SnowballHound I like your optimism Snowball, but I really do want to see us perform like Cardiff for a few more games at least, before I start jumping in with how good the side is
We're still not particularly proven. Joao has never been first choice for long, Puscas is new to England, Ejaria has had one fairly good half season, Swift is an injury or loss of confidence away from being peripheral again, Meite is emotional and up and down in form, Miazga has played 20 odd games in England, Rafael has had one English league game etc...
there's still plenty that could go wrong
I don't call this "optimism" and I can imagine us getting thrashed at The Hawthorns
even if we are as good as I think we are
I am just looking at the player-on-player changes since Game 1
Keeper - so much better it's laughable
CBs - Moore, still under his par, but playing on his better side, Miazga improving, SEVENTEEN headed clearances on Sunday, Morrison, "Mr Solid" a calming influence... The whole? Looked like it could eat crosses for fun.
WBs. I think both the shirt-holders are better WBs than FBs and seem to enjoy it. The 3/5 at the back helps them and leaves us less exposed (compared to FBs way up field in a 442)... Richards can still improve a lot.
We have the DM we've been asking for, Ejaria is just GREAT, and Swift (over his injury?) has been set free to attack - and in front the big target man we've been asking for, and Puscas who just looks too good for this league.
I didn't go into the league thinking we were relegation fodder, but the improvements have been HUGE.
It's not just the result v Cardiff, but the whole feel, the joy, the passion, the tackles won, the sheer spirit, and that after a great second half at Hull. Whatever tonight's result (and YES we could lose 3-0) this is a great first eleven and a squad with real depth. I will be shocked if we are not top ten. I expect us to be much better than that
Couldn't agree more but it won't stop the "I told you so's" and resident wrist slitters reaching for their fire hydrants at full time should we suffer the "disaster" of defeat on one of our toughest trips of the season