I am so pissed off waking up to this.
I didn’t see the game. So to some degree I should bite my tongue. Its a fair point that we had a ton of chances and should’ve converted more of them. But we didn’t. And the team selection reveals Emery’s mis-prioritization.
I agree with what Carl said in the comments. Fazio should not have been on the pitch. And if Emery does see Fazio as a real contributor for the remainder of the season. He should’ve been incorporated in a low stakes match first (second leg v. Vigo) and not in two away Liga matches.
But I would go half a step further. Its admirable that emery wants us to compete with Barcelona and thinks we can do so with Banega on the pitch. But its also somewhat delusional to think that maximizing our chances against Barca is worth greatly reducing our chances in a much more winnable game against Rayo. I don’t blame him for putting Banega on and going for the win late in this match. I blame him for not playing Banega from the start
And I couldn’t disagree more with this:
“Top 4 is, and has been, out of our hands for a while now. Best to concentrate on what we can do ourselves, rather than relying on others to slip up.” No. No. No. No. No…. Or maybe that’s finally true because Emery has screwed up La Liga so badly.
Top 4 has slipped out of our hands in large part because of poor squad rotation. Emery clearly has gotten the first 11 of this team playing well. And he plays them at home. Almost any rotation away from the top 13 players or playing without Banega or Gameiro leads to huge confusion and poor play.
People seem to think that Europa League is a good path to the Champions League. I know we have an amazing track record in that tournament, but assuming we go past Molde, there will still be FIFTEEN other teams in that tournament. Even if we think we have triple the likelihood of any other team, making us overwhelming favorites, that’s not much more than a 20% chance of winning the tournament. Until recently I still think we had a better chance in La Liga. After poor team management from Emery, it might now finally be the case that Europa League is, in fact, our only chance to get there.
I’m hugely pissed off right now. Am I overreacting? (Hint: Probably to some degree. I haven’t had my coffee yet.) What do you think?