Thursday, 12 August 2010
Team for Villa. No change except for the departure of Zola!
For all the comings and...well for all the comings, the side that takes the field away to Villa may not be so very different from the team that ended last season. With Sule's work permit application still to be approved (and according to KUMB rejected), Derr Hammer probably ruled out by injury, Ben Haim and Reid untried in the first team, Barerra not yet trusted and tested for 90 minutes, and Dyer unheard of after all his big talk last week about how he felt fit and ready for the new season, Grant may find himself picking from the stagnant pool left behind by Zola.
Would anybody be terribly surprised if we lined up 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 with the following personnel?
Spector (or Tomkins), Gabbidon, Upson, Ilunga
Faubert, Noble, Parker, Boa Morte, Diamante
Behrami could, of course, be used in place of one of Boa, Noble or Diamanti, with positions across midfield reshuffled accordingly (Boa playing wide left if Diamanti is left out.)
True the subs bench could well feature Reid, Piquionne, Caecida, Barerra and Ben Haim, but supporters might be forgiven for asking, "Squad reshaping, what squad reshaping?" when the team runs out at Villa Park.
Spector apart, that team still looks pretty good to me and I would welcome the opportunity of seeing what Grant can achieve with Zola's players personally. To be fair to the Italian, he was deprived of Ilunga, Boa and Gabbidon for most of last season, but every squad suffers injuries, it is the manager's job to make sure he has adequate cover. Thus far, as the inclusion of Spector in that possible line up shows, Grant has failed to source adequate right back cover. Quite why this key weak area of the last two seasons (Neill was too slow anyway) has not been addressed is beyond me. It will remain our Achilles heel and, fresh from his England appearance, Young will be looking to make hay down our right flank in consequence. Perhaps after playing against Brazil in midweek, Spector will surprise us!
The good news is that Villa have injury worries of their own with Ginge and Cueller De Ville ruled out of their defence and Ivebonkedawhore troubled by a hamstring injury. Of course, the biggest bonus is the resignation of O'Neill.
The big kick off is almost upon us, Parker is still a West Ham player and everything in the garden is coming up claret and blue roses. Let's hope that by 5pm, the roses smelling sweetest are all from the East End!
Posted by Hammersfan at 18:13