Our mid-week away win was very special since fans had been forced to wait for well over a year to see one. We were so close against Barnsley but finally, beautifully, we were on the right end of a last minute goal. Ayew’s penalty was brilliant to watch but, by force of habit, I couldn’t help but dwell on what went wrong on Tuesday night.
Reading’s penalty came less then ten minutes into the second half and could easily have cost us two points. Predictably, it was Aly Cissokho who gave it away. The challenge was clumsy, reckless and something that I have come to expect from him. This is why, in my opinion, Bruce has to drop him.
He has never won over the fans. It is hard to think of one brilliant game that he has had during his time here because I really don’t believe that there has been one. Missed challenges, an awful own goal against Arsenal and a lot of lacklustre performances do spring to mind.
Cissokho is lucky to be in the first team frame at all. He was only recalled from a loan move last year after Jordan Amavi, who had looked very impressive in his first few games at the club, picked up a season-ending injury. Since then, Amavi has looked very questionable defensively and I believe that managers see Cissokho as a safer option at the back.
However, I disagree with this completely. After seeing him give away two penalties in two games, both of which could have been avoided, I have run out of patience. I am never confident when a winger runs at him nor am I confident in his ability going forward. Amavi is hardly the finished article but, in my opinion, is by far the best option that we have at left back. He needs to start.
Whilst I am fairly sure that Cissokho will get another chance at the back, I have seen enough to convince me that we are wasting our time with him. I respect that many fans will think I am being harsh, maybe I am, but I really doubt that he has the quality to positively influence games at this level. Amavi is younger, more dangerous going forward and can do a job at the back. He is raw, certainly, but anything has to be better than having to watch Cissokho week in, week out. I’m hopeful that his latest showing of poor performances will prove one mistake too many.