So at what point do we start to worry about the results and the performances?
A good win against Wolfsburg (which could have gone horribly wrong the other way if they could shoot properly) was followed up by a pedestrian defeat by the horrible marauding Spurs and a draw against Hull, who had lost every game the previous month and were lacking in confidence.
The thing that might be even more annoying is that we were winning both games and had the opportunity to be out of sight of them both. So what is the reason for this slight slump in form? And why does Martinez keep claiming that we have done well (phenomenally well at times) when what we want to hear is that he’s given certain players a rollicking behind closed doors?
Here are my thoughts:
Apparently we’re tired. Great. It’s early December, Xmas fixtures are piling up and we’re tired. This is obviously going to be blamed on the Europa League, but surely we should be looking to rest more players and rotate more often if that is the case? At least for the game next Thursday we have said we’ll be playing the reserves against Krasnador. We’re even giving Kone a game I hear which is nice for him I guess.
The thing is, we have had ‘fitness’ issues since the pre-season debacles when other teams that had started pre-season after us played us off the park. Is there something fundamentally wrong with the way that we’re training the squad? Moyes was massively negative at times but the squad were generally fit as a basis which had him in good stead.
Tactics and Management
Now I don’t have my coaching badges before you start, but even I can see that some of the subs that have happened so far this season have been pretty bizarre. Eto’o being left on the bench when we are chasing a goal and the manager says the team is ‘tired’ is strange.
Continuously taking off your best players to seemingly give people a game as they have been at the club the longest smacks of the kind of changes you’d see at a Sunday League match. Why on earth Miralles had to come off, or Besic (when he was playing very well) against Hull is just odd.
And enough already of this positivity when we’ve played badly. Please. It’s really starting to grate. We took no positives from getting battered at Swansea in the League Cup but that’s what has started the backlash in some areas. I know he is trying to keep morale up, but he’s just making himself look a little foolish now.
You know what I blame overall? That poster that was put up over the Summer of Martinez that made it look like he was suddenly the ‘star of the club’. Started a very slippery slope in terms of the fans’ opinions and was just Kpoite-esque in its entireties.
Now this was something that we were all worried about when Martinez took over. He had a poor defensive record with Wigan and went down, but he had a good start last season with clean sheets galore.
Now I know that we’ve had some injuries in defence but he doesn’t seem to know how to organise them, in a similar way that Moyes had no idea how to stimulate attackers throughout his time with the club. Baines seems to have been told not to maraud forwards recently and we are relying on two creaking centre-backs to save us. Oh, and a backup player that is in his mid-thirties and is constantly injured. Come back soon John Stones…