Azonto Epistle 21: An Unlucky Weekend At Goodison Park
Not many can blame Jose for his lineup against Everton. In fact, it was the strongest possible lineup you can get on the face of the team sheet. Hazard and Schurrle on the wings to give us width and stop the threat of Baines and Coleman joining their attack. Mata in the middle to orchestrate the attacking movement and pull the strings; Mikel-Ramires in the middle has been very effective from last season and I still think it is a very strong partnership we can get at the moment without discrediting what Lampard adds to the team when in it. The defenders were the strongest and experienced we have. So, the issue of our loss can’t be lineup. Indeed, the manner in which we started the game with high intensity and tempo was a joy to behold. We were never being pushed around by the quick tempo game by the two sides. Everton maintained a good balance in defense and midfield and had a their fair share of possession but the team which deserved to be in the lead was Chelsea. We could have been 3 goals up had things gone on our way and if we had been a bit lucky with our chances. So it wasn’t about we not performing well, but the story of the day was we not being able to convert any of our 21 chances created. And the manager couldn’t have said it any better that if you create such chances and you don’t score, they are worthless and you deserve to lose. So, let’s put it that, we were very unlucky at Goodison Park.
Not many have managed to accept the fact that football is full of uncertainties as the cliche goes. The beauty of football is that, it can cause upsets even if you are the strongest. At Goodison, we played well and the manager risked everything to get us the points or even a point. One thing people must know is that football loss is not always suppose to come with blame game. Everton did their best to prevent us from scoring and at least, by virtue of the score sheet, they succeeded. Should they put up similar performances against other top opposition, we wouldn’t be complaining much.
We Are Not Invincible:
Many might be tempted to believe that we can’t lose a match under Jose. I want to entreat all such people that they must prepare for more of these upsets although I hope it doesn’t become more and I surely believe they won’t be more. However, we must not create an invincible mentality for ourselves. The team is still in a formative period although they will always be competing for every title because of their talent. Losing at Goodison is not the worst thing in the world for people to start calling the head of players. It is not as if we lost to QPR at Stamford Bridge. Everton is an boggy side for us and they lived up to it. Looking at the table, we are not far from the top. We can’t behave as if we lost to a newly promoted Cardiff side or even drew blank at Brittania. Come on, it’s Everton for crying out loud. When Arsenal were smashed 3-1 by Aston Villa at home they still had cause to exist as fans. Don’t forget, Manchester United struggled to win against Crystal Palace at home, and had it not being a very very dubious penalty which and a red card which got them off, it could have been a different story. City drawing at Stoke wasn’t the best they could get and Arsenal were happily in the lead because, Referee Atkinson couldn’t apply a simple advantage rule which could have given Altidore a good goal.
So all is not gloom and doom, it’s just the typical EPL which comes with strong competition from all teams and hey, don’t mind the media personnel who have jumped the gun so soon to write us out of contention. Lets even enjoy that status and at the end of the season, stick it In their faces.
Seth Adusei (twitter @sethaadusei)