Apologies for the length of time since my last post, I could blame it on lethargy, I could blame it on other priorities, I could blame it on the boogie. But the fact is I haven't had anything to write about, those boys in Blue have been giving me nothing. I don't want to churn out out a match report everyweek, they're 10 a penny online, I want to give you fine people food for thought, but in order to do that I need some inspiration from the eleven men taking to the pitch.
I thought to myself last week, "it's been a while since I updated the blog and I need to put something out there for the readers to mull". I settled on the art of substitutions, which is my only bug bear with Mr Moyes, I looked at the great sporting replacements including Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the 1999 Champions League Final or Gary Pratt, who ran out Ricky Ponting in the 2005 Ashes series after coming on for the injured Simon Jones. I penned this article in my head, even using a line from The Who as a title "But I'm a substitute for another guy". Then what happens, 5 minutes left in the game at Stamford Bridge and substitute Jermaine Beckford scores the equaliser, back to the drawing board, cheers Jermaine!!
What Beckford's goal did allow me to do was take a closer look at our strikers and perhaps what's missing in their game currently. It seems to be confidence pandemic, a fantastic Footballer like Louis Saha doesn't overnight forget how to score or lose the will to do it. I remember watching him in the early part of last season and believing that we finally had the complete centre forward, I will quite happily admit that I said he was the best striker I'd seen play for Everton. However, this year something is not quite right with the Frenchman, ask any goalscorer what they love doing more than anything and 9 out of 10 will say scoring goals, I'm not sure what the other 1 would say but 10 out of 10 seemed less believable! The fact Louis hasn't scored since his brace against Chelsea in March will be playing on his mind, we all have things that worry us and that we think about way too much which in turn leads to our downfall. His inability to hit back of the onion bag is affecting his whole game, that beautiful 1st touch has gone and along with it the skill\luck you need in that trade. The problem for the manager is, do you drop him or do you persist in the hope that when he finds his shooting boots he doesn't misplace them again?
The other options of course include Yakubu, Beckford, Anichebe, Vaughan (currently on loan at Palace) and "the next Pauleta" Joao Silva. What sticks out like a sore thumb to me, is that only one of those could naturally play in Moyes' favoured 4-5-1 formation and he is out on loan. Saha, Yakubu, Beckford and Anichebe all need a 2nd striker to play with them, I have no idea about Silva at all so can't comment. James Vaughan will run his socks off for the cause and chase down everything, inevitably getting injured in the process. I'm not saying the others are lazy in anyway but rather the tactics we currently adopt do not suit the majority of our strike force. So then does the responsibility of their lack of goals lay at the feet of the manager? With the exception of Beckford, who has jumped a massive 2 divisions and playing Premiership Football for the 1st time in his career, I would have to say yes as we are not playing the strengths of our squad.
With Wigan at the weekend, we again have a great opportunity to showpiece the talent within our ranks, remarkably at this stage of the season the league is still relativley tight, but sooner or later teams will start pulling away from each other, we need to make sure we are keeping up.
Finally, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported me during Movember, I managed to raise £485 for The Prostate Cancer Charity, which was incredible, so thank you.
Thanks again for reading
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