I’m going to try and avoid any form of unintentional doom mongering or anything that can be construed in some form as negativity, otherwise Churchill will verbally burn me at the stake, but I am going to talk about the two that played up front for us on Saturday.
Against a team more focused on defending we looked good and pacy going forward at times. That was until Heskey and Carew started to lumber towards the box much like how I imagine the Titanic moved trying to avoid that iceberg.
You see, it’s all well and good having a bit of speed on the wings, but it’s no good whatsoever when there’s no-one in the box and the winger is forced to wait or look for other options. Heskey is far too slow and Carew doesn’t have the motivation or work ethic to run at full pelt into the box every time in hope. If he did he’d probably be regarded as the Norwegian Wayne Rooney.
My point is that one of these two need to play with Gabby or The Fonz, i.e. somebody with a little pace. Somebody who is going to get into the box and give you a second option. Against Stoke, we just didn’t have any punch in that department. Sure we’ve got big guys who can play the physical game, but Stoke are best troubled with pace and being run ragged and while Heskey and Carew are difficult to deal with, they are just about slow enough to keep on top of.
So, I think what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think Carew and Heskey really work together playing the way we play. They don’t offer that pace upfront that matches our wingers.
On another thought I didn’t think that Downing did anything in the Stoke game. He’s looked a tad out of sorts in recent games and maybe giving him a rest for Albrighton might be worth a punt. Downing was thrown right in as soon as he got near fitness so maybe it is beginning to catch up with him, although it does look like it is catching up with a few of them.
Wigan tonight is going to be fairly similar to Stoke except that they are, to me, more likely to get a goal or two than Stoke and if we go with the Titanic strike force then I can't see us scoring from open play either. Hopefully Gabby will start as was widely suggested yesterday.