Monday, 21 January 2013

A CASE OF 2 POINTS DROPPED!

It's a given that we tend to score late goals more often than any other team in world football...in fact, so much so that its become part of our DNA.
Granted, that is a strength. However, it is a strength for a side to see out matches even by the slimmest of margins.



Last night's game is one of those that a United side of 2009 would have seen out 1-0 as we posted 8 results of that scoreline in the league en route to the title, but alas, clean sheets are a rarity these days.

It's with that hindsight that I categorise last night's result as 2 points dropped rather than the point gained as some will see it. Yes, we were unfortunate with a couple of decisions but I thought we kept playing to Spurs pace at a time when we should have calmed the game down and slowed it to suit or defenders and knock the adrenaline out of Spurs.

The goal itself seemed one you'd struggle to defend the keeper of. De Gea did brilliantly all game but unfortunately for him, the only punch he got wrong was punished. Whereas keepers have the problem of attackers and indeed their own defenders coming into them for the ball, the safe bet is for them to punch with an aim of getting the ball clear as far as possible. Two things: Either you punch it out of play or you punch generally away but with some sort of height or distance on the ball. the height or distance in the latter case is to afford your defenders that split second of time to reorganise to deal with the resulting attempt.
Yesterday, De Gea punched the ball downwards at the feet of Lennon, meaning Spurs were suddenly presented with the United goal minus a goalkeeper.

But let's not kid ourselves. Yes we should have seen out the game and yes Spurs have taken 4 points from us this season but in the grand scheme of things, we cannot be too disheartened by a point from White Harte Lane. We've ticked off yet another difficult trip and have just the 15 games left. A 5 point lead after 23 games is still remarkable. What we need to do now is take care of the next 8 games, which in my opinion are all winnable with the right attitude. Our last 8 of the season are a tad trickier but I gather that if we go on another winning spree, our lead will be much safer than the 5 points-lead we've got now.

The squad have flown out to Quatar for a 4 day training camp is what will undoubtedly be better and warmer conditions than the snow in England. Attention will then shift to the FA Cup next weekend where Fulham visit. Home draws should be bread and butter but I'd like that our focus more than ever remains on that EPL title.

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!

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