Thursday, 24 December 2009
Striker Crisis As Franco Is Crocked
No King Cole, No General Franco, No Major (as in surgery) Ashton, No Drummer Boy Sears - what in God's name does Zola do for the Pompey game? Start with Nouble? The kid certainly cannot be asked to lead the line alone. Risk Dixon Both Crocked And Green? Avram Grant must be wearing a smile broader than the Gaza Strip!
I have been warning that this would happen since August. Don't say it is bad luck, it is rank bad planning. You can't trust to just two fit strikers, Cole and Franco, and expect to get through the season without this happening, especially when one of the two is 33 years old and unaccustomed to the pace and intensity of the Prem. I warned that Franco should not be risked against Chelsea in case this happened; I didn't dream that he would be allowed to do anything in training that might result in injury, freak or otherwise. Somebody should know by now that if it can go wrong, it will go wrong!
So what does Zola do? Personally, I would go with Diamanti and Stanislas up front, with strict instructions that they must not track back. Both should be detailed to press Pompey's centre backs when we are not in possession and to sit on their shoulders when we are, looking to break on to passes over the top. That leaves us short in midfield, so I would move Faubert forward and tell him to get forward, take on the fullback and whip in crosses low. My team would read:
Green - Spector, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga - Faubert, Parker, Kovac, Collison - Diamanti, Stanislas.
The hope would be that Collison will get in to the box to support Diamanti and Stanislas and that Diamanti will prove his quality as a finisher if allowed chances inside the box. Will Diamanti be disciplined enough to operate as a striker? God knows but it would be a huge ask to pitch kids like Nouble and Dixon into this game.
It's a mess, but it is a mess of our own making! You reap what you sew!
Posted by Hammersfan at 13:04