to raise the level of the team, chased everything and didnít give them a moments peace. Won the pen and also showed inventiveness when he nutmegged his man and got his shot away. People sometimes moan about his lack of quality but when there is just so much commitment from him, he really canít be left out the side. He has been essential in getting us out of trouble. Sets such a good example
The 2 youngsters have been monstrous this season. Dom is starting to lead the line really well. Used his pace to good effect last night and was really quick thinking of him to slot the rebound away, in the right place at the right time. He gives everything for the cause, heís not perfect but you can see how heís progressed from last season by getting game time
Some total whopper sitting by me at the match slated Jonjoe Kenny throughout the game. Said heís a clown and that all his passes are aimless and that he canít defend. Also that the only player worse in the side is Cuco
I disagree with all of that. I think he has been superb since he broke into the side. Puts his body on the line and also offers a good option going forward and shows real commitment. I think he is going to be a hero in royal blue for years to come, and is probably the form player in the team
Quick word on Cuco too, I think he is doing absoloutely fine in there
Overall it didnít start off pretty last night but it was a good win that we worked hard for. Sam has to be given a lot of praise for how he has started. Heís picked up a lot of points without us really playing well. Did people think another manager would have come in and not only got the same amount of points but played a brand of free flowing football while at the same time being as defensively solid, with a group of players so low on confidence?
Weíve now got only 1 point less then at this stage last season. Well in Big Sam you have done a great job so far