For a while we've all been asking about his supposed 'tactical genius' - well yesterday he certainly showed he has the ability to mix it up and get the best out of the side. Firstly, I'm not saying losing 5-2 to the scum is anything short of appalling, but lets face it, they're the one side that you really do not want to go a man down against as they can take advantage of a one man advantage better than most, but here me out...…
We lined up with the 4-4-2 that most of us have been asking for, and lets face it, the 4-4-2 looked fantastic. We were all over them, looking as if we could run away with an easy victory. One rush of blood from Ade, and we're f**ked. Now I'm not saying his challenge wasn't idiotic and deserving of a red card, but had Cazorla not acted like his career was over and 50,000 people wearing red started screaming 'off off off' - a ref could have easily given a yellow there. Whether a yellow would have been the right decision or not, is another matter, but it COULD have happened.
Had Ade not been sent off, there is no doubt in my mind we would have went on to won that game.... but again, this is another debabte. The remainder of the 1st half was painful to watch. What do you do? AVB decided to try and see it out, which is fair enough. Had we gone in just the 1 down, it could have been a different game, but we two in the last 4 minutes of the half - risk failed. Roll on the second half, where AVB boldly went for a 3-4-2, taking off both full backs and replacing them with Dempsey (our only other striking option) and Daws.
Instantly we took control of the game and started bringing it on to them again. Their 4th came against the run of play, but even so - the attitude of 'if we're going to go down, we may as well go down fighting' is a welcome change from the 'damage limitation' approach that most would adopt. Tommy Carroll's introduction also showed intention to compete in the match. The use of the ball all through the second half was far more productive for us. The goons passed it around a bit, but to little effect in the main. They got another near the end, but result wise, that was irrelevant.
We've lost in the most humiliating fashion to the goons again. Work, social situations, text messages, facebook banter - its all going to be hell again, but one big silver lining can come through it all for me - AVB has shone in showing his ability to make the big calls. He honestly couldn't have done a lot more on the day. Ade may have screwed it right up for us, but AVB did everything humanly possible to salvage something, and I for one give him my utmost respect.
I really hope he is given a lot of time to get things sorted, because I do think that once he finalises his plan, we will become incredibly difficult to beat. We are still 5/6 first team players down through injuries, and we can only improve once they're all back. It was a god awful result, but not AVB's fault in the slightest. For me, there is very little he could have done any better, so well done to him!
Written by dave the yid