Momentum. We had it, we’ve lost it, we need to get it back.

For the past few weeks, we’ve played without any cutting edge, bailed out by a solid, reliable defence. We’ve looked fragile and vulnerable.

Last night, for the first time this season, our defence went missing and we saw the result. I always expect us the play well and keep the ball, but I find myself wondering where the goals will come from and hoping that the defence stays strong.

Martinez gambled with half-fit players last night. I don’t know if that made the difference, but last night showed how paper-thin we are up front. The frankly ineffective Lukaku was replaced by the honest, hard-working Naismith who would not be near our team if we had genuine top-four ambitions.

How do we get the momentum back? Strikers, please. I can see the loan strategy. I would have regretted a big-money Lukaku permanent signing now, at least we can let him go back to Chelsea. If we bring in loan strikers,we need strikers now, not in a few weeks time.

Martinez needs to earn his money now. He’s earned plenty of praise from ’positive Peters’ like me, but last night he and the players fucked up big time. We need fit players out there on Saturday who are desperate to atone for last night. Desperate to prove they should still be here next season.

I’m sure he’ll do plenty behind the scenes, but I’d like him to apologise to us for that shite and make it clear to all and sundry that you don’t do that and have a future at this club. Whatever happens in the next two days, a bit of clarity from the club about short/medium term intentions would be good.

One shocking defeat doesn’t overshadow the previous few months. It has heightened our lack of cutting edge and over-reliance on our first-choice defence. Whoever plays upfront needs service, he also needs to be bloody good as well. We won’t get momentum back by not getting beat, we need to win games with cutting edge... now.

Over to you, Mr Martinez...

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Reader Comments (9)

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Philip Bunting
1 Posted 29/01/2014 at 15:27:17
Where and when did we lose it? After the Man Utd and Arsenal games we looked near invincible, now we look frail...At what defining moment between then and now did it start to go pear shaped?

For me, definitely the Xmas period, I just felt we were not performing then getting the odd good display mixed amongst hard fought draws and FA Cup wins 'but why', thereafter we turned to shit judging by West Brom away and now the shite....

But how do we turn it around? What players are going to stand up and take responsibility on the field and drive us forward...? ANSWERS ON A POSTCARD PLEASE...

Maybe that drubbing (yes, it was) will be the moment our season swings back in our favour. Fingers crossed.

Zidane Mohammed
2 Posted 29/01/2014 at 15:43:36
Let's just say it's a WAKE UP CALL to the board. We certainly need another out and out striker and a Roy Keane/Patrick Viera type of midfielder by Friday, otherwise Champions League and or Europa will be out of sight.
Ian Tunstead
3 Posted 29/01/2014 at 15:39:50
Injuries, basically. With a fully fit squad we are a match for anyone; we lost Del boy, Pienaar and Barkley which I think affected Lukaku and now he has lost form/confidence, so we lost our attacking cutting edge. Then loosing Coleman, Distin and Oviedo has lost us the continuity and balance at the back.

No-one seems to have mentioned it but I don't think we could have played a worse game than the derby so soon after Oviedo's leg break. If we are going to get a result against Liverpool, then we really have to get stuck in hard and win the physical battle to earn the right to play.

You could see at Stevenage the players were visibly shaken and shocked by what they had seen. Those close up shots of McCarthy, Barry, Stones and Jagielka were the looks of men who had physiologically broken. I don't think its any coincidence that they all had their worst games in a long time. None of them are the best footballers technically, they rely on their aggression and getting stuck in winning the physical battles but they were all shadows of the players we know they are.

The only player who looked mentally sound at the back, still shouting orders, was Hibbert. I think he should have played instead of Stones, but it's all hindsight now.

Steve King
4 Posted 29/01/2014 at 15:40:51
I believe we lost momentum due to the fact that we have about 15 Quality players in our squad, and another 10 that can "do a job for us".

When the games cam thick and fast over December and January our lack of quality cover was exposed and the team lost the positivity and momentum that had built previously.

Example: The Defence: Coleman, Jagielka, Distin and Baines all picked up injuries. The replacements available were Alcaraz, Hibbert, Stones, Heitinga and Oviedo.

Alcaraz hasn't played more than a few matches for the last 8 months, it takes time to come back after that sort of period. Oh yeah he then picked up another injury himself.

Hibbert is a prime example of a player that can "do a job" but we lose a huge attacking threat from full back with him on the field.

Stones will become an excellent player, but he's not there yet. At centre back he is still prone to the odd heart attack inducing slip or miss-control, and at right back his positioning at times is very poor. Also doesn't look confident attacking the opposition third from right back.

Heitinga hasn't been any good for a long time, let alone when his mind is occupied with whatever nonsense his agent has been spouting to him.

Oviedo, this man is the exception to the rule, if anything his inclusion added to the momentum......until his season was cruelly cut short.

When you look at our games over Xmas and New Year this example is repeated in midfield as well. Meanwhile the teams with bigger squads have caught up and over taken us.

Linda Morrison
5 Posted 29/01/2014 at 16:26:42
At this late afternoon I've just had the courage to read the report in The Guardian of the match.

It states that Jags was clearly very unfit. He couldn't keep up with play at all, and elsewhere on this site comments have been made about Barry and McCarthy being poor, the midfield having to battle to try to protect the goalie as the defence was nowhere at all.

I'm a big supporter of Martinez but the risk badly backfired.

You do not play injured players. I've seen a picture of Jags and he looks overweight to me.
The article also states that when Osman came on Everton perked up.

Jags was at fault for at least 2 of the goals.

Lesson learnt. If not fir they don't play.
i totally agree with the comment from Ian. Seeing a player badly injured does have a knock on effect that lasts some time.

I'm trying to remember which team it was, I think either Arsenal or MU, but a similar incident happened when a player had a compound leg fracture and some players threw up on the pitch.

Our squad is too small and like Newcastle last year we have been very unlucky with injuries but we are still only 4 points behind RS.

I have heard Coleman should be back for Saturday and hopefully the bean pole will play so all is not lost

Ray Roche
6 Posted 29/01/2014 at 16:39:46
Linda, at Old Trafford in 1996 David Busst had a career finishing injury when he was tackled (fairly) when attempting to score. Schmeichel was throwing up on the pitch when he saw the state of Busst's leg.
Dick Brady
7 Posted 29/01/2014 at 16:43:06
Christmas was indeed a bad period for Roberto's troops. The Sunderland defeat was awful and it was closely followed by a disappointing draw to Stoke. Since then the form has been patchy and the draw against WBA and heavy loss to Liverpool have been the worst performances I have seen from Roberto's team.

In a way I also feel the injury to Gerard Deulofeu was a major turning point for our season because he offered something different in games we were struggling to win.

I agree with Paul in saying we need to get the momentum back and we need to do quickly because the season is in serious danger of slipping away.

David Ellis
8 Posted 30/01/2014 at 02:31:06
Linda - 600
I think it was an Arsenal player (Eduardo? a Brazillian who played for Croatia) who had a horrendous leg break a few years back. He did make it back eventually.

As for the OP - yes I think it is simply fatigue that has slowed us down. Hopefully as lads return from injury the weather improves, cup fever grips us we will start to improve again.

Spurs just lost their momentum too.

Marcus Choo
9 Posted 30/01/2014 at 03:33:32
I thought we lost the momentum at our home loss to Sunderland. Since then we've been erratic. Was there something psychological that went out together with the knowledge we didn't go through 2013 unbeaten at home? Maybe.... and of all teams, it was to the bottom team at that time.

The derby defeat is another blow. Won that and we would've gone top of them. Drawn and we'd still have a chance. But we lost and are now 4 points off fourth place. Couple that with such a demoralising scoreline... it just sucks.

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