Date: 28th April 2012 at 9:19am
Written by:

Good morning and I mean that most sincerely, folks.

We’re but a day away from our lot offering up some tangible hope. Blackburn have conceded 13 goals in their last 6 games. Which tells even someone as hair-brained as me we need to be attack minded. 

fig.’s 1, 2 & 3 = Routes of über simple, yet incredibly intelligent passing from the back-line players. fig 4. plays every ball one of 3 ways, Rafa, Ade or fig.4a = Azza outwits repeatedly, I say, repeatedly their lot and heads for the near post like a heat seeker. 

I’m resting and Gallas thus leaving us with options on the bench for once that are neither rash or makeweight. I do not expect our master tactician and current incumbent Mr Redschnapps to follow suit. I fact I am convinced he will play King.

This is perhaps, the ‘easiest’ of the four remaining games. Which isn’t to say we take our foot off the gas, that’s not what I’m suggesting. But we must box clever. 

Tactically there is no point in leaving Parker and Billy on the bench if you only deploy one of them in the 74th minute should we go a goal down. You need to be able to read the game and deploy one of them to shore up a situation before it happens. 

If Blackburn are by some miracle continually making us look threadbare at the back then if there’s a pattern whereby Sandro and are looking vulnerable (perhaps thanks to Bale being in a different post code), then you bring in Parker for Livermore. Not Rafa. 

Yeah, yeah Bale on the left on the Tactics Board but we all know that he has ‘his vision’ and doesn’t give a hoot so it’s unlikely to happen. The sad thing is, the most likely to be sacrificed in the event of a substitution is Rafa as he’s a player Arry fundamentally doesn’t understand.

Yet it’s Rafa, if was allowed to stalk that horizontal corridor (or channel) as they call them in Association Football between Bale and Azza off the shoulder of Ade, we’d be in for some magic.

Rafa playing off of and the inevitably roaming Ade allows for some crackerjack creative attacking play in the final third. Yet another reason Bale’s presence here mostly ends up feeling like those moments in the UK Office when David Brent sees a group of colleagues having a laugh and goes over grinning asking what the joke was so desperate is he to join in.

I should, depressingly have the following saved somewhere so I can just cut & paste it every week. Bale to stay out wide and terrorise people. No Benny, but has Arry said to him, ‘push up when you get a chance son’? I hope not. I don’t want Walker doing it either.

Pace is a many splendid thing, but brains are where it’s at.

Azza and Bale need to be fed a third the way into the Blackburn half  to a give them time to think as they start their runs as to what their final ball will look lie. They are the players that can potentially do the most damage. They draw markers and pull men out of position. But not when given the ball just 25 yards out.

If you cast your eye at the Barclays Premiership form guide, you see we head up a miserable trio of sides who are in top half of the league table, but in terms of the form table, find themselves courting relegation. Liverpool and Swansea are the other two if you can’t be bothered to click. 

The grim reality is that we all know we have the ingredients to make a  sumptuous banquet. This is who at home team beat Liverpool 4-0, QPR 3-1, Villa 2-0, Bolton 3-0, 2-0, 5-0… yet the stuff coming out the kitchen since the Newcastle game has been inedible.

Ripping performances apart online is all good but I’m not one for booing our our own players or protesting during a game. That’s just poison. But if our lot aren’t managed properly tomorrow then choruses of, ‘We want you to go, Harry , we want you to go.’ will be ringing in the the N17 air’ at full time.’