The doom merchants have been out recently because we lost a game. It was to the English Champions and Champions League runners-up. But we still lost so it's the end of the world as we know it. Forget earthquakes destroying cities and moving the earth's axis, this was bigger in so many more ways.
Come on, I'm as annoyed as the rest of us at losing a Cup Final but it was against one of the best teams in the world.
We've had two in the last ten years and lost both of them which is pretty gutting. Last time we played Man Yoo in a Cup Final we won and it was a fantastic day. I think the thing that annoys people is that we just weren't up for it this time around.
MON chose to rest no first team players at home to the team with the worst away record and a Championship club. That infuriated me, particularly as our reserves would've beaten both and many were calling for them to play in the first game against Palace. Reserve team players, particularly as ours are younger, often step up when needed because they don't get many chances.
MON really should've had some bottle and at least rested some players for one of the games. We put five past Burnley, do you really think our reserve team wouldn't have stuck a few past them? No disrespect to Burnley but our reserves aren't bad and by reserves I mean 50% first team and 50% academy.
MON blew it last season with resting players and he blew it again this season, but we've still done well to get to where we have. Reading away is a fantastic draw in the FA Cup and I'm hoping that we can avoid one of the two big teams left in the next round, provided we get through.
Our league standing is still particularly good although Citeh's surprise win at Chelsea could do them a lot of good and us not much at all. A galvanised Citeh will be our main challengers for fourth I think, although Spuds and Pool are still in with a decent shout. Looking at the next few fixtures I think Damian will be right that we will get points this March. However, I think some of our rivals will also pick up a similar amount of points.
- Villa: Stoke (a), Wigan (a), Wolves (h), Sunderland (h), Chelsea (a)
- Pool: Wigan (a), Pompey (h), Man Utd (a), Sunderland (h)
- Citeh: Sunderland (a), Fulham (a), Everton (h), Wigan (h)
- Spuds: Blackburn (h), Stoke (a), Pompey (h)
Looking at that I'd like us to get 8-10 points. Pool are going to pick up 6-9, Citeh 7-12 and Spuds 6-9. So ideally we need to win at least 3 of our games to keep up with the rest. We'll probably get beaten by Chelsea and given that we have two games in hand that's not too bad.
So, by the end of the month I expect us to still be in with a shout of fourth, although we will need to win as many games as Citeh I think to stay up there. It's a tricky month and we also have a few games to play so let's hope MON learns very quickly how to rotate the team.