Writer: Mike Field
Date:Sunday January 17 2010
Martin O'Neill has praised the effort of the team after beating Wet Spam in all but the goals for column today.
Speaking on the Official Site tonight following our bore draw we barely get to paragraph two before the 'tiredness' excuse is raised owing to the Blackburn game 3 days ago.
However, before he's quoted on that he comments generally:
'We had lots of possession, it was disappointing and a bit frustrating.'
Describing his feelings of being 'delighted' with the team, even though we failed to take every single chance that was presented to us.
Monny specifically points out that he thought we got a little tired in the last 10-15 minutes of the match, although the common consensus is we were knackered after the first 30 minutes, and he says we dealt with everything Wet Spam could muster when the game became more open.
'Considering we played in a semi final on Thursday night, I thought it was a big terrific effort.
'We were unable to score the goal, but it was a big, big effort.'
It was a good effort from the lads, with all the snow and the extended Cup runs this season the fixtures are now going to come thick and fast, but we keep hearing about players choping at the bit on the subs bench, those who keep not making the subs bench and all the talk of rotation, resting players BUT it never happens.
Players still aren't picked on performance and form, some are still undroppable and we are back to the silliness of two right backs on the bench, with three centre halves on the pitch.
And that's ignoring the predictable Heskey/Carew swop with no other changes.
So it was a great effort from the team, they would be tired (ignoring those off form anyway) but the answer to that isn't to then still ignore the rest of the squad and play them into the ground regardless.
Downing isn't fit anyway, why not take him off and give Albrighton another chance - if he's good enough to appear against Liverpool, why not West Ham? Ok he wasn't on the bench, so why not Delph and move Ash into the middle and go 433? Gabby was dire, so why not give Delboy 30 mins?
There are more options than Heskey/Carew - especially if players are tired and off form.
We may have improved on last season in terms of squad depth, but the age old gripes still haven't disappeared. Yes most people ignore them when things are going well, but they are always there ready to bite us again and it appears we still have no answer or counter to them.
I just dearly hope the second half of this season doesn't go the way of last. We still desperately need a plan B and we still desperately need a striker.
We are almost there, but hiding behind a league position or a Cup run won't work any better this season, than it did last where the talk went from 'stop moaning we are 4th' to 5th, to then using 6th place as justification.
We dropped two points today, had we rotated more we still might not have got the result - but players would be fresher.
No point having a squad if you don't use them.
Date:Sunday January 17 2010
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