You could say we haven’t much luck this season: We were a touch unfortunate to lose to the Russians, and we were wasteful yesterday, losing 2-1 despite having five presentable chances in the first half.
The trouble is, no amount of spin can hide the fact that we’ve now lost both our away games – and half of all games – and we’re already nine points behind the leaders (albeit with a game in hand).
Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch the game live as I was drinking champagne (not randomly – at a wedding you understand), and I can’t bring myself to watch the video of it – no masochist am I – so I’m not in a particularly good place to comment very much on what went wrong. Many accounts suggest that both centre-backs were culpable in some way for both goals – Toure for the first, Cygan the second – and it seems that Campbell’s return cannot come fast enough. Senderos too perhaps – despite his fragile confidence, is he not a better bet than Cygan?
I don’t think there’s any need for alarm bells to sound yet, as there were extenuating circumstances of sorts (notably the absences of Henry, Ljungberg, Campbell and Fabregas, as well as the fact we rarely seem to do well after international breaks), but we do need to tighten up defensively, having conceded four times already.
Fabregas and Ljungberg, though not Henry, are set to return on Wednesday, and that can only help. On the downside, Lehmann is suspended, and the hapless Almunia will get the umpteenth chance to redeem himself.