Thursday, 5 December 2013

Please sir, can we have some more?

Minus the last minute heart flutters; it would be nice of Mr Pellegrini to give us the same (or similar) as the victory against WBA at Southampton on Saturday.

Same again…and again…and again.

For those who neither watched nor listened live to the match at The Hawthorns please don’t be fooled by the close, 3-2 scoreline. It flatters Albion to say the least; 3-0 or perhaps 3-1 would have been closer to the mark. It was a very fine display indeed. I didn’t watch it but listened to the whole game live; it had Fred Eyre and Ian Cheeseman gushing at time on Radio Manchester and the subsequent newspaper reports backed that up today.

Even players like Kolarov and Dzeko - who often struggle to find both a good performances and, equally, allies - had good games. Both even managed to get 8/10s from the Manchester Evening News!

Kompany was back too and, by all accounts, simply oozed confidence out to his fellow defenders. What the hell that wobble was at the very end is anyone’s guess…but we MUST stamp that out and quickly!

This away, confidence-boosting win has come just in time; with even MORE away games at Southampton, Bayern Munich, Leicester City and Fulham all surrounding a home game against the current league leaders, Arsenal. Didn’t we just have 4 back-to-back away games in October?

Next up…

St. Mary's Stadium
A few weeks ago I’d have settled for a point against the Saints and I’ll still take that with a smile. But couple the fine form that we’re in along with 2 back-to-back Southampton defeats and as long as we play our ‘A’ game on Saturday, there’s no reason whatsoever why we can’t come away with another 3 points.

It’s too early for a David Silva return and probably too early for Steven Jovetic to even make the bench at the weekend. Matija Nastasic is a few weeks away…and I’m not sure why Gael Clichy didn’t even make the subs last night (but I’m gonna assume he’s okay – can’t see anything to suggest he’s picked up an injury).

However, it was nice to see us get an away win AND rest Negredo; no doubt Pellegrini had a tougher away fixture on the South coast at the back of his mind. And so we go into the next game looking pretty-damn strong.

Predicted line-up and formation:











Subs:  Hart, Kolarov, Richards, Demichelis, Rodwell, Milner, Dzeko.

By all accounts Martin Demichelis looked quite jaded towards the end of last night’s game; he was quite easily muscled off the ball for Albion’s 2nd goal right at the end too. So I’ve just got a feeling that he’ll give him a rest and Lescott a go next to Vinny on Saturday. Other than that though, same again really.

I have perhaps, and once again, naively assumed that Pellegrini will finally see Garcia for what he is and pick Rodwell ahead (and instead) of the Spaniard on the bench. We’ll see…

Away at Southampton the rest of the subs sort of pick themselves. It’s a shame, though, that I can’t see Manuel being a little more adventurous by sticking an extra striker in John Guidetti in there too. Perhaps away at Leicester City in the League Cup we’ll see the Swede make the bench…

Result? I’m sorry…but I’m gonna stick with my original gut feeling and go for a draw. Hope, for the right reasons, I’m wrong of course.

Off for a night out in Manchester on the Friday night and so will no doubt be listening to the Saturday afternoon game on the radio with the volume turned down quite low. A good win would be the perfect tonic.

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