Monday, 9 February 2009

Options for Portsmouth

Wright-Phillips' suspension is a shame, but with Portsmouth in the mess they are we've got a real chance of getting something. Our 4-3-3 system is largely constructed around the wing talents of Robinho and SWP, and we do not have natural replacements for them. As such, we may have to re-jig the system somewhat to accomodate whichever player comes in for Shaun.

Having said that, what is probably the most likely option involves the standard system and a straight swap. Darius Vassell is probably the most likely candidate for the right wing-forward role should the system stay the same. That would see us line up like this.

This could be ok but then it really misses out on a lot of the dynamism that SWP brings. And don't forget Vassell's miss in the Fratton Park game last year: I certainly haven't. And that would leave us as physically small as we would be with Shaun. At Stoke we really lacked physical presence, so how about bringing in Felipe Caicedo up front? A Caicedo-Bellamy partnership could work well. The only problem would be the lack of natural wingers: Robinho is more of an inside-forward than a left midfielder; Zabaleta's crossing is good but does he quite have the subtlety to play wide right? Anyway, here's how it would look:

One final option also involves shifting Zabaleta out to right midfield. Rather than a second centre forward this has an extra central midfielder - Elano - alongside de Jong and Ireland. With Robinho and Zabaleta on either extreme of a midfield five, though, it's rather unbalanced. And I physically can't remember the last away game in which Elano performed. Newcastle on 2nd January 2008?
Which of these three options do you prefer? Or which other options are there?


tommytheblue said...

it could be ireland or elano playing on the right.

i would prefer bellamy to play with caicedo.

James said...

What about moving Bellamy out to the right and play Caicedo through the middle? Bellamy can't do any worse than Vassell in that position, and as his last two goals prove, he's certainly comfortable cutting in from the right.

pjdemers said...

I much the prefer the 2nd & 3rd option. If option 3 is preferred I would hope Elano, Robinho, & Ireland are encouraged to interchange as much as possible, especially if Pompy use a zonal defense.

I do like the idea of a Caceido - Bellamy partnership as it offers speed, strength & guile.

I would also like to see City press further upfield as the City midfield is naturally attack minded so not to leave the back 4 overexposed. Klinsman did this w/ Germany @ WC2006 to great effect as their back 4 (except Lahm) were considered quite suspect. this makes sense to me as DeJong tends to sit back & sweep just front of the back and is not likely to go on gut-busting runs a la Thorsten Frings or Ballack

pjdemers said...

Not to go on but as its an away game maybe Sparky will try the following:


Robinho Ireland Elano

DeJong Zabeleta

Bridge Onouha Kompany Richards


subs: Hart, Caicedo, Garrido, Sturridge (Is he injured?) Weiss, Fernandes, with Evans coming in if Sturridge is still unavailable. Notice there is no place for Darius. Won't happen of course as Sparky seems to like him or has a sense of humor and likes to select him just to make sure we have the option of shooting ourselves in the foot.

notice we're woefully thin on the ground in terms of subs. I much rather see academy players like Weiss, Clayton, Logan and Evans get more playing time than selecting Ball or Darius

Andyd said...

Well Dunne is back from suspension so he will go back into the team. So i think it will/should be

Zab Dunne Onuhua Bridge

Kompany De Jong

Bellamy Ireland Robinho


Bellamy can play that wide role and has already been using the channels over the past three games. And we get a proper right back to give us width and a sold base in midfield and some presense up front. Job done!

JPB said...

Andyd - I think Dunne got a four game ban (3 for Violent Conduct + 1 for two red cards in a season) so we won't have him until the Copenhagen and Liverpool games later this month.