Well, let’s take the positives:
- 3 points this weekend
- Arsenal dropped points.
That said, the alarm bells are blaring for me at this point: United is looking legitimately good now that they’ve figured out how to use Paul Pogba and found a solid center back pair. Chelsea is running away with the title, which means we’re now basically looking at five teams fighting for three Champions League places. Arsenal lost in very Arsenal fashion, but still have looked pretty strong for much of the season. And we’re looking like Tottenham Hotspur, c. September 2013: We’re getting results, but we have trouble scoring goals consistently because of how much we rely on shot quantity over shot quality.
To be sure, there are some massive differences between this team and that second AVB team: The quality of our overall roster is far superior, for one, and for another, Mauricio Pochettino has shown himself to be adaptable in ways that AVB never was and has an established record of finding gems within his team’s academy system.
Additionally, this team has been devastated by injuries in ways that AVB’s teams never were really, save the very obvious exception of Sandro and his horror knee injury.
When I say we look like AVB’s Spurs circa fall of 2013, then, I am not saying that we’re on the brink of a string of horrifically bad results that lead to a managerial change. That’s not the situation at all. I’m not making future predictions when I say we look like that Spurs team; rather, I’m saying that we’re grinding out results on the strength of good defending, heroic goalkeeping, and regular visits from the Finishing Pixy. I have a theory about what’s going on (on which more tomorrow) but for now I’m curious to hear what you all think. Are you as nervous about this team as I am? I thought we played OK yesterday, but after I saw Caley’s xG map and reviewed some of the match, I felt much worse about the performance. How are y’all doing?