Monday 20 August 2012

A new era begins: let's give the kids a chance

Dr Evil ponders the simplicity of life
So, we are back and despite looking a little bewildered for the first 20 minutes, we kicked off with the perfect confidence boosting result. Solid in defence, competitive around the park and we created the better chances against what looks (on paper at least) to be a decent Villa side. Perfect Big Sam product – we slowly suffocated their creative efforts, scored from a set piece and then bossed them into desperation before finally carving them open for what should have been a second goal. A satisfying feeling indeed, especially when you consider that we are usually on the receiving end of this type of contest – coming away feeling that we had some nice touches around the middle of the park but couldn’t quite translate them into chances up front deblah blah…. It’s a new era that will see us establish our Premiership credentials, move to a bigger venue, get bought by a major investor who wants to be associated with a London club, and on it goes….world domination within 5 years methinks?

Or maybe we will pick up injuries, struggle to win at home, get into a bad run of away form and face another tense final run in. Somehow, however, I don’t think so. I think our new found  organisation and physicality will allow us to capture points on the road where our midfield set up should make us hard to break down and we can dominate set pieces. After repeated rudderless campaigns over the past few years, we finally have a ‘proper’ manager who knows how the game works, including getting results. I’m a little less confident about us getting those important home victories but if we can add a little more attacking flair before the transfer window closes then we might start really dreaming!

et another reason that it would be great to get a solid start to the season is that it can allow us to give useful game time to our emerging youngsters - Dan Potts, Jordan Spence and Rob Hall all looked more than decent in pre-season and surely deserve a chance at the top table. However, even as a supporter of big Sam’s effective football, I must admit that he can be too conservative when it comes to testing new talent. As time passes we may well regret some of the departures of young talent who can rightly complain that they didn’t get a real opportunity to strut their stuff. Baldock, Morrison, Nouble et al can all cite lack of a sustained run in the team as a reason for their lack of success at the Boleyn and their causes were not helped last year by our premature exits from cup competition where emerging talent can be aired. Let’s hope we can avoid any unwanted surprises in the Crewe tie and get a decent run going that will allow Big Sam to give our kids a chance!

Overall, it was a vey pleasing start to the new campaign. A special mention for James Collins, why oh why did we ever let him go? Let’s keep it up and squeeze the joy out of free flowing Swansea next week.Physically we can boss them. Mark Hughes excuses for QPRs thumping at the weekend sounded lame but it’s important not to let them get ahead early on.  Maybe this is the moment to try out a Diame-Diarra partnership in front of the back four….COYI!

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