Monday, November 05, 2007

Right Back crisis?

I couldn't resist that headline after last weeks similar Left Back related one. I've not really fully recovered from the 4 year olds party we had yesterday, so the full match report will probably not be done until later today.

I did, however, want to assess the likely impact on our starting line up at Anfield after referee Mark Clattenberg completed a rotten performance by sending off the impressive Elliott Omozusi. I still have no idea why he was sent off, most of the people around me didn't even notice that a card had been shown. Watching television replays it was clear Omosuzi was a long way from making contact, and the reaction of Reading's Harper and Murty showed how poor a decision it was. To make matter's worse, Clattenberg, who had just completed a one match Premier League suspension of his own for an equally shocking performance in the Merseyside derby, showed just a red (which would mean a three match ban) but seems to have stated in his match report that it was for a second yellow. This is confirmed on the F.A. website where they show a one match suspension.

With Volzy
saying in his diary that he could be out for at least one more week and Chris Baird also seemingly injured as well, we now have to find a way to fill the right back slot. I reckon we have two options. Aaron Hughes can certainly play that role, and with Bocanegra returning from suspension he could combine with Stefanovic in the centre leaving Nathan Ashton at left back. However, Sanchez may prefer to retain the improving Hughes-Stefanovic partnership in the middle, and could offer a debut to Australian Adrian Leijer in the right back slot. If that happened I would expect Bocanegra to return to the left back role.

A couple of links I thought were interesting. Bill Edgar picked up on the impact Shefki Kuqi made in his
tactical analysis for The Times though I reckon Bill claiming Sanchez had "reinforced his reputation for long ball football" is wide of the mark. The Fulham Women's team are having a good season and now top their league and look like they may return to the premier division at the first attempt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like your comments on Saturday's game - you've summed up the strengths and weaknesses extremely well. My own feeling is there was not much to get excited about but I was impressed by Kuqi's willingness to chase the remotest of chances, something which has been lacking in many of the team, the first goal was a cracker that should have inspired a greater effort from a number of players. I thought Hughes gave excellent value for money and the two young fullbacks certainly proved their worth.
One thing that does disappoint me is the language so many supporters use - I just hope No.1 son doesn't come out with some of the remarks at school! or for that matter at all!!

Chopper's Dad