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Agree with pretty much everything you said. Overall, we were far the better side, (which is subject to and will be critiqued by someone else's opinion since I'm saying nice things rather than negative about my club) with about 15-20" patch of sloppy play and once again left wanting for a 2nd or 3rd goal, with Di Natale literally within inches of killing us off..
For me, Downing worked hard, but just simply is not good enough as a front player, and marginally good as a left wing back. He's also clearly not a fit because his only speciality is sending in good crosses, which were basically useless today, since Suarez didn't really seem to get in his normal positions, nor did Shelvey, though like you said Jordan did, and probably his best game in recent memory, perhaps ever in Red.. he worked very hard.
As for Suso, he's simply being played out of position. He doesn't have the pace or strength on his right foot to cause damage there, where I think/hope in time, he'll get an opportunity to have that free role behind Suarez or whomever. Though, he was a little shaky, some bad passes, he did track back quite a few times, got mixed up in challenges, quite physical for his age/size today, AND, he did a wonderful job of pinning his defender back, holding him off and laying the pass to Jordan for the goal.. so I think he was a little better than advertised..
Allen was avg to poor, but I said it recently in another post. if you look back to Swans, the Olympics and now, he's possibly played more minutes than anyone other than Skrtel, and we forget he's 22, 5'6 and I have to think he's just hitting a wall right now, thankfully Lucas is back, and Jordan showed he can play there a bit, as can Shelvey, along with a fit Gerrard..
Hard to slate Sahin, and for watching his season in Germany and what a stunningly good player he was, other than 2 games, he's really done little, though a quiet type player anyways, and it was disappointing to see him go off after 5 with a bloody nose, though it could have been broken for all we know.. He has the class in him, very much, just not sure we'll ever see it since he won't be a regular and Suso can probably emerge into his same mould..
The wasted sub on him also probably cost an opportunity to bring on Assaidi, and much sooner than other changes were made. He could have really opened things up with his pace, particularly when we were up a man, and trying to hit on the counter..
So, this would be the definition of "winning ugly" while actually being in full control, and since I just got off the phone with Daniel Agger, he said it was ok for me to repeat that we played them off the pitch despite the scoreline, again, subject to one's approval on the board of course..
So, onto the knockouts, nice job and focus on West Ham. VERY difficult game that could be a really spring board..
I might be being a little unfair to Suso, but maybe I'm just expecting more from him as he's exceeded my expectations for him so far this season in other matches. To be honest back in pre-season I thought people were mad saying he needed regular football with our first team. I thought he was too lightweight, and made too many over ambitious plays due to a lack of a mature footballing brain. However I'm fine saying I was wrong, and he's done much more than I would have predicted so far this season. But what has impressed me is that he's a player that has provided a spark: he'll take on a defender, or look to create something from nothing, and often pull it off. But today while I should give him credit for putting in a good shift, and of course setting up our goal, I just did not see that something special I've greedily come to expect from him.
On Downing I agree I think at best he's fast becoming a backup forward for us, but depending on who comes in January (assuming we go for a forward who can play wide and centrally) his opportunities are going to diminish quickly. But I also have to give some credit for his effort today. I think he did combine with Jose well, tracked back well, and had to deal with who imo was Udinese's biggest threat all match in Fabbrini, who did his best work when lying deeper on the right side.
On Sahan, much like Borini discussion I think we should not rush to judgment. I did not watch him in Germany, but my Turkish friends rave about him. I'm not sure how his English is, or how he's doing settling into his 3rd country in 3 seasons, but his technical ability I think is clear, it’s just a question of if he can put it into practice to really make his mark with us.
And, lastly as for Agger, you've got to stop forgetting your friend there is prone to hyperbole every time he opens his mouth, just as our manager is. So when they say we played well, just so you think as your supposed to (rather than trusting your own eyes and judgment after watching the full match) discount by at least 40-60% whatever they say!
- 1 Reply to dsteer_lfc_68
I'd just like to chip in having only seen the second half. Thanks work.
One thing that struck me with Allen was how much the others, particularly in midfield and defence rely on him. They are currently treating him like the fulcrum, which is a player we need for sure but he's being caught out as are others who are simply incapable of taking some responsibility themselves. I refer to one area where there were a number of passes back and forth to allen from a number of other players. It looked good until Henderson forced a bad pass elsewhere. Mark my words this guy will come good, very good and the addition of Steady Eddie Lucas will only help. I actually have greater concerns over Gerrard who IMO hasn't really go started this season as we know he can.
Sahin going off with a broken nose? I wasn't aware but why go off? It's only a busted nose.
Other than that I thought we were relatively in control from what I saw. Given a stroke of luck with the soft sending off and then a huge slice of it at the end with Di Natale. I pooped a bit at that point.