Tofu eating wokerati
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
- Jul 23, 2003
You'll have to believe me, because this is after timing, but we were discussing exactly this just before he took it, when it was clear it was probably going to be him hitting it. The conclusion of me, my son and the bloke behind us would be that he'd smash it into the wall, be out of position and Liverpool would break on the rebound. Which is exactly what happened. It's not just that we miss a chance to score from a position that many other teams score from, it's that there's an outright danger of it leading to a goal at the other end.Once again, I'm blown away by the fact that, upon being awarded a free kick in a decent attacking position, the players on the pitch (and presumably the coaching staff) are happy to stand back and watch while Lewis Dunk lines it up. Happened on Thursday, happened again today, and has happened on various other occasions over the years. And I genuinely have no idea why.
He once pea-rolled one into the Liverpool net while Alisson was busy sorting out a wall and didn't realise the whistle had gone, and he managed to toe poke one past the West Brom keeper at the Hawthorns, only to be thwarted by a typically abysmal piece of Lee Mason refereeing. But neither of these suggest he's some kind of free-kick maestro. Opponents do not put their hands on their heads despairingly at the very concession of a free kick, fearing a Cristiano Ronaldo special. Or even a James Ward-Prowse or a Kieran Trippier. I just don't understand how we end up concluding that Dunk is the man.
Is he somehow incredible at taking free kicks in training? Is he that much of an ego merchant that nobody dares to say "No thanks, skipper"? I'd be stunned if that was the case, as he certainly doesn't come across as the Big I Am type. So how are we in this position? I know you can take goals conceded back to the Nth degree if you really want to. But the fact is, we had a free kick in a promising location today. Even if you'd given it to somebody who'd curled it up and over the wall and missed the goal by ten feet, it would have been a goal kick, we'd have trotted back into position, and Liverpool wouldn't have been able to counter. Instead, Dunk punts it hopelessly straight into the wall again, it eventually bounces to a Liverpool player, and they break upfield, ultimately resulting in the defensive clusterfuck that created their equaliser. Surely, SURELY you'd back March, Groß, Adingra, Mitoma, Joâo Pedro...in fact any number of players to do better than Dunk did. He did the same towards the end in Marseilles, biffing it into the wall and putting us back under pressure.
It's a total and utter mystery to me that they all stand there and go "Yeah, this one's yours, skip". It's painfully reminiscent of when Roy Hodgson decided his favoured corner taker was Harry Kane.
Love you, Lewis, but please leave the free kicks to somebody else.