January was a busy month but as we head into February we remain on course for a successful season.
A 0-0 draw at Old Trafford was a reasonable point, followed by two cup success; a 4-1 victory at Sheffield Utd and a 1st leg win over City in the Carabao, 3-1. Disappointing draws followed with Chelsea and Bournemouth, the disappointment in part due to my side’s total inability to score penalties. A defeat to City follows in the return leg but at 3-2, it’s enough to send us through to the final, where we will meet Spurs. The 4th round of the FA Cup sees us dish Reading for 6, followed by 5-1 and 3-0 batterings of Swansea and Spurs respectively.
With 26 played we’re now 2 points clear of City in 2nd. I’m getting nervous that they’ll overhaul us and I worry what that will do to my enthusiasm for the save if they do. I must remind myself that we were never favourites and this remains a great season.
Plus, we’re really bloody good! I enter matches with the expectation of winning, with some victories achieved after I took charge and made tactical tweaks. My go to strategy in away games is to start with an attacking mindset and then after 10-15 minutes, switch to standard.
I’m still tweaking the roles to get the best out of people. I can’t help but feel a sense of failure in not quite eliciting from Mo Salah his real life form. It is interesting though that my first thought is that it is something I am doing wrong, reinforcing the negative view I hold of my own ability. Perhaps replicating his real life form was never likely. Perhaps his digital self is not a 100% true likeness of his real world self. Sure, perhaps there are tactical changes I can make to get more out of him but would that potentially serve to unbalance other parts of the team? A team, I might add, that is currently top of the league and still in every competition we entered. And hey, the guy has the second best average rating in the league, the most man of the match awards, 8th best goals return and equal 4th best assist stats. I think he’s doing ok.