The Fans View

Back to Basics?

Our last seven league matches, we’ve scored 17 out of a possible 21 points. 5 wins, 2 draws, no losses.

Only one goal conceded.

With no more than two goals in any one match, we haven’t been scoring prolifically, but with the number of injuries running through the squad, particularly Torres, I think the key factor to our good form and our gradual climb back into the top four has been the defence.

Prior to that, despite factors like luck and injuries, we were shipping soft goals regularly, and I think this had a detrimental effect on the team’s morale. We were looking like a team who, even when they went a goal ahead, knew there was a big chance we’d let one in at the back. We had low confidence, it could be seen on the player’s faces and in their body language.

The team was unrecognisable to the one we know and love, that even when we’re playing poorly, normally you know we’ll make up for that with grit and determination.

We’ve been lucky enough to have more or less a settled defence for a good few weeks now, and despite the handicap of Glen Johnson and Fabio Aurelio being out, Carra has been relatively efficient, Kyrgiakos has been a rock, Agger and Skrtel have been solid, and Insua particularly has turned around a poor start to the season with some of his best form both at the back and coming forward.

Credit to the manager and team where it’s due. A tough and disappointing season on the back of 2008-09’s heroic “almost” promise, they’ve shown the spirit and courage to build from the back and grind out essential results. There’s still a long haul and hard games ahead, but players and fans alike are probably looking at those games as ones we can win, rather than ones we might lose.

The belief is back.

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