Less of a match report and more of a state of the nation. The score from last night was fair but both sets of fans could agrue for the win. We were shocking in the first half and better in the second. Exactly the same as the Villa game.
So with 4 points from 5 games we appeared to have stopped the rot that appeared to have set in. Or have we ?
We have bought seemingly well, with 8 players coming in and player of note leaving being Diop , along with Vlasic, Yarma, Masuaku and Noble. But Moyes as usual seems to be reticent playing them. Why ? Kehrer had to be played due to the lack of fit center backs. Emerson got 45 minutes, and Scamacca gets Europe and the odd time here and there. Our squad is knackered, very knackered. It has been apparent since the start of the season.
As I write, Harrison Ashby might be out of the door to Newcastle. Alesi and Perkins have gone already. This is not great, in fact its really annoying. Ben Johnson is only in the squad because Coufal and Fredericks were injured at the same time last season. If this hadn’t of happened,I have no doubt he goes as well. Moyes has a distrust of youth , while telling us he brought through Rooney and Barkley. Maybe he had no options. Our history and foundations are build on the promotion of youth, and now they are leaving in droves. We used to be a first choice for prospective players. This will not be the case moving forwards unless we can prove we will support and promote them.
To me, this suggests that Moyes doesn’t even trust himself and cannot accept change. Remember he brought Noble on against Man U last season to take a penalty with 30 seconds to go when there was at least 4 or 5 decent penalty takers on the pitch. Why ? Fear of Change !
We were so tired last night and Cornet, Emerson and Paqueta were on the bench. Crazy. And infuritating. Rumour has it, he doesnt really fancy Downes. Why buy him ? 9.5 million quid !! Madness.
Dont forget, in his first Window at then reigning champions Man U, Moyes bought Fellani from his old club at the last minute, and that was that. Fear of change again.
He has to snap out of this. How I don’t know. It has served him well, and us very well over the last 2 seasons, but now it has to change. Will he really drop Emerson for Cresswell ? Will Cornet come in for Fornals or Bowen? Will Downes go out on loan (actual rumor !). Or will he continue to pick the same well drilled and organised team, who are getting progressively slower by the game. I would love to see Scamacca and Antonio both up top pressing the opposition defence, much like Bowen and Antonio did against Spurs inthe second half. I may be waiting a while.
I was going to pick my starting 11, and as I wrote it down, it became very apparent that actually apart from Kehler and Paqueta for Bowen or Fornals, no new signings get in. Have we spent all that money on back up players ? Are we Man City ? I thought the plan was to only buy starters ? That’s quite scary.
Elephant in the room time. Declan. He has been very poor so far this season. Yes he has welcomed a baby into his life, but really? Maybe the captaincy is too much. All the back of house Captain work was still being done by Noble last season. Not any more. If the lad is serious about going to the World Cup he needs to be on it , every day and every game. Same for Bowen. Oh, and no more pens please Deccers.
On a positive note, Soucek seems to be getting back to his old ways and was our only shining light in the first half against Villa and he earned us a point last night. Fab seems to be distributing quicker, and the quick look at Paqueta suggests a good player. Benrahma seems to have the kick up the arse that was needed. That’s now Bowen, Fornals and Benny, who have all taken at least a year to settle and perform at their best. Is this the Moyes way ? Can we sustain that model within our finances ? How much in wages is sitting on our bench every game ?
So Chelsea’s next, and they are there for the taking, but their quick front line will destroy us if we are as complacent in the first half as we have been in the last 2 prem games.