Mike Pollitt: A good chance of starting?
I think it would be best to write off Saturday as a bad day at the office and concentrate on the immediate future. After all, you don’t get relegated based on one result… at least hopefully not.
A bit of a diversion first, though, as next on the radar are Championship climbers and local rivals Blackpool in the city of the Golden Mile for our Carling Cup 2nd round tie. It’ll be a chance to give the impressive Mohamad Diame and his midfield compatriot Hendry Thomas some more much needed experience, even if it isn’t at Premiership level. It’s also an opportunity to try out some new things – since it’s unlikely that we’ll keep the same XI from Saturday, why not do a bit of fiddling a la the pre-season friendlies?
Well, perhaps not as much as in those matches, but we would do well to try and find a more stable back four. Bramble and Scharner put in much improved individual performances attacking-wise, but were left somewhat flagging by Rooney and Company (as opposed to Kompany). Now, what’s up with Emmerson Boyce? Is he still injured (unlikely since we’ve seen him warming up numerous times), or does Bobby prefer defenders with more attacking intent?
Whatever, let’s hope things are a bit more settled, because there’s another potentially tough game around the corner in the shape of Everton. But let’s concentrate on the task in hand–namely beating Blackpool–for now. Expect some of the guys on the fringe of the first team to make appearances and be fighting hard to make it into the team for Sunday. Apologies for being vague at this stage, but who knows what the backroom boys will come up with for Wednesday?
More importantly, it’ll be a case of getting our midfield and attackers to gel a bit more – maybe the biggest problem thus far. You see, this passing game that Martinez has us playing has a side effect: conceding many goals. The way I see it, it’s just a case of scoring one more than the opposition to get the three points.
Or, in tonight’s case, to advance to the next round.