|Some thoughts on yesterday and where the team stands|
at 16:31 26 Oct 2014
Well, yesterday was crap pretty much from start to finish. The fact that we contrived to lead 2-0 just makes it even worse and the fact that we still gained a point seems, erm, fairly pointless.
It was clear within the first five minutes that we had big problems. Huddersfield's 5-3-2 against our 4-3-3 gave them one, often two, spare players in midfield. Although we did push forward more to counter this, we really needed an early switch to 4-4-2 as we suffered badly from a lack of width. That might have been something we could cope with had the midfield played well, instead the passing and ball retention was abysmal, bearing no relation to the second half against Blackburn a week ago but probably rather more similarities with the Cardiff game in midweek.
None of the three strikers got into the game much. Sammon has received the brunt of the criticism and, for all his effort, he didn't do anything to offset that but McGoldrick was equally ineffective, rarely finding any time or space on the ball. To my mind, if we play 4-3-3 then either Anderson or Hunt should be one of the front three to give us more variety and flexibility to our play. The other advantage is that we have Sammon on the bench to bring on if needed. Regardless of CS's limitation starting our only three experienced strikers leaves us short of a potential substitute when needed.
The switch around of the defence, necessitated by Mings's suspension also upset us. Chambers has clear limitations as a full back but did settle fairly effectively last season, but to play him with no covering player in front was odd. Parr was also unsettled and far less effective on the left than he has been on the right. His backing off Scannell, one of many failings leading to the equaliser.
Huddersfield were pretty good though, only their finishing preventing them having a comfortable first half lead. Holt for the greater part of the match was a shadow - some shadow! - of the player he was at Norwich but for the last 25 minutes he dominated the game, all but refereeing it too. The penalty was soft (especially in comparison with that we weren't awarded last week) but our defending leading up to it was poor. They really shouldn't have had the chance to cross the ball.
After that though, Scannell and Bunn ran at our already discomforted full backs and we really couldn't deal with it. Our belated switch to 4-4-2 didn't really help as we so much on the backfoot by that point. One shot from Murphy the only real time we thought we might just seal the win. The equaliser wasn't really a surprise and there was still more than enough time for Huddersfield to get a deserved win. Fortunately they didn't.
So, where does that leave us. Certainly not as bad as yesterday made us look but nor as good as we might have thought we were after four wins in a row. An inability to close out games is an appalling habit to get into and we badly need to shake it very soon. I hope we can show that yesterday was an aberration, a tactical failure compounded by a lot of poor individual performances but it was quite hard to remember the joyous football played against Blackburn on the train home yesterday.