In his post-match interview following the victory over Olympiakos, Steve Bould said that the team is back on track after the defeat at Chelsea last weekend.
“We did great tonight, without being fantastic. We have got back on track, and we’re hoping we will get some confidence for the weekend [against West Ham] – and that will be a tough game.”
Personally I don’t think we were every off track this season in terms of team performance but we are still bothered by individual mistakes and lapses in concentration. The defeat by Chelsea was a major disappointment but it was certainly one of the better performances this year. We played well only to be let down by individual mistakes, both in defense and attack.
It was the same case in last night’s match, with the players being very sloppy and constantly giving the ball away. It the opposition had more ambition in attack we would have been punished more severely. Already the Greeks’ only goal came from the guys giving the ball away in midfield and Koscielny missing the flight of the ball completely. Although he is a good defender but the Frenchman suffers from momentarily lapses of concentration and this has plagued him in successive matches this season. This is probably the only thing that has kept him from the jump to a great defender in the tradition of Tony Adams, Steve Bould and the like.
Last night victory is one to savior because we got all three points while being mediocre at best. To be fair, it was difficult to break down an opposition whose sole objective is to play for a draw. This would be the last time we face opposition with such mentality which is why we need to do better the next time around. We need the players to play well for the entire 90 minutes, and not take 45 minutes off and come back for the rest of the match.