"The Los Angeles unified school district, the nation’s second-largest at 710 square miles with more than 900,000 students enrolled, said it would remove three grenade launchers it had acquired because they “are not essential life-saving items within the scope, duties and mission” of the district’s police force."
It's a strange game sometimes; after the doom and gloom of a few weeks ago everything looks so much better now. Of course, we should all know by now that in this league - other than the very good ones - it is those teams that manage to be consistently decent that stand out from the also-rans.
What's changed from those two weeks of the season in later August? Not too much but having a bit more balance in the team helps, gives us additional options in possession and the opposition more to think about. McGoldrick looks a bit fitter too, much than than the player who struggled to get into the game against Norwich.
In addition, we look more confident, several players grew into the game as the Millwall match went on and that continued last night, all of a sudden Gerkin looks comfortable with the ball at his feet (even if his kicking needs a bit more work), both fullbacks are getting into the opposition area and the passing becomes a little quicker.
I doubt we're even close to where Mick wants us to be as a side yet but there are just a few signs that we might be able to build on last season in a way that seemed unlikely a few weeks back.
So as for last night, well Brighton were sharper in their passing than we were most of the time but Gerkin was equal to everything that came his way. It was only the first 10-15 minutes of the second half that we really struggled to get the ball off them. Otherwise, we broke well and a scoreline of 2-2 at half-time might have better reflected the game than 0-0 did. Brighton's shooting in the second half was laughably poor though.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Berra and Mackail-Smith in the first half; two experienced, clever players in a terrific battle. Berra just about came out on top in the first half but clearly did overall given CMS was substituted in the second.
Plenty has been written, and said, about our full-backs but it bears repetition. Mings making forward runs at speed is difficult for defenders to deal with, he's quick enough that he can sit back and still give us an option on the left when the ball is elsewhere. His crossing was better last night than on Saturday but I'm sure he'll keep working on it and continue to improve. The audacity of his flicked shot at goal is the kind of thing that makes watching football live worthwhile.
Parr is less flashy but competent defensively and not scared to go forwards either. There was one major error in the first half when he was brushed off the ball too easily but otherwise very assured. The goal merely capped a good performance rather than defining it.
So, somehow we got to the last 15 minutes at 0-0 by which time Brighton looked to have settled for point, sitting deep and letting us have the ball in space. Thus it was particularly pleasing that the first goal came from a sustained spell of possession that stretched Brighton and allowed space for Murphy's initial run down the right and allowed Town players to break into the box en masse.
There was a slight danger of us sitting back after that but Mings intelligent clearance (yeah, it was a big hoof really but in the general direction of Murphy) and a superb early shot made the last few minutes a bit easier. I think Stockdale should have done better though, he didn't look badly positioned but didn't anticipate the shot - although, to be fair, nor did I.
Anyway, onto tomorrow's match. What would anyone do team wise? Depending on the fitness of Bishop and Mings, I would start the same team. So many players grew in confidence as Saturday's match went on that we should aim to build on that.
We do need to manage the fitness of certain players - McGoldrick in particular - but Sky give us a slight advantage in an extra two day's rest before our next match.
Creating a good number of chances but too often wasting them, conceding few chances but giving away rubbish goals in short. It suggests that a little tinkering, and maybe only one quality signing and things could improve a lot.