I believe that the best way for us to be a successful team, long term, is to be able to play football and control games and periods in games. Hoofball will get us to 7th fairly easily every season, but it's very unlikely to take us any higher than that (imo).
(Took me ages to get around to finish typing this up, but now everyone's already said basically the same thing... still posting it though.
I think this is pretty much the only explanation that gets me nodding along with the need to play a bit better.
In the main, I get my entertainment from the results. Two hours after the match, I don't care about the style if we've got a result. If we've lost though, the negativity stays with me for days (and this is only compounded by Twitter and messageboards).
Long term though, @Bluedylan
is right, we will be in a much better position to compete for honours if we can keep the ball better in games like yesterday and away from home.
We restricted Chelsea and Liverpool to, in the main, pot shots. But they had so many of them that when they did beat Pickford we relied on them being cleared off the line or not hitting the target. You play those games over 10 times it's almost a coin flip on whether we lose or draw. The chances of us winning them are minimal.
I do think Allardyce has taken a reasonable course so far though. The fragility around the team - and around the crowd - was toxic.
Now we've become more solid, I'm hoping there'll be small improvements over the next couple of months and I'm hoping that will come with increased confidence too. I don't think drastic changes are needed personally either.
Pickford had plenty of opportunities for him to roll the ball out quickly to defenders rather than launch it yesterday, but he didn't trust them not to lose it. As Schneiderlin becomes more positive, hopefully that will feed through to the rest. The centre halves who will play it to him, rather than Pickford etc.
A few small improvements like that will probably see us do a lot better as we have a lot of decent footballers. Hopefully Allardyce can implement them soon enough.