Monday, 11 February 2013

Tainted or Sainted

It was coming. Nobody can deny that. Despite the entertainment value agin the Scousers, there was a lack of conviction - especially in front of goal - but also a worrying tendency for a return to the defensive errors which have so often historically proved our downfall. Saturday tea time, with the intensely annoying tones of Stan Collymore inflicting GBH on my ears, the chickens came home to roost. The Saints have looked a decent side on occasion, and I remember they gave us a few scares when we played them at the beginning of the season. They also ran the Rags close recently, so this was never going to be an easy trip down to the south coast. Yet, in truth, the loss was as much down to us shooting ourselves in the foot as to the blah-blah-blah philosophy of the new Argie Southampton manager (he must be good, because he can't speak English).

Naturally, to top things off, the Toffees caved in and made life easy for Sir Alex's boys in the run-up to their game against the Galacticos this week, and it really does look as if it's all over red rover now. Even if (which is looking increasingly unlikely) United do slip up, I can't see how we will have enough in us to win the games (i.e., all of them) that we need to in order to stay in it.

As for analysis of Saturday's fiasco, well where to start? There seem to be so many different issues conspiring to tip us into the shit heap at the moment. Barry obviously deserves criticism for having one of those games, and Nasri yet again simply failed to turn up, which is just so fucking infuriating and lazy of him. Hart as well (and again!) hardly covered himself in glory, and there was the now customary fiddling about with the defensive set-up as a result of Kompany's injury. This says so much about the latest recruits and the - let's say - limited impact they have made so far. Yaya hasn't been the force he was last season, and Saturday was just a reinforcement of that disappointing and depressing trend. Whatever the 'personal problem' Tevez had, it doesn't bode well for us, with only Dzeko and Kun to rely on up front. Once more, who could fathom replacing Silva with Maicon, when chasing the game like a Findus horse at 3-1 down?

Though of course it's impossible to know the detail behind much of what goes on at a big club, I feel heartily sick of Mancini sometimes when he starts flinging blame around. It comes across as lame and desperate: blaming the players, blaming Brian Marwood... Who to blame next? Now I hear that dodgy dealings with Barclays Bank are lapping around the Sheikh's ankles, threatening to leave a nasty tide mark on his Savile Row suit trousers, and things could start to go even more horribly wrong. Outside, snow is turning to sleet and a freezing wind blows.

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