Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Ireland's fears

Last year's player of the season comments on the health scare he suffered recently:

"Thankfully it wasn't too serious because at the time I thought that was the end of me," he told the Manchester Evening News.

"I don't know what it was. I have had every test that there is and I still don't know but it was a bit of a strange scare.

"It took me a while to get right but I am back on track. Everything is looking positive."

The more I've seen of us recently the more I think that we are missing Ireland's final third artistry. Where exactly he slots in, I'm not sure. This is the sort of thing I'd like to illustrate with my blue cards but as you can probably tell they've been out of action for a while. A friend who supports United came over for a few drinks last month and decided to find and tear up my 'TEVEZ 32' card. It's easily replaced but I haven't got round to it yet. But expect some post about team/formation options - with the cards - later this week.


Trading losses said...

I believe there might be a direct link between our poor form of recent weeks and Nigel De Jong's inclusion in the midfield. It seems to me that sides like United and Chelsea who have been successful over the last few years, pick teams to win games, which we were doing early in the season before De Jong was introduced into the side. Subsequently, Hughes appears to be picking his teams not to lose which is causing us to be less creative and more predictable.

Interestingly, we continue to leak goals, despite De Jong's inclusion in the side. It was Given and not De Jong who helped us to escape from Birmingham with a point.

I'm not questioning De Jong's commitment but i'm nowhere near as convinced about his effectiveness as most City fans seem to be.


Steven McInerney said...

Completely disagree with Tony. Nothing wrong with De Jong...we've just not got the right balance around him.

Seeing as your cards are down at the moment I decided to make a very dodgy looking microsoft paint at a formation thingy....When everyone is fit this is how i'd line up the team.


(shame i can't post this image with html tags! - just copy and paste it into your browser - it's safe, don't worry!)

I'd go for Ned at right back because at the moment we're simpy not solid enough. We should have enough going forward anyway with the rest of the midfield/attackers to not have to worry too much about having rampaging full backs. Ned would stop a lot more crosses coming in than Zab or Richards would - and i'm a big fan of Zab too. I just think Ned is a fantastic defender.

Tevez could easily interchange with Bellamy and there's no doubting Tevez's workrate so he would cover back. He'd be a damn site more effective than SWP is being at the moment too.

Obviously this formation would free up Ireland to interlink wonderfully with whoever he wants to. I'd happily see Robinho come back in every now and then in this formation too. He's on the same wavelength as Adebayor and Ireland.

A bench of the following would do for me too -

Taylor - Zab. Kompany. Johnson. Weiss. Robinho. Santa Cruz.......though obviously SWP would get ahead of Weiss in Hughes' eyes.

David said...

De jong has been very effective at his job, but he wont spray passes around, they are quick offloads and thats fair enough he isnt in the team to pass...ie gattuso a notoriously poor passer, but is there for tackles.

I wonder how many people will forget their criticism of robinho and welcome him back with open arms. He is very creative, his ball carrying ability is vastly overlooked by many... 14/15 goals from the left wing...yes please!

Jon said...

I couldn't agree more with Tony with regard to Nigel De Jong. I'd also add that if he continues to hurl himself into tackles in the same manner that he has in recent games, then a straight red card is coming his way.

De Jong's sideways passing gets us nowhere, and we are lacking the drive, forward running, vision, and scoring talents of Stephen Ireland. De Jong only has a place in the team for me when we are playing the big boys, or if we play five in midfield.

TPB said...

In the difficult away games we've had recently, it's been important that De Jong starts. He might make the team less creative, but if you want to be creative at all you have to win the ball first.

Maybe Hughes will start with Ireland at home to Burnley as we will be dominating possession in that game, and Ireland knows how to use the ball.

I'm surprised that Hughes has gone for a formation that compromises our best player last season, but I'm willing to back him. I also think Ireland is a strong enough character to force his way back into the team, even if it means re-inventing himself (as a deep-lying player or a wide player)