Tuesday night was a bit of a blur, if I’m honest. The overall feeling was one of frustration, and, somewhat surprisingly, the boo-boys were out in force for much of the game. I’m not sure if it’s where I was sat in the West Stand, but there was a general feeling of negativity, of a failure to live up to expectations.
Some of that rubbed off on me, and I was left dejected at the end of the game. But I watched the extended highlights the morning after, and I have to say we actually started to create some very good opportunities. If it weren’t for Mancienne’s strong defensive performance, I daresay we could have at least salvaged a draw against an eminently score-againstable (to coin a phrase) side.
Sure, there was massive disappointment, but at the same time plenty to be positive about. Yes, we ought to have won that game on paper, but things didn’t exactly click that evening. At least, not until the second half, when it was always going to be more difficult against a stifling Wolves defence – a job they did very well on the whole, I must add.
I don’t know if it was the introduction of Sinclair and perhaps Scotland, but things looked an awful lot smoother and more promising as the match entered the final ten minutes. If only there were a way to play like that from the beginning against Manchester United. Bob, that’s your task for this week.
On the subject of the penalties, I think both ought to have been given, and though you could say things evened themselves out, you have to ask what on earth the ref was thinking, most notably when he booked Keogh for a so-called dive in the Latics penalty area. Looked a penalty from where I was sat, and even more so on the replay.
So yes, a result to forget, but certainly not everything went wrong as I bemoaned in my match report. I would hazard a guess things are going to be just as tough, if not tougher, against our Mancunian friends. They do have wounded absentees–most notably Van Der Sar and Rio Ferdinand–but then so did Wolves, and we still lost against them.
They have yet to find their feet, however, so now is as good a time as any to sneak a surprise result. If Latics can put Tuesday’s performance out of their minds they ought to be able to settle down to some good football again on Saturday.
Man not to watch: Dimitar Berbatov, the donkey. (Just you watch, he’ll score against us now.)