By Daniel Rhodes.
The biggest theme this season: “this next game is a big test for “x”, “y” and “z” reasons, and if we pass it, it’ll tell us a lot about the rest of the season.” While this is, in reality, cliched guff, it is becoming the least applicable statement of a team who keeps failing; keeps exposing its flaws in such a public way you expect the Reds to turn up dressed in a big trench coat and nothing else, but who keeps reeling of win after win after win. It is there for all to see: can’t stop a cross, can’t defend a cross, can’t come for a cross, can’t stop conceding goals from crosses. However, this is team that can defend as a unit. In fact, there’s not many better in this league. We constantly prevent the opposition having shots in the box, and yet still manage to kamikaze our way to avoiding the holy grail of a clean sheet (that doesn’t involve playing the most expensive bus in the history of public transport or competitive sport).
Then you watch us attack and all concerns turn to mush. All frustrations, built up with the anxiety-inducing escapades at the back, melt into oblivion as we drive forward, from all angles, creating chances at will. A slick passing move; intelligent off-the-ball movement; tricks, skills and dribbles combined with calm, composed, finishers. A joy to watch.