Thursday, 5 February 2015

Is it getting harder for Eddie to pick his best 11?

There was not much change to the expected line up last match against Watford. That is until you consider that it has been a couple of months since Yann Kermorgant has started a home match if you discount the Liverpool cup tie. Before that it was Millwall when Yann last started at Dean Court. That demonstrates how hard it is to get back into this side regularly and Adam Smith, Dan Gosling, Elliot Ward, Junior Stanislas, Ryan Fraser and Shaun MacDonald are among those who will have to do something extra special in training to get a glimpse of a starting place.
It's a nice problem to have lots of players to pick from - let's hope it stays that way.
Looking at the team only a couple of matches ago against Norwich and then Leeds you might have said are the players getting tired? The FA Cup match will have helped some of those regulars rest and the zip was gradually refound by the players against Watford as the game progressed. It is a gruelling campaign and you would have thought that it would be advantageous to use the whole squad as much as Eddie can now in the coming games. But who do you drop? And would form fall off if some are rotated now and again? It's a risk if you don't rest players, but also a risk if you don't keep the consistency going.

I think this is really when you need honest players that are able to tell you when they have niggles and know when they need to take some time out to keep the overall performance of the team high. It is clear that some of the players not getting the minutes on the pitch are capable of playing bigger roles, but I am hard pressed to say which of those on the sidelines will get more minutes in February and March. 

Brett Pitman can consider himself unlucky not to play from the start against Watford as he has a perfectly good goal up at Leeds Utd ruled out. The Norwich home game and the way the team played then might have been more in Eddie's thinking of why Brett was left out for the Watford match. Watford was another big game at home and Brett and Callum did not score although Brett was subbed on the hour when Kermorgant had the chance to get a goal against 10 men. In truth I don't think we can go on what we see alone and training makes a big difference to the manager's thoughts. Having you best penalty taker on the pitch is also important and perhaps Yann was sticking a few more away than Brett in practise.

In the past it's been the wingers that perhaps have the best chance of seeing some rotation, but the form of Ritchie and Pugh is more than a bit impressive at the moment. Both look like they have goals in them and their crossing has been superb of late.

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