Well that was a bit poor, wasn’t it? Our unbeaten start to 2021/22 has come to an end, with Blackpool getting the better of us at Bloomfield Road. And in truth, they were well worth the win. They were organised, gave us very little time on the ball and arguably could have had another one or two as we were sloppy at the back. For all of the free-flowing football we have witnessed under Marco Silva this season, we have come back to earth with a bang thanks to a disjointed display.
Our start to this season has been the best in years. Top of the league and scoring goals, Fulham have been a pleasure to watch. But today we looked leggy and that will be down to a couple of things. Firstly, Silva demands a lot from his players. We press high up the pitch and we move the ball quickly when we have it. This isn’t the passive, slow football that the players perhaps had gotten used to under Parker. While this has been a breath of fresh air, it could also come at a cost. This is where the recovery of players is so important. Secondly, we have come off the back of an international break were a lot of our best players have been travelling the world playing up to three matches. Blackpool only have a handful of players in this situation so while we have the better quality in the squad, having two weeks on the training pitch will of course play in their favour more than our own.
For me today I thought that we should have had far more rotation in the starting line-up because of the international break. I thought Ream, Robinson and Mitrovic in particular today looked shattered and Blackpool absolutely took advantage of that. Considering Ream and Robinson got back so late from the USA duty, why not use Mawson and Bryan today? I absolutely love that the Championship has so many games, but we are now in a situation were we have another game midweek. In the Championship you absolutely have to rotate and I think Silva will need to learn this quickly.
We did however get to see a couple of our new boys in action today. Domingos Quina made his debut in for the injured Fabio Carvalho and we finally got to see Rodrigo Muniz in action albeit just for the last 10 minutes or so. Quina’s debut was a mixed bag. I thought he showed some lovely touches on the ball and can spin his man, but sometimes tried to be too fancy with flicks. What I saw today was a player who clearly has ability but maybe needs his teammates to get used to his game. We had a couple of occasions were he just didn’t look to be on the same wavelength as the players around him but I think that will come with time.
As for Muniz, I thought he looked a threat. He looks to get into the right places and clearly has the pace that Mitro lacks. It’s hard to judge based on a cameo appearance, but I reckon he is one to be excited about. Given that I feel that we should have rotated more today, I’d like to see him start on Wednesday night against Birmingham. Let’s see what he can do from the start.
It was a poor display today, but it was oh-so-Championship. We already knew we were in the world’s most unpredictable league, so let’s not have a meltdown. On to Wednesday night.