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Monday, 26 November 2012

What Would Be Our Best Midfield?

I’ve talked at length about the various options in midfield without ever really analysing what might be the best options, discussing other peoples various roles and how this set up works. However the win and performance at Wolves has raised some question marks in my mind about which personnel is best.


Quietly I had wondered whether the midfield attacking three we had been using were the best options. I for one have been chomping at the bit to see what Lansbury can offer from the start. I think Cohen is making himself undroppable, and we all know what Guedioura is capable of, despite not hitting those heights this season yet.

I appreciate the role Reid can play, and his guile and technique with the ball cannot be questioned, but I always wonder about his mobility, and how a more mobile midfield three might be better. The lack of pace and drive has sometimes been a real issue in the midfield. With Jenas and Reid out, Guedioura and Lansbury stepped up and completely seized their chance this week.

I would like if possible to see this midfield set up given a couple of games to see how they run. All the requirements are there, set piece delivery, creativity, drive, finesse. Reid offers an ability with set pieces that a wonderful crossing ability, but I would argue so too does Lansbury.

Looks at the ball Lansbury played on Saturday, 40-50 yards over the top ball perfectly to Sharps path and feet to take on and score. Considering he was schooled by Arsenal it was a very un-Arsenal like ball, essentially being long ball, but it was so much more than just a punt up field than long ball and direct implies. It was crafted, judged and dropped into place for the striker to latch on to. Creative but direct. Very Reid like, but with mobility.

If Guedioura is starting to hit last season’s form and I know one swallow doesn’t make a summer but he was looking far better, and maybe the catalyst for this improvement was playing his old team, and as often happens he played out of his skin. If his form is now getting back to last season it makes him undroppable. He just needs to stop getting sent off. I had a feeling as he approached towards their goal on Saturday and let rip that he’d hit something dangerous, and lo and behold it was unsavable down in the corner. We’ve got our Guedi back.

Cohen I have been impressed with this season. I thought his form may suffer with the long layoff but he seems to have come back determined to make up for the year or so out of the game. There are those who are suggest he isn’t he player many others say he is, that’s its all effort and no class but I completely disagree. We are a better team with Cohen it.

We are yet to see anything of Coppinger, and with Majewski injured the other option would be to see McGugan in, but I think we all know that although he has obvious ability his temperament is questionable and this means with the new better options he is essentially unpickable.

Jenas and Reid will have their roles to play, the problem with Jenas is that yes he is quality, but will he be here after January? Is it worth trying to play someone else into form instead? Reid isn’t going to be able to keep playing all season and will need rests. Weeks like this where we have 3 games in 7 days will be too much for his fitness level. The options of rotation should keep players fresh, but you also want the consistency that playing regularly brings. This is what has hampered Guedioura as he has been in and out the team.

It all bodes well though. If an army marches on its stomach, a team’s promotion bid will rely on its midfield. Yes you need the strong defence, and the goal scorers, but the way we play, needs a strong midfield, and thats what we have.

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