Tics Takeaways – 5 things we learnt from Sheffield United (H)

Kolo Touré’s first home game in charge of Latics ended in defeat to Sheffield United, but there were positives to take from the game against the promotion favourites. Here’s 5 things we learnt from the game…

1) ‘Kolo ball’ is… interesting!

Its fair to say Latics’ style of play has gone from one extreme to the other since Kolo Touré took charge. He’s extremely keen for us to be brave in and out of possession, to take the ball in tight spots and work with it and to entertain the fans. In fact, despite some dodgy moments at the back brought about by overplaying poorly, the manager thought we weren’t brave enough with the ball yesterday! So with that in mind, we’re in for a hell of a ride when we’re as courageous as he wants us to be!

2) No room for loyalty anymore…

One of the main criticisms of the former manager Leam Richardson was his blind loyalty to players that were clearly below the requisite quality for a Championship team. Well, its taken less than two games for the new boss to make some pretty brutal changes and it looks as though he’s already very set on who he trusts and doesn’t. Tom Naylor was hooked off at half time for Jordan Cousins who played well in the second half, and full backs Joe Bennett and Tendayi Darikwa were both withdrawn before the hour mark after indifferent performances. With January round the corner I think he’s working out who he can and can’t do without this season…

3) Avoidable goals again…

The opening goal of the game came from a set piece, the 8th time that has happened in the league this season. Not only was the marking at the corner poor, the defending that gave away the corner in the first place was pretty tragic and highlighted how weak our left side is. The second then highlighted how poor our right side is at times too! Captain Darikwa misplaced a simple pass allowing Billy Sharp time and space to slot home and all but kill the game off before the hour mark. Individual errors cost us dear again, and they need cutting out if we have any hope of staying up.

4) Thelo makes things happen… again!

If I had a pound for every time I’ve said this… As I mentioned earlier we’re starting to find out who Kolo rates, who he’s already fed up of and who is going to feature a lot under him this season. Thelo, hopefully, has proven in the minutes he’s been given that he brings things to the team that nobody else can like flair, technique and creative talent. He made the goal with a brave run forward and his youthful confidence will be huge for us in this new system. He’s a must start for me.

5) January can’t come soon enough…

As many of you will know I’ve been writing some sensible transfers articles recently and I think after yesterday’s performance I might need to add a few positions to the wanted list. My original 4 were CB, LB, CM and AM, but you could easily add a GK, RB and ST to the list now. We need investment in the squad if there’s any hope of us staying up, and considering how our board members are talking it seems like they think its imperative for our financial security that we stay up. With that in mind lets spent some money wisely in the window, or should I say ‘sensibly‘…

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