Good that we had another win! OK, it was only Ipswich, but things even out in the Cup, or more (ask Newcastle).
Plenty to take from the match. 3 of our injured came back, and got through the match with no further problems. Bent showed that he's still got it; the goal will do his confidence the world of good. Lambert seemed pleased at N'zogbia's performance. Bowery started for the first time. Weimann scored, again! And Southampton let in 5 against Chelsea, at home; hope they're still thinking about it in a week's time!
Shows that if the defence can stay strong then we've enough power further up the field to get results. A couple of class signings should see us OK for the season.
Nathan actually had a pretty poor game today, but I was still very relieved to see him back, and I know he can perform much better than that. Bent did not put a foot wrong all day and once he was put through, the finish never looked in doubt - that is a mark of class, just give him the service. Delph positively shone and for me was the man of the match. I felt a bit sorry for Bowery - he just looks an out and out target man and was not able to contribute much out wide despite a lot of effort, but the ovation he got when he came off will give him a great confidence boost. Gabby made a huge impact when he came on - it was one way traffic from then on, and Given made a couple of top drawer saves. Lots of positives.
A couple of concerns though. Albrighton was pretty anonymous all afternoon and ended up going off injured - not sure if he was carrying an injury throughout? Weimann picked up a niggle and wasn't moving properly, looked like a groin strain, and played that way for the last 15 minutes - we had already made our 3 substitutions but I would have been tempted to take him off and play with 10 rather than risk losing him to an injury - his goals have been gold dust.
Attendance was circa 1985 levels, 24k. The whole top tier of the Trinity Rd stand was empty and even the Holte End looked like a badly maintained lawn with lots of gaps. You could even pay on the door ! Am I dreaming, or have they not done that for years either?
Am still a bit conflicted - I would not have been too unhappy to be out of the cup and getting 3 points when we win, but who doesn't want to see their team win??
I was at the game today and when i saw the team sheet before the game i thought it would be Marc and Charlie out wide with Bent and Bowery up front but it turned out to be Charlie just behind Bent with Jordan playing out wide.
It wa so good to see Nzogbia start the game the way he did running at people and causing all sorts of problems the only way they could stop him was by fouling him. If he can bring that kind of performance in the league we might just start to see what the club paid alot of money for, and he might have even put himself in the team for Tuesday. He looked like the Nzogbia who was tearing teams apart for Wigan.
I felt we dominated the game we kept the ball really well and caused them problems they only scored on the counter after Bowery had his effort saved. Bowery had a decent game he played out wide which i dont think is his position but he gave it his best.
Delph aslo seems to play really well in the cups he has been very good in the League cup games and now today he just seems to struggle in the league i hope he can bring it to the big stage beacause at times when he carries the ball forward at pace you can see the makings of a good player there. I wont be too surprised if he had another good game on Tuesday night.
We have so much firepower Benteke had a rest today but Bent played and scored a vintage Bent goal he also ran the channels, Gabby had a run out Andi scored he is having a great season he scored a very good header and if Charlie and Ireland could back up these lads we can get up the league.
The lads who have been out are coming back now and if we can get a couple of shrewd deals done in the window there is no reason the second half of the season cant be a good one.
although Gabby doesnt score much he makes such a huge difference to our team running the channels, if we'd had Gabby against Swansea i'm pretty sure we'd have held on to the win as he can run it down the wing and relieve the pressure, but thats that so no point dwelling on it
Andi's header was simply sublime, the lad has everything in his his locker and he's the one we should be more worried about keeping rather than Benteke IMO
Bent did what Bent does, if we can keep them happy that's some forward line!
If Zoggy can replicate his Wigan form and play in the hole and we can get a ball winning midfield player I think we should be looking at around 12th, on form we've got too much for most teams and once Vlaar is back I feel him and Baker should play together in a 442, yes Baker had a bit of a mare yesterday but overall this season he's been so composed and strong
I couldnt make the game but hear Bennett got MOTM? Not been impressed with him at all this season so be nice if he did start playing to the levels of Lowton (who has been my favourite Lambert signing so far)
All in all a pretty positive outlook
as good as Lowton has been, he has been pretty bad in the recent poor form that we have shown. That side of the defence, with him and Herd has been leaking chances for fun!
He probably needs a rest, as he has played every game, as far as i know.
Good win and away to Millwall now.
What did Bowery look like? Potential at the higher level?
I haven't seen anything yet that leads me to believe he will be successful in the Premiership. I'm not saying he hasn't got it, I just haven't seen it so far. Most of his substitutions have been in tight games and when he does get a start he is played out wide - would have been better for him if he could have got some game time up front when we were cruising to a win, but they have been thin on the ground. Fingers crossed for him though.