Thursday, 14 January 2016

Will Eddie change the formation now?

There was an interesting discussion on BBC Radio Solent on Tuesday night, before the game, on the shape of the team going forward, now that Afobe, Iturbe and Grabban have been added to the squad. It is a difficult one and a thought process that Eddie Howe will have to decide on in the coming weeks. All I know is it gave me a headache in picking a starting 11 for the game against West Ham, and while I got it right for once it is going to be difficult going forward to predict which players are likely to start.

Eddie has lots to think about ahead of important clash with Norwich.
The main selection dilemma after the recent transfer window activity is who to play up front. It was a difficult introduction for Benik Afobe who took on the main role of sole striker in the first half against West Ham and Eddie Howe may have to look at whether he changes the formation to accommodate a second striker. Lewis Grabban certainly found it hard to make an impact with the team already under pressure when he entered the game and perhaps he would find it helpful to play in a 4-4-1-1 set up. Josh King may find his match time more limited when he does recover fitness as well.

We also saw the debut of Juan Iturbe who may have been startled by the pace of Premier League. He may not be quite ready to fit into Ritchie's shoes and he will need a few games to understand what he needs to give the team in terms of work rate and marking when it come to set pieces. The language barrier is something that I hope he overcomes as it will enhance is prospects no end.

The midfield has been an area of the pitch where the three central midfielders have been solid and deserved their place in the team. But who does Eddie leave out if he wants to play two up front? It is not so simple and having lost in the last match he may decide to stick with Gosling, Arter and Surman as a central three to try and keep the high passing rate going. 

On the optimistic side, Eddie Howe has options now. Glenn Murray and Lee Tomlin will not be out of his thoughts and with players like O'Kane, Pugh and Kermorgant having played minutes recently, he will be working out which players he wants to be included in the 25-man Premier League squad going into the second half of the season. He can't afford any passengers and it looks like Callum Wilson will join Tyrone Mings in playing no part until next season, while the big decision will involve whether to hold a place open for Max Gradel.

PremierTalk has a new article that looks at the Northeast's revival 

1 comment:

  1. Looks like an England enigma with Arter & Gosling aka Lampard & Gerard. Go with one or the other. maybe one at home the other away. At home sitting too deep. Need better shooting boots. Option for 2nd striker.
    Is Ritchie needing a rest?
    Pugh should start ahead of Stanislas?
    what do you think?