We lost to an inferior team - again. Nothing good in that.
But there are several ways to lose and the way we lost yesterday may be one of the most painful but I rather have that compared to any other.
We outplayed yet another team and I think that it should be obvious to anybody that this is the way forward! There are things that must be changed, no getting around that, but to get on Zola's back would be a vote for a mediocrity!
I'm sure that there are managers out there, Curbs for instance, that would have made us gather more point from the last 6 games, but I want none of them!
Zola asks our players to play a very demanding game and as Zola pointed out already after the first few training sessions, the physical fitness is not the best.
Reverting to 442 helps, but we can all see that the steam runs out of most players come the hour mark.
I'm a little confused that Zola has not prepared the team for a slower type of holding game. We need it to gather strength in between periods of full-throttle football.
Following our first goal, Everton should be the team chasing and we can and should slow the game down a bit and take advantage of our ability to play passing football, leaving them to run their socks off to get the ball!
One episode that springs to mind is that after about 70 minutes, when it's obvious that quite a few players are tired, Green catches the ball, I think "hold on to the ball, let the boys get their breath back, but Green immediately starts an all out brake attack with 5 or 6 players running 60 yards like madmen to try to get that second goal.
That were the 5 or 6 men that "died" in the last 20 minutes.
The other reason for our breakdown is the mental game.
Several of our players have said that "Zola makes us not fear to fail" but that is exactly what most of the players do - they desperately fear they will once again fail - so they will. That's sports-psychology for you.
What is to be done about that then?
I'm not sure, we need someone to get the team to believe they can do it, and that should be the captain, but unfortunately he seems unable to do that.
The dominant midfielder is the second one to spring to mind, but Parker is one of the first to desert the midfield and fall into the lap of the back 4 when the tide starts to turn. Bellamy is the one showing most promise in this sense I think, Bu his position should be on the verge of offside and not running around in the midfield urging people to get back in the game.
Still, this is mental and should be able to change, maybe all we need is a win so we start to believe we can actually do it.
After 60 minutes I wrote: The kids are ready!
The way Collison comes in and shows everybody that he is the one for the central midfield in every starting lineup from now on, no matter who is fit, is just fantastic!
Sears shows that he is so much better than Di MIchele and should be picked every game if he doesn't need the rest. He and Bellamy enjoys playing together and this is just the beginning of that partnership!
With Collison, Sears and Zola showing what the future looks like we shouldn't be too depressed today. It certainly looks bright!