Monday, December 10, 2007

Tottenham 2 City 1

Although Sven was happy enough with how we played, and pointed to the fact there was more endeavour and attacking intent than in previous away games, our winless away run continued and without arguably the two most consistent (and important) players of the season in Elano and Hamman, the midfield had a very inexperienced look to it (with four of the midfield five aged 21 or under) and the squad overall gave the impression of looking light on genuine depth.

Elano may well have been gambled on, but with perhaps one eye on the congested period of games coming up, Sven decided against recalling him to the side, opting to allow him another weeks rest to recover from recent injury.

Sven stuck to the 4-5-1 formation however, and it maybe a lack of confidence or faith in the strikers at his disposal that is preventing him fielding a 4-4-2 line-up. Although he only saw a limited amount of action before his injury, perhaps we are feeling the loss of Valeri Bojinov as I am certain that he would have had an integral role in this side by now (in either formation) and it has was suggested by Andrew over at purelymancity that the absence of Bojinov could be a factor in Bianchi's continued absence, with Sven perhaps not being convinced of his ability to lead the line as a sole front man.

I think it is clear that the trio of Mpenza, Vassell and Samaras are on notice and their futures at the club are limited, with the attacking certainly the most crucial for focus in January - a time when hopefully Bojinov should return.

It is disappointing to not take anything from the game as I have no doubt Tottenham would have been happy with a point from this game and perhaps we suffered from lack of focus after Ireland's challenge - something no doubt that will be added to his charge sheet of misdemeanours.

Back on home territory next week, we have two important games with an improving Bolton in the league followed by a return against Tottenham in the Carling Cup. On home turf and with the likes of Elano and Hamman - not to mention a more game ready Michael Johnson, back in the side we will look to put the away run to the back of our minds and continue our superb home form and maintain the start we have managed so far as we approach the halfway mark of the season.

Reports:

MEN
Guardian
Independent
The Proud Cockerel
Spurs Odyssey

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1 comment:

Wigan Blue said...

Not a mention about the off-side, hand-balled goal.

But Sven was very up-beat about it - "Hang on it's only a commercial" Must mean he's just using this season as a training session.

So it's just going to be a little spruce-up in January - maybe enough to win one of the cups, and scrape us into Europe - but then.... Top four? Top stop!