I have been saying for a long time, that we need to tighten up our defence and build confidence through defensive solidity.
However, there is no point doing this, and then having absolutely nothing going for us up front... because, as we have seen, the pressure will eventually get to us and we will concede.
This mean that we simply HAVE TO play two up front and three in midfield.
If would therefore 4-3-1-2
Kenny Keane Jagielka Baines
Idrissa Baningime Rooney
Robles, Williams, Holgate, Davies, Vlasic, Lennon, Lookman
With Schneiderlin being off his best and with the apparent lack of effort I’d leave him out for now (however I am more than confident that he will fix his wrongs and get back to the right attitude). I would play McCarthy (if fit) as the CDM in the midfield three. If McCarthy is not fit, I’d go with either Baningime or Besic in at CDM. With Rooney and Idrissa having a slightly more free role, and allowing Rooney to control the game from midfield.
This formation allows us to have enough in midfield to keep out the goals, while Niasse and Calvert-Lewin offer more than enough pace and width upfront - further more, it means they are not isolated. As seen in the Watford game, and many other games, when we have switched to 2 up front.
Sigurdsson would also thrive in this formation.
It would also then be easy to switch to a 4-2-3-1 later on to add width with Lookman, Vlasic or Lennon.
Moving onto the near future we have 2 Europa games left, and with our exit from the competition confirmed, I would use it as a platform to build team confidence and give players who have not played the opportunity to prove themselves and put pressure on the usual starters.
I would also play our new players from Europe (Sandro, Klaassen, Vlasic) as they have experience in Europe and also they need a chance.
Holgate Feeney Williams Cuco
Besic Schneiderlin Klaassen
Vlasic Sandro Lookman
Stekelenburg, Keane, Kenny, Baninime, Davies, Lennon, Henen
Or something similar...
Further into the future:
Looking at when our injured players come back.
We have a very exciting time ahead of us - the return of Bolasie, Coleman, Barkley and Funes Mori...
The difference these players will make is difficult to explain... we have missed Bolasie and Coleman’s passion and energy so much, Barkley’s ability and Funes Mori’s pace and left foot. As well as the inclusion of Garbutt in January!
With a full strength team, we have a very very strong squad:
GK: Pickford / Robles / Stekelenburg
RB: Coleman / Kenny / Cuco
RCB: Keane / Holgate / Jagielka
LCB: Funes Mori / Williams / Feeney
LB: Baines / Garbutt
RCM: Idrissa / Besic
CDM: Schneiderlin / McCarthy / Baningime
LCM: Rooney / Davies / Klaassen
CAM: Sigurdsson / Barkley
RW: Bolasie / Lookman / Lennon
LW: Sandro / Vlasic / Mirallas
ST: Calvert-Lewin / Niasse
I think people often get too focused on the here and now (which is important, of course) - but we also need to look at the big picture.
We have a strong squad, and a good blend of experience, youth and players in their prime. Yes we are missing a few players - a striker, a left back and a CB. However, next season we have a lot of on loan players coming back.
Most exciting is our winger/striker Onyekuru, who is thriving once again. Then there is Dowell who is proving himself and learning a lot in the championship, which is a big step for him.
And then there are others, such as Robinson (LB), Galloway (LCB/LB), Browning (RCB/RB), Walsh (CM), Williams (CM), Pennington (CB) to name a few off the top of my head...
We need to build, therefore I don’t think we should sell anyone (especially those just bought in this summer - give them a season and a bit to adapt and prove themselves).
I might let the likes of Cuco, Mirallas, Stekelenburg go, but I’d like to keep the others.
Onwards and upwards, Blues... this was always going to be a tough season, with so much change. But we need to back our boys and our team. Patients and full support.
Reader Comments (4)
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1 Posted 08/11/2017 at 21:03:52
Makes a lot of sense to me - not.
2 Posted 09/11/2017 at 01:12:42
3 Posted 12/11/2017 at 07:30:22
4 Posted 12/11/2017 at 08:07:14
Walsh needs to earn his money in January. If we don't sign 2 strikers and others to balance the squad, he should be sacked.
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