20th September 2016
Five league games in and our tried, tested and successful style of play and formation are looking suspect and are under scrutiny in the top flight.
Teams seem to have cottoned on to our set in stone formation, our distinct lack of pace has been highlighted and our frailties in defence exposed.
Everton showed us up in the cup last season and again on Saturday. The Toffees have shown how playing one up front should operate. They have a centre-forward who is big, strong, quick, aggressive and who scores goals on a regular basis. They have full backs and midfielders who flood their opponents box at every opportunity. They can play it short or long and they are also littered with pace.
As a former striker and an attacking minded person, our style at time infuriates me, slow, laboured, square with back passes galore.
On Saturday when were trailing 3-1 down, we would play the ball from fullback to centre back, then into the midfield, back to the defender, then back to the goalkeeper. I understand that totally if you are winning 3-1, but that wasn’t the case. With only Negredo up top against two centre-backs we are reluctant to hit it long for fear of coming straight back, so we keep possession and eventually give it back to our opponents when we venture over the halfway line. I honestly believe that Boro has got some very talented players who have got the shackles on and look restrained from expressing their attacking influential credentials. I said the same things last season despite our success, at times it looks as if we have six Ray Wilkins in the team with our crab-like passing. Watford have proved you can stay in the top flight playing two up front and in Ighalo and Troy Deeney they have two centre-forwards who are good on the eye, create, score goals and they harass and hunt as a pair. Since their return to the top flight, they have scored 64% of Watford’s league goals.
If under-par performances and results continue to go against us something will have to give. I would love nothing better than to see Rhodes or Nugent be given the opportunity to form a partnership with Negredo obviously, that decision is down to the manager.
Lets put things in perspective it’s still early days, players are still finding their feet and the manager and players are still trying to become accustomed to top flight football.
At home we need to be more influential, attacking minded and more creative. I think our premiership status will depend on how well we do in our home games.
Let’s hope we start on Saturday against Spurs.
Don’t forget the Gary Parkinson night on 6th October, we still have 70 tickets to sell Parky still needs our help desperately so please come along and support him.
Don’t forget Parky is a local lad who played for his home town team and wore the shirts with pride. He helped us through difficult times during the liquidation scenario.
Now it’s our turn to help him.
Gary Parkinson evening
DATE OCTOBER 6TH
Doors open at 7.30pm
Petch’s Pie and peas will be served.
Evening to include the 86 team as guests.
A comedian, auction and raffle
TICKET COST £25 Per person.
For more info click on shop bernieslaven.co.uk
Or call 07403478998