In this season of turmoil, nearly everyone has an opinion as to what the club should be doing differently. It is abundantly clear that the status quo can only string a handful of quality performances together before reverting to something that is both offensive to the eye and the soul. In this whirlwind of anger and frustration, lessons can (and must) be learned in order to nurture progression, and stop the current regression…
1. Change is not to be feared.
At the beginning of the season, Roy continued with the system that Benitez had left behind. If the match was not going according to plan he would bring on another striker, setting up our now typical 4-4-2. This would usually add up to an uninspired performance for 75 minutes, and a slightly better final 15 as the two front men opened up more space in the final third. Slowly, Roy realized which he prefers, the 4-4-2. Now he absolutely must accomodate both Gerrard and Meireles (when healthy) in the same midfield without shunting the latter out to the right. The “performance” against Wolves should be Raul’s last out wide, as his time spent alongside Lucas in Gerrard’s absence proved his most useful location is through the middle. Unfortunately, we will not know Roy’s “solution” to this question until Meireles is healthy enough to play again. I will not trot out the oft-overused addage about the definition of insanity, but if Roy’s to stick around, he must not fall into the same holding pattern Benitez did.
2. Width and pace are non-existant.
This seems so obvious that it has been painful for some time. Rafa’s affinity with converting strikers to “wingers” has left us with no true wide men. Unfortunately. this problem has to be fixed with money, and must be done quite soon. It should have only taken Roy one training session – though he probably knew after managing against us – to realise this deficiency, and I cannot bear watching another transfer window pass without an attempted solution.
3. Silence is golden.
Frustration is understandable, but the endless string of press conference faux paus has to end. Roy, your apologies and pandering did not earn the team an ovation against Bolton, an improved performance/mentality and three points did. Feel free to trot out some of the tired, post-game cliches once in a while; you will incur the supporters’ wrath a lot less often.
4. Agger and Aurelio are first-choice.
Surely now Roy’s Konchesky crusade must come to an end. No need to drone on at length here, just express my curiousity as to whether or not he will start them both against Blackburn.
5. Time is running out for you, Mr. Hodgson.
He must realise now, amidst the increased frequency of media publication, that he is on a knife’s edge. Will he keep the faith in the methods that have produced nothing but inconsistency; or ring some changes, feeling he has nothing to lose?
Nothing remarkable here, just a bit of a rant and pontification as to whether or not Roy has learned anything from his months in charge. The beauty of football is we never have to wait too long to find out.