Got to say that it's now becoming apparent that our failure to get a holding midfielder of natural ability is quickly affecting our European game. The EPL is by and large pacy and hence if you have decent wing play, its easy to overlook the need to have an anchorman in the middle. European teams however, are more cultured to exploit a weakness such as a porous midfield and its easy to see that Ajax were literally having a walk in the park in that department.
Our shortages in that department mean that our attacking players have too drop very deep when we do not have the ball so as to link up with the rest of the retreating team.
That said, we've been without the said anchorman for quite a while now and yet in recent seasons we've been top notch in Europe regardless of the team the manager put out. It's fair to say that most of the players we had out on the pitch were inexperienced and hence lacked that extra bit of tactical discipline to nullify the threat of our opponents. This season, we've played our European games more like EPL games. I can only remember the Ajax away game as when we turned out our custom made European approach.
Last night, we got away with it, against a team that lacked precision in the final third so hopefully we'll sort that out before the Athletic Bilbao game nest week. Old Trafford hasn't been our fortress this season and it's time we address that.
In other news, the EPL is back this weekend, with episode 26. We travel to Carrow Road on Sunday lunchtime and I have to admit, I'm already nervous. Here's why: City will, in all probability thrash Blackburn at the Etihad on Saturday evening leaving us with a must win game at what has become one of the most disturbing grounds to play at in the league. Norwich are no Swansea when it comes to the football they play but they have a sort of Everton in them that we witnessed first hand in the reverse fixture---which turned out as an embarrassing win. Quite frankly, on Sunday, I'd take an embarrassing win.
We've been through a tough spell of games domestically and done well so there could be a bit of complacency about the team, I feat. I really hope that the experienced players address my fears because it would sicken me if on Monday morning we find ourselves prioritizing the Europa League over the league.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!
Labels: UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE