Date: 7th January 2009 at 9:57am
Written by:

It is trying to be seen as a 4-3-3 but I cannot see that the formation that we are deploying at the moment is anything less than a 4-5-1 and this is not helping Peter Crouch – if we do not get this right it is inevitable that it will frustrate him out of the club, which may well be inevitable from a financial point of view in the months ahead anyway…

Yep, we need to stop shipping goals, and playing this way we are but surely if you are playing a 4-3-3 the 3, well 2 that are not the focal striker need to be full of pace but also willing to put in a shift and of course have the ability to put in that telling cross?

For me Niko Kranjcar and Dave Nugent do not really tick enough of these required boxes.

Ok, Kranjcar has that creativeness about him but lacks the pace, and without doubt defensive discipline not to mention the fact that he drifts into a central role far too often. Nugent, yep a willing worker who will put in his shift, get up and down the pitch and try his heart out but his delivery has been poor – he also has this uncanny knack of falling over all the time! For his application and effort this was worth a punt – I wanted it, but playing him in a right sided midfield role, or ‘winger’ role is not something I am convinced will work, and we will see a ‘Papa Bouba Diop style’ end product, in as much as the more we play him in the role the more he ‘might’ struggle, and this will lead to the fans turning on him? That said if he puts in a shift, is a willing and able worker this is usually good enough for most is it not? he has traits most of us ask for…

It is easy for me to be ‘the manager from he stands’ but if we are going to play the lone striker, which for all intent and purpose we, are pace, application and most importantly the delivery, which for me means we need to line up with Armand Traore in front of Nadir Belhadj on the left – and this pair were much more effective than the Algerian and Croatian have been – and Glen Johnson and Marc Wilson down the right. Where does this leave Kranjcar I hear some cry?

Quite simply in that ‘free role’ in the middle, he can roam here, there and everywhere as he loves to and can hopefully unlock the defences like he is capable of doing – that is of course assuming he does not leave for Arsenal anyway! Put Sean Davis and Richard Hughes or Papa Bouba Diop in the middle and bobs your uncle – only problem is Hughes and Diop are injured. That leaves Arnold Mvuemba, and he is not filling me with much optimism to be honest. He has not progressed as we had hoped, far from it in fact – perhaps his confidence was shattered under Harry Redknapp, he suffered the ‘you are not one of my boys’ treatment?

At the end of the day though we need results, so whilst I might not agree with the way Adams might look to send us out if he gets the results, and we do need them or we are going down, hats off to him. He was too frightened to make a tactical change against Bristol City, maybe rightly so, but fortune can favour the brave so throwing caution to the wind at times could be the making of him – if not it may well prove the breaking…

Either way, and whatever results we yield I will never, ever boo my own and although we all pay our money so do have the right to voice our opinions, I cannot understand how booing our own players – and we have seen this in our last few home games – can benefit anyone!

PLAY UP POMPEY!

Join the Vital Pompey Debate