Interesting week, overall. First, we saw a largely different set of players take on Colchester midweek, and they just about did enough to go through to the second round of the Caribbean Caribou Cup. I’d never heard of Carabao until this week, so I guess the sponsorship was money well spent.
New boy Onomah impressed, O’Hare did as well, Hourihane made no real impression, Jed Steer guessed right on a penalty and made a couple smart saves, and Hogan survived an offside shout to open his competitive account this season. Samba didn’t exactly impress at the back, and Chester was his usual classy self.
There’s undoubtedly a lot more to say, but color me rather underwhelmed by the 2-1 win. The conditions were atrocious, of course, but I’m really getting tired of saying things like “Wigan will be a good test.” Colchester was a good test. And it was raining on them, too. I honestly shudder to think what any iteration of our current squad would look like playing an in-form top-six Premier League side. We’d certainly come off much worse than Colchester did.
On the outgoings front, I wish Leandro Bacuna well, although I really hope he doesn’t suddenly blossom at Reading. Or maybe I do. It would be rather instructive if he flourished somewhere else. But I’d have preferred he’d gone to Turkey instead of joining another club looking for promotion.
And of course I wish Jordan Amavi well. Kid was a class act. For me, it’s a shame those two didn’t work out for us. Just like it’s a shame when anyone else we sign falls short.
Which brings us to Cardiff. First away game of the regular season, cagey manager in Warnock. We need to do something more to get us our 1.8 points per game. I’m guessing we’ll have fewer chances than we did against Hull, so we’re going to need to convert a higher percentage.
I’ve seen it proposed that Lansbury play alongside Whelan to make way for Onomah. I get it. Except for the fact that Lansbury is probably better employed further up the pitch. Doesn’t mean Onomah hasn’t earned a shot in the first team, but I’m hoping that if Lansbury is played deeper it doesn’t end up with us getting overrun in the middle.
I’ve no idea what will happen today. Recent form suggests a draw at best. And while I tabbed last week’s opener with Hull a “virtual mist win,” we have to start winning away, and have to start building up points. No pressure.
Over to you.