Surprising moments - but only one point

It's not always the players.... We get frustrated when we see some player on the field we dislike. We really try to see how bad the player is, watch every move with every doubt we can procure. Before the game today I had raised some doubt over some of the players - but for the first 45 minutes noone of these let me down. Instead they showed what faith can do to a player. Zola seems to give the players faith.

In the end we lost two crucial points (and although my article below speaks something else, I'm not happy with just one point - I think we deserved more) and some of the players looked in the end very, very tired. Still all of our "benchwarmers" showed glimpses today what faith can do. And not least; what a well-laid plan can do for them. If players know what to do in every single moment, they can rely on that and become better players for a better team.

Green 8. Some crucial saves in the end, but not so much to do.
Neill 7.5. Played very well today. He is not fast, he is not running up and down the line. Still very positive influence today. Played well against people like Downing which suprised me.
Collins 6. I'm very happy he is back and today he fought like a superhero. Had a lot of influence on the game. But it's early days for him and he looked very tired in the end (maybe that's the smoking?), he causes the freekick, and then makes the common mistake to jump in the wall when the opponent shoots. Mido scored under his feet.
Upson 6.5. For the second game in a row, he lets Collins shine in the box which worries me a bit. He should have the influence of a man who is in the national team. But otherwise. Very solid.
Illunga 7. No wrongs, fights hard. Good, but not spectacular today. Good teamwork and some good runs.
Faubert 6.5. Much more calm at RM. Made a good impression on me in the first half with much commitment and some decent runs. Was not as fast as Downing, but a close call. Seemed very, very tired in the end and even uninterested.
Mullins 6.5. Great - if unconvenional - goal! The involvment in the first half was astonishing. We are talking about Mullins for G**ds sake. But when Boro put on some more pressure in the second half (mainly with Arca) Mullins was not the man to keep the ball up and change the game. When we lost our central midfield, we lost our lead.
Collison 6.5 Happy for him. He had a good game, and did not look unsecure a single minute. His inexperience never shown and he made some decent runs, could even had scored twice (I like when the central midfield tries to reach for the ball in the box - we have not had that in any games this season... until now!). Like to search for Sears. Good spirit! He will play more for us from now on.
LBM 6. Had a decent game, and I really like when he fights so hard, wins the ball back and plays tough. Was involved in our goal. Well, he made mistakes too... but absolutly OK today.
Sears 6. Loved to see his good - eh, decent - collaboration with Bellamy. Sometimes their runs made Boro's defence dizzy. Not enough efficiency though, which cost us in the end.
Bellamy 7.5. We put a lot of pressure on Bellamy's shoulders. But he had a good game today, even if I think he needs another 4-5 games to reach 100 per cent. Sometimes he makes the completely wrong decisions. But he runs like hell.

Neither Etherington or Bowyer (both late subs) had any affects on the game at all.

23 games without clean sheet and counting.
Good to see Tristan on the bench. And good to see Zola affect the game and introducing new talent. Can't blame him for his choice of LBM either. In the end we had a good game, but were unable to keep up the advantage. The midfield stopped to play with the same intensity and aggressiveness. And we only managed to score once. Still... more happy today than in the whole of October.
Soon we will have Cole, Ashton, Dyer, Parker, Noble and Behrami. Not everyone could say they should start immediately! Everton - who were very lucky today - next!

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