Vital Football

Grant reflects on latest defeat

Grant reflects on latest defeat

Avram Grant admits that we might have 'gone for it' a little too much against Stoke, and that is what ultimately cost us defeat against Stoke last night.

Knowing that, in all honesty, a point was not really enough for us he pushed on even more when Stoke went down to 10-men and this saw us caught on the counter at the end - although he said that he was happy with the 1st half showing, and the early period of the 2nd, our lack of height and inability to deal with set pieces proved our undoing: 'we pushed forward after they had gone down to 10 men to try and win the game because one point for us is not very useful to us, and they scored on the counter attack.

'I think we played very well in the first half and we could have gone in at the break two goals to the good.

'We also started the second half brightly but everybody knows Stoke City are a threat on set-pieces and that proved the case with their equaliser.

'We lost a little bit of height without Younes Kaboul in there and some of players are not so strong at set-pieces.

'We attacked at the end but unfortunately it didn't go as we wanted.'

He will now 'reflect' on this during the week before we go to Burnley next weekend: 'nobody is happy about what has happened today.

'We know we could have won the game - we were 1-0 up - and we will definitely think about that during next week.'

Rugs final thoughts

We HAD to go for the win, a draw would not have been any good for us - granted it is better than a last gasp defeat of course - but all in all, lets face it, yesterday was the story of our season we DO NOT quite have that quality that is needed do we? Nor do we, and have we all season long really, had that clinical enough striker that you need.

Stoke did 'what Stoke do' and that got them the points, we had enough possession but they got men behind the ball to deal with our attacks and, on the whole, the delivery, set piece and otherwise was not good enough. When it was the movement of a clinical striker was lacking really, we had to test their keeper more - for me Nadir Belhadj should be taking free kicks and corners, as his delivery is very dangerous more often than not.

I do not want to be too critical of Grant, as with the amount of forwards we had on the pitch at the end it was obvious we were going for it, but what I would say is I do feel that the introduction of Kanu over John Utaka when Freddy P got injured and had to go off was a 'negative' move...

Bringing on Kanu always seems to suggest that you want to hold onto what you have more than anything - with 5 or 10 minutes to go if you are 1-0 up that is ideal, not when you have 45 for me, but hey ho!

Yep, people will say 'that is that, we are down now' - in all reality we have been, despite it being mathematically possible to avoid this, as we still can, for some time now. Relegation IS the least of our worries! I would take this now, and lose every game we have left this season - bar the cup ones! - if I knew 100% that we would still have a club next season. As that SHOULD be our biggest concern/worry...


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Date:Sunday February 21 2010
Time: 9:30AM


Agree with what you say. As for the match, I am no expert but there is no proper tall centre half type in defence as Wilson showed again he cannot command a good cross. Maybe of those that are left Diop could try. Our forward play was nimble and around the sides with puff to get the ball into the centre where there seemed to be no direct central forward that broke their concentration and caused problems. All we have are runners. Let us pray that we still exist to be able to built a team under the superb Avram
21/02/2010 09:45:00
hmm well for a start we should have been 2 up at half time, Piq's 1st goal was no where near offside and it was laughable how bad that lino was, pretty much all night. Wilson has to go, i'm sorry but he's not tall enough and he can't jump well enough to make up for his size, so he really can't be a centre back, so bring in rocha along side Herman (who played well in the centre again) and try and sure up the defence. then when we can play tosic can play put him at the left with belhadj in midfield (although be fair to the guy he's defended really well recently) and hopefully then you won't ship so many goals..
21/02/2010 11:48:00
That's the last time I ask Rug "when was the last time we scored first and didn't win?"
21/02/2010 16:22:00
I know I am going to sound dead boring but I enjoyed the gme, i really did. One or two of our players could have tried harder, but to my inexperienced eye, we were as good as, if not better than Stoke. If we are down, we are down. In the words of Arnold swatzenegger - "I'll be back".
21/02/2010 21:51:00
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