Going into this game, in my mind at least, it was all about the performance rather than the points.
After our last go round in the Premier League, where we were labelled as one of the worst teams to ever grace the top flight, just how much of a step forward or backward have we made in that time, and are we going to put up a better fight than we did last time we were in the division?
Well, based on what happened in the first half at least, where we created some chances but just couldn’t quite get the final touch on them, with the only goal coming through a bit of a mistake and a scramble at the back, there was enough there to make me think that we can at least be comfortable in this division.
But overall, there are still a few glaring weaknesses that need to be sorted out.
The most obvious being finding a replacement for Tim Ream, who could and should have done a lot better when it came to his efforts for their first goal, until that problem is solved, we are going to have some major issues at the back. Even if you want to write off games against the ‘big 6’ and focus on getting points against those around us to stay up, we are still going to be punished on a regular basis if we don’t find an upgrade.
Will we stay up this season?
The second being in attack. This article in The Athletic over the weekend pointed out just how bad the drop off in production is when we don’t have Aleksandar Mitrovic up top, it looks as if we are trying to solve that issue, but we need to get that sorted as soon as possible, otherwise we’re going to be struggling at both ends of the pitch.
All the other parts of our game looked to go off pretty well, and I don’t have any major quandaries there when it comes to the likes of Denis Odoi or Joe Bryan (both rewarded with new deals) for instance out wide.
But if those two errors aren’t addressed, then our hopes of putting up more of a fight than last time will just flutter away.