What a reaction!
From one of the worst performances I’ve ever witnessed (well on TV), to one of the best I can remember in a very long time, less than four days later. The same three forward players who looked like they had never met on Thursday, to actually linking up and playing well off each other today summed it up.
Just after Tyrone Mings had done the handshaking, he ran towards the Holte and gave a smile which was a “thank **** he’s gone” one to my eyes. I thought at that point the players were up for it, and so it proved.
The formation and importantly, shape, was what most of us were crying out for. Two in the middle firming it up, and allowing the four forward players to play. The first goal was key today, though I wasn’t expecting us to be so on it from the first whistle. I doubt anyone could’ve predicted that start. That says a lot about whether they were playing for Steven Gerrard, or not.
We won first balls in the air, we won second balls, we intercepted the ball, we won tackles, we did everything. I can’t recall a game where we have been so on it like we were today, professionally dismantling a good side in the league. I can’t remember Brentford winning anything, until Philippe Coutinho came on and tried a bit too hard.
Everything just seemed to go in our favour, no VAR ruling out goals, Ollie having three bites at the cherry and even Mbeumo missing the easiest chance of the game.
It shows the players are capable. That said, today was a rebound and so we need performances which are near to that on a more regular basis.
I assume Ashley Young was captain, as I didn’t notice the armband on him. He was captain fantastic today, 10/10. Douglas Luiz wasn’t far behind, and really enjoyed himself with Leander Dendonker just sitting there. Dendonker was quietly brilliant. He’s not fancy, he did the simple things well, and gives us height and shape.
Leon Bailey looked up for it, he actually took players on today which was pleasant as I was banging on about him not actually getting around players to my mate pre game, which is what he should be doing.
The result is hugely important for points on the board firstly, confidence for the players, justification for those of us seeing a bigger picture on Thursday night, and also to tempt a new manager.