The Wigan game felt like two points lost than a point gained. Our Blues surrendered our one goal lead in the 88th minute of the game. It was disappointing. The only change AVB made to the team that defeated Manchester City at the Bridge was Lampard for Ramires. Given we had won against Manchester City and Valencia, the Wigan game was supposed to be an easy one but tactical and defensive errors cost us the win.
I hate criticizing our gaffer but I believe the draw was largely his fault; AVB made the same mistake Mancini made against us the previous week by taking off Aguero and Silva. Mata and Sturridge kept pressure on Wigan’s defense and Wigan’s midfield had to support their defense. By taking Mata and Sturridge off, he gave the Wigan players the freedom to be adventurous up front.
Once again Sturridge proved he is class, he made impressive runs down the flanks, and he crossed better this week. He also scored his 9th goal of the season; the goal came from a wonderful long pass from Ashley Cole. I will be expecting more of such passes from Cole now.
Didier was wearing his invisibility cloak throughout the game; the cloak slipped off for a few seconds when he had the chance to head a goal in; Didier missed that chance. Although Didier was invisible during our last game, I still believe he has much to offer the club. The club should give him the two year contract he wants. Didier has earned the right to retire at our club. I hope Torres proves his worth in January when Didier is in Africa. For now, let’s hope Drogba is motivated to bang in some more goals to help us challenge for the Premier League.
Mata is still our best player on the pitch, I love his movement in the final third; Mata’s passes are simply fantastic. Given Mata’s positive influence in our games, I hope he can remain physically and mentality fit throughout the season.
Is Frankie Lampard is still ‘Super’? This is the question many fans ponder. I believe the reason why AVB made Lampard start the Wigan game is Ramires’ injury. The Lampard that was on the pitch was certainly not the one we all know. There were no defense splitting passes, no well timed runs into the box and no unstoppable shots on target. Age seems to be catching up with Lampard. I will never advocate for Lampard to be sold, I believe he still has some ‘Super’ hidden in him somewhere. He has a lot of experience that still needed at the club. Lampard should be coming off the bench more often now.
We need to add reinforcements in January; a centre-back and a midfielder. A centre-back will allow us to play Ivanovic at right back. We need a midfielder who can run at defenders like Ramires. On Saturday, we passed the ball around hoping to find space; Wigan closed their spaces to leave us ineffective. We tried crosses; we were a bit successful with it because Sturridge scored after receiving Cole’s cross. All the crosses that Drogba didn’t waste were hoofed away by the Wigan defense. Are we going to keep crossing when our target man Didier leaves for AFCON?
Romeu: A lot has been said about the lad, he has the confidence on the ball and the ability to make important interceptions. Romeu has incredible vision and he maintains his passing accuracy even under pressure. The lad must be admired. Does Mikel still have a future at our club?
Our next game is a must win one; we will be heading to North London to face Spurs. Let’s hope AVB rectifies some of our challenges before we face them.