Won't go into too much detail now but we're a team devoid of confidence, ideas and players.
Individual errors are costing us but Boruc's fuck ups were the last in a long line of fuck ups in front of him, people will only remember his (very bad) performance, but our whole defence and midfield needs to be looked at.
Boruc's errors are well documented. Crazy coming out and diving in *feet first* at Kane for the pen (what keeper lunges feet first in the box?). AND THEN HE DID IT AGAIN in the second half, tripping Kane up with a feet first tackle, thankfully the ref didn't see it. And of course fumbling the ball three times straight into the feet of attackers, only punished twice with goals. Generally looking a angry and agitated all game. Eventually the communication stopped, the defence refused to pass back to him as they'd normally do, that relationship seems to be breaking down. Boruc shouting at and blaming our defenders after Boruc himself keeps dropping the ball, is laughable. It would be wrong to heap all blame on our crazy Pole though. As much as he needs some time away.
Cook and Distin as a central defensive partnership isn't quite clicking. Distin as a individual looks good, gets around the pitch very quickly and wins balls. Cook does what he always does in terms of moving the ball around and spotting opportunities to pass into midfield. In theory the combination should work, but obviously it's a new partnership thrust upon us by injury and something isn't there, often the gap between the pair of them is vast and a good centre forward like Kane will happily exploit that gap. Elphick and Cook isn't perfect but they know what they are doing together and don't leave huge gaps.
The current central midfield partnership of Gosling and Surman are brilliant at moving the ball around, they put tremendous effort it, and both have a goal or two in them. But they aren't Harry Arter. They aren't snapping into tackles, they aren't overly aggressive or assertive. Whilst they're very good when we're on the attack or when we need to keep possession, they aren't great when we're up against it.
And what Josh King is still doing starting every game, I've no idea. Yes he's quick and Murray isn't so probably needs some pace round him, but that pace needs the basics doing right first before it can be useful. And whilst King works hard and closes down, he never actually makes a challenge when he gets there. O'Kane came on in that position and was at least able to contribute to the came, indeed he instantly setup a great chance for Murray. And It least when Kermorgant came on later, he was able to trap the ball and use it.
The full backs, the wingers, and Murray are doing what they can, cannot fault them much.
As for putting those issues right, well we can only work with what (or who) we have fit and available.
As much as Federici had a poor game against Man City, the visibly deteriorating relationship between Boruc and our defenders cannot continue.
The back 4 picks itself because it's about all we have, and although we have some very promising young Centre Backs in Cargill and Butcher who I'd love to see at some stage, now is definitely not the time for them.
In midfield I think we need to go back to basics, stop this King experiment. O'Kane keeps coming on second half in King's place and does far better, so start O'Kane in that position more. Gives a little more to our spine, keep the wide players as is, and get those crosses in at Murray, because as simplistic as that is - we've seen it causes plenty of problems.
Why oh why do we have to be going into Saints away in such a state. Worst possible time for that fixture.
Southampton are going to run riot against us no doubt, can see another 3/4 being conceded with that Pelle/ Mane front line.
Boruc had a nightmare, but I do feel that with so much being pinned on him, a lot of people are overlooking that his mistakes were the final mistake in a series of calamitous defensive errors. Distin had a nightmare, I thought he had a bad game, but watching the goals back he was all over the place, a player of his experience shouldn't be making such basic errors. It shows how important Elphick really is for us as his leadership is really missing, I'd like to think we wouldn't have collapsed quite so spectacularly with him at the heart of our defence.
Our confidence was so shot yesterday that nobody even wanted the ball; considering our game is all about moving the ball side to side before getting the right cross into Murray that is something we really can't afford.
As Mark says our hands are pretty tied in terms of selection, we're playing players who couldn't get in our team last year and we can't shake up the defence unless we want to put an untried 18 year old in there. It's a unique situation for a promoted team to have a weaker XI when they actually come up but it is what it is and we need to adapt. It'll be a case of getting back to the absolute basics and grinding out an ugly result along the way. I've written Saints off next week as another loss but Newcastle at home the week after is where we need to put things right. If we can get Arter back for Newcastle then it will be massive, both in terms of personnel but also the lift it will give everyone to actually have a player coming back rather than missing out!