We had won three games out of three in the Champions League, we were playing well and one nil up at Shakhtar, let's hit the pause button there for a minute. One would have thought it would have been impossible to throw away this group, but we are pushing this assumption a little close to the wire.
I know we should have had a penalty at 0-0, it was a clear foul on Vela, what the useless cretin of a referee was doing booking Vela was beyond belief. UEFA's stupid system of extra officials does nothing to prevent errors, the officials are still crap. The referee also allowed a lot of rough stuff from Braga in the second half that should have been dealt with far more severely. But remember, Braga are no stars, they are a mid table side from Portugal.
Anyway, back the main point, since being one nil up at Shakhtar we have now conceded four rather sloppy goals from a defensive point of view. This puts the Tottenham capitulation into perspective, our defensive organisation is quite frankly pants, we are a shambles at the back and it is now getting beyond a joke.
It was nil nil before Braga scored their first, if we could have kept a clean sheet then we would now be through, we could not and things will now go down to the wire when they really need not have done. Obviously we should beat Partizan at home, I almost dare not think about a failure to do so.
What has become abundantly clear this season is that something is badly wrong with the way our team is setup to defend. I think the problem is a mixture of problems, the 4-3-3 formation does not help, the lack of discipline and defensive cover from midfield is a big problem, the defenders are also far from blameless in all this. We need to go back to basics and fast.