The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world. There is no easy game (except Aston Villa who recently lost to their under 21s) but it is even more difficult when you are losing. Under Laudrup we gave away the first goal far too often and easily and it was this that cost him his job. We were a good side at 0-0, often creating the better chances and then we’d give away a sloppy goal and then it is a different game.
You hear that a lot in football ‘a different game’, there are still 22 players on the pitch and the ball is round but the difference between being 1-0 up and 1-0 down is huge in this league. We were an outstanding side under the Dane when we did score first, sides would be forced to push up and take more chances and we would break with explosive pace and had a brilliant record of converting a 1-0 lead into three points.
Swansea have picked up two points in the last four matches and have led in three of them. Seven points dropped in four matches from winning positions and it is clear that we will continue to drop more unless we change our stereotypical Italian philosophy on a one-nothing lead.
Life is about odds. If you thought the odds of you quitting your job and becoming a rock star were reasonable then you’d give it a bash. Sadly, you can’t sing, you have no personality and you look like a bus run over you twice! So you keep to your day job.
Against Spurs, on 60 minutes, we were 1-0 up. What would you say the odds were on us scoring next? I would say far less likely than 10-1. So the way we set up, we are saying that if there is to be another goal in the next half an hour then 90% of the time then it will be to the opposition. That is appalling odds and tactically stupid!
Spurs are a good side, don’t take it away from them and although the odds against Palace and West Brom would have been less, they were far from what they should have been. When a side is pushing and taking the chances then the odds should be flipped, the side with a lead should be more likely to get the second as against concede an equaliser. We held all the cards and didn’t play any.
Barrow has to come on the pitch on 60 minutes if we have a lead. He has to. It isn’t even a decision. He is an outlet and a threat. Spurs scored both goals through a big contribution from either full back, they could go and do what they liked with no defensive responsibility. Barrow is a good player against a deep and organised side with a one goal lead. He would be a huge weapon against a gambling side who are 1-0 down. He would force the full backs to think twice about pushing forward, he would win free kicks and give a breather to other players and he would dramatically cut the odds of us scoring the second which would win us three points.
Instead we like to bring on Jordi Amat to soak up the pressure. It doesn’t work! A 1-0 lead is such an advantage in this league, look at Leicester! They have been brilliant at defending and hitting on the break. They did it to us! Did it to Citeh! If we can’t turn a one goal lead into a win then we are gone! Totally gone! Tonight will be tough. We wont win it 1-0!!