“Keep moving forward”. You can’t go wrong with a Disney quote and this one from Meet the Robinsons is particularly apt, says David Martin.
We were bloody awful on Tuesday against Leeds United, there is no getting away from that but Saturday is our chance to bounce back and redeem ourselves a little.
It would be easy to dissect in detail what wrong on Tuesday. From Moyes’s widespread changes to a team performance that was abject and individual performances that were disinterested at best we were never at the races. However, what matters now is how we move on from this and there is no better way of doing this than with a victory against Southampton.
A great start to season will turn into merely a good one if we don’t beat Southampton but it is important that we don’t do what we seemed to do at Leeds and take them for granted. They have been defensively naive thus far, playing an open style reminiscent of Blackpool in there ill-fated, but entertaining foray into the Premier League. However, they have also scored goals and looked dangerous and with own defensive frailties this season, victory is not guaranteed.
In what should be an open and attacking game our defence will be important. David Moyes has not been able to decide upon a settled defensive partnership largely down to Distin, Jagielka and Heitinga all being uncharacteristically erratic and it is important someone starts to achieve some consistency if we are going to continue to impress. Naturally several absentees from Tuesday’s starting line-up including Baines and Pienaar will help our play to be as expansive and exciting as it has been lately and we will need to continue to be at our creative best to put Southampton away.
Perhaps the only conundrum remains in central midfield where with Gibson’s absence we don’t seem to be able to find a winning formula. Neville and Osman certainly doesn’t seem to work but dropping Fellaini back reduces his effectiveness. Maybe Pienaar can be brought into the middle with Oviedo occupying the left midfield slot? It’s a difficult one but it is clear that teams can completely bypass our central midfield seemingly at will at times and the sooner Gibson returns the better.
Hopefully Saturday will see us return to winning ways and top the table for at least a brief period. We need to put Tuesday behind us and find a way to address our weaknesses. In the meantime we can likely look forward to a rollercoaster ride against Southampton and like all rollercoasters I will undoubtedly feel exhilarated, but rather nauseous.