Date: 17th August 2014 at 10:30pm
Written by:

First off, I know we wont play teams of this calibre every week but even against the quality of the opposition, the answers to our problems were as apparent as ever.

Alan Pardew promised football that hadn’t been seen up here for ‘mumfs’ and after witnessing that, I can only presume he meant the last time we faced this lot as absolutely nowt changed.

We played a low tempo containment game for the best part of 70 minutes before ‘unleashing’ squidward and the nervy looking Aarons later on.

The desperate need for an established striker was underlined further although Riviere did well for a debut. Flashes of pace and strength were seen although we need someone to hit the ground running.

Im not sure if Man City were average or the excellent Colback played that well that he stifled their game to a certain extent. Id like to think the latter as the lad was all over the place and if he keeps that effort up then he’ll achieve big things here. He may not be the most skillful but what he showed was bundles of character, a great engine and a never say die spirit.

My man of the match by some way.

Cabella was average until later on.

Krul had not that much to do apart from pick the ball out the net twice and punch out a long shot in the first half. He recieved plenty of back passes mind.

Colo had a good game.

Williamson hardly got a sniff against Dzeko but I saw some stats before to suggest otherwise.

Janmaat was quiet and never roamed half as much as what Debuchy did, although this may have been the plan. I liked his eagerness to overlap early on but these stopped.

Sissoko was frustrating.

Dummett was abysmal, although could have scored with a flick header.

Gouffran had a bad game for me and was guilty of not running back late on on a couple of occasions.

Anita didn’t have the best of games either because we played a system that makes him anonymous. He couldn’t spray any balls anywhere or break with any speed as our formation was too cramped.

Of the subs. Obertan was shocking. Im not sure what his position was supposed to be but he popped up wherever the ball wasn’t. Sitting in defence when we were on the attack and vice versa.

Aarons had his moments but maybe was nervous plus was trying too hard to impress. Sometimes being crowded out or making the wrong decision.

Perez surprised me and has the look of a real quality player. Movement, touch and skill. Was unlucky that his shot was deflected as it was going in.

Overall, nothing much has changed. Pardew thinks that this containment game is some sort of secret weapon that can be used until the opposition get tired, so that he then can go on the attack. This leaves me questioning our fitness levels or training.

Also, the back post to Williamson set piece is still in operation.

There’s positives in that we weren’t embarassed and we actually looked like we could get a point right up to the end and when we get de Jong, Tiote and Santon in, then we could make a decent team.

We’re still in need of a centre back and striker but after today id add a left back as well.