Complacency? Maybe. Tiredness? Possible. I don't know why the confidence of an amazing Champions League group win can't be carried over to the following league game. This is our bread and butter. This is where it matters. This is how a team is judged and today we threw 2 points away.
I care little for the Champions League. It's a horrible money making exercise that wants to take over but I enjoy us doing well in it especially when the other English teams are puffing. And there is the rub. We compare ourselves to the other teams in our league. We laughed at Man City losing in midweek yet we are miles behind them in the proper league. The domestic league is the measure and today we fell short. With plenty of disrespect to Fulham, if we are to be successful, snatching a 1-1 draw with them isn't good enough.
The disaster of the summer and subsequent mess that followed means we no longer have the luxury of 1-1 draws with teams on 11 points just outside the relegation zone at home. Every point is sacred if we are to make the promised land of the top 4. The worry is the clump of teams flirting around those places. A simple slip can be costly. I expected us to continue our great run today. I was positive. I think Wednesday's result had won me back. I felt we had found our feet and had turned that corner. Today was too reminiscent of last season when we were routinely beaten by complacency (the worst of all the 'C' the words) and the start of this season where we just looked a bit shit.
It was very slightly against the run of play when Fulham scored. Our most consistent signing Utter Shambles blundered in to the defence forcing TV to clear the ball into a handy net waiting to stop the ball rolling too far away. The crowd groaned. We had hoped this kind of thing had moved on. Down with this kind of thing. Yet it was this that woke the team. The half time Red Bull and Wagon Wheel hadn't worked. A piss poor bit of defending had.
We attacked! The crowd finally responded disturbing many who'd dropped off. Still a goal looked unlikely, less so with the introduction of Chamakh. Finally TV thought he'd better make amends and shot forward to equalise. We cheered with relief. Yes! Relief at drawing level with 8 minutes left with a team on 11 points just outside the relegation zone. . . . . . . . . AT HOME!
As we left people sighed and shrugged their shoulders. We all thought we'd turned the corner. Maybe we have. We all thought this kind of performance and result was in the past. Maybe it is and this was a blip. Maybe we needed to freshen up the team after Wednesday but the options to do that are limited. Maybe the subs needed to come on sooner. Maybe if we want to be back where we belong we need to be beating a team on 11 points......... at home. Today just wasn't good enough.