The great thing about this performance was not the win, it was the consistency. The team have performed with the same dogged determination now for several games. It may not be pretty at times, but it’s effective. When was the last time we had a plus 8 goal difference? When was the last time we had won four games away at this stage of the season? We should remind ourselves that we have only let in 12 goals so far this season. At the same stage last season it was 18. After 15 games last season we had 14 points. We now have 22. We had scored 10 goals last season compared to 20 this season. All in all, we should be really proud of what this team has achieved. Imagine what might have happened if all the injured players had been available.
There were no weak links today. Everyone gave their all. I thought Dean Ashton was outstanding in the second half. Mullins and Parker ruled midfield and the back four coordinated really well. Lucas Neill had a few dodgy moments, possibly, but I’m nitpicking. Boa Morte could have had a couple of goals and he seems a different player to the one I criticised so freely earlier in the season.
And Robert Green. Well, his save from Tugay in the last few minutes said it all. The man is pure class.
Green 9 – Three world class saves
McCartney – 8 Apart from a miskick, dealt with everything that came to him
Neill – 7 Drove the team on
Upson – 8 Kept both Blackburn strikers in his pocket
Gabbidon – 8 Ditto
Mullins – 8 He’s transformed himself this season
Parker – 9 He’s going to be a massive player for us. A real leader.
Solano – 8 A joy to watch
Cole – 7 Few chances but gave his all
Boa Morte – 8 Brilliant volley should have led to a goal
Etherington – 6 Not really on song and picked up an injury
Ashton 9 – Back on song. Imagine what he will be like by Christmas
So as I say, the fourth match in a row where the team has put in a consistent performance full of vim and vigour. Bring on Everton!