Guest Howaythetoon Posted April 12, 2009 Share Posted April 12, 2009 First of all we turned a 1-0 loss into a 1-1 draw away from home in a tricky typically tough place to play where not many get anything at all. A point that keeps us in it and may well end up proving to be a turning point. That alone cannot be sniffed at. The players showed tremendous fight, character and work ethic. The back four/five were strong enough to withstand what was at times an onslaught and very much in your face attacking from the opposition. Owen looked sharper and has another full 90 minutes under his belt. We all know with Owen that its more about sharpness and games just as much as it is about service so hopefully the goals will start coming with the more minutes on the pitch he gets. I predict we'll see an Owen goal sooner rather than later. We actually put in crosses. Not all of them were very good, in fact most were rubbish but we got into crossing positions and looked to put the ball in, even Jonas sent in a few as did Duff. Jonas actually had an end product when he came on, putting in crosses, getting into the box and to the byeline and tellingly playing the ball through into space. For Duff read Jonas. A makeshift defence were disicplined and strong physically and in the air, Edgar in particular standing out. All subs had an impact, especially Carrol who scored a fantastic goal and earlier could have scored with another header. We are not going to score screamers or slice teams open, we're going to score scrappy goals inside the box or from crosses and we could have had a few against Stoke in such fashion. My point is we looked a goal threat and caused the opposition problems. Sherarer isn't afraid to drop players and try out new things. I personally thought he got his selection wrong and at times didn't know what system we were trying to play and by the time Carroll came on it pretty much went out the window anyway, but long-term it is positive news regarding Shearer as a manager. He seems willing to give anyone a chance who serves him well in training and who performs in a match. Guthrie for example starting following his decent spell when he came on against Chelsea and Carroll I can see starting away to Spurs. We finished the stronger side and for spells did to Stoke what they did to us - we pinned them back. Our fitness levels improved, we were still full of running towards the end. We got our first point and first goal under Shearer. There is more to come, hopefully it will be enough to keep us up. Fingers crossed. Again in terms of the future, ice baths and players exercising on bikes on the touchline points to a modern approach from Shearer (this is Dowie's area). I am a lot more optimistic now then I was before he took over and I will be honest in that I expected Stoke to beat us so a point in that respect is a bonus and especially so having went 1-0 down. Its Spurs next, lets get something out of that game like we did against Stoke, an arguably tougher fixture. Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
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