I’ve got a few observations too, maybe not so optimistic.
I went to the game, and watched the recording later (because I couldn’t believe some of the things I saw)
First I’ve got to say that Rico was exceptional, massive ‘bien’ from the crowd when he headed a ball safe, had the crowd behind him. He didn’t save that penalty, he gave a Ninja Zen perfection demonstration of how to save a penalty, making the ball land way out to his right where it’s usually safe. But alas, I can’t remember more than three games where’s he’s been anywhere near that level.
When a player receives a pass in a tight situation he’s got 3 options, pass, run with the ball or dribble. Unfortunately, Vazquez only has one of those in his repertoire and it’s dribble. He’s OK in space and does the running and passing but can’t resist the touches to get out of trouble. Banega is not far behind in that respect.
I should have congratulated Leganes for the clean fought cup games and was reminded by the stark difference in Girona that many teams are diving when they feel a hand on their back or breath on their neck, Girona, Betis and Valencia are in that league.
Don’t know how we beat Atletico home and away with our football, there’s really no explaining football sometimes. But taking away the Eibar disaster (tactical error) and the Derby (inexplicable) Montella’s record is looking better. But the football isn’t. We have arguably the best 24 players in our history (we haven’t seen the Brazilian) but we are playing the most unimaginative football. We won our first 5 games without impressing, but haven’t improved the unimpressing football, it’s got worse, except for the second half against Liverpool (games do have two halves).
Fed up of the round the houses football, never through the centre except for low payback flicks and backheels (what players do when they’re desperate). Exception to that is when Muriel runs with the ball, he is direct on steroids.
Sarabia was the best player in terms of workrate and solving defensive problems but going forward was mistaken in almost every contribution, thank goodness that he put that Correa goal away because the ref wasn’t going to award it.