Bolton Wanderers:Today Brighton.Tomorrow....?
Afternoon all. As Robin Williams didn`t say in Good Morning, Vietnam, it`s cold and wet. And that ain`t no fun even if you`re with a lady, never mind being in the jungle.
Here are some things I discovered when hardly watching any of Brighton v Bolton at the weekend.
Tim Ream is not a midfielder. We knew that last season. Dougie found it on Saturday.
David N`Gog is not a winger.
Right now, SKD needs to be on the pitch for us to score. No SKD, no goal. It doesn`t matter where on the pitch he is, just as long as he is there.
Zat Knight may have improved but, as I am continually being told on Football Manager, at lot of the players are finding it difficult to motivate themselves whilst he is wearing the armband.
We haven`t lost under the new management. We have won once. This is still a positive.
Just how near to London does Marvin Sordell have to be before he isn`t homesick and can play, or are we waiting for the visit to Watford?
Some people are already against the manager. I find this perplexing.
Having seen both Al-Habsi and Jussi have proper howlers on Saturday, maybe OC did make the right decision in promoting Bogdan.
I don`t know how it`s happened, but we are still as near the play offs as the relegation zone.
Mrs X is fair wetting herself at the prospect of Tranmere playing Bolton next season. (The wheels will come off. Trust me.)
And has anyone see Martin Petrov?
I hate the Championship. If I still lived in London, I might well have tromped off to the south coast on Saturday, Mrs X trailing behind me as long as I booked a hotel room for the weekend. As it was, I no longer do, so didn`t, and spent Saturday watching a play in Liverpool instead. It was quite good. It had that bloke from Corrie in it, the one who owned the factory, did something naughty and was finally done in by his mum who used to be in Duty Free. I still probably got as much insight into the game as the majority. Bloody Championship.
I don`t get the Tim Ream playing in midfield thing. He played there once last season and had a mare. If you are going to play someone in midfield, best to make it a midfielder. As long as it`s not Pratley, who is still, somehow, managing to get starts. I can`t understand the sometime benching of Jay Spearing, a holding midfielder who can actually hold the midfield. Pratley isn`t that man, neither is Ream. This isn`t having a go at Dougie, but if he continues to do it, it will be.
Most seem to agree that when Butterfield has been on the pitch he appears to be able to do something. Spearing and Butterfield for the Blackburn game for me. I may even listen to it.
Up front Afobe seems to have given up the ghost, making the lack of Sordell even more intruguing. The club`s desire to send him out on loan when Afobe is as bad at scoring as Mario Jardel was is mystifying. I know that Sordell is allegedly homesick, but if we have to use a player who is homesick for another five weeks, then use him. It`s the least we can do for him, and vice versa.
I have no issue with not losing, and I understand that Dougie has come into a situation not of his making. But there were some bizarre positional choices on Saturday that seemed to allow Brighton carte blanche to run at us. If he wants to see how certain players play in positions, may I suggest the reserves for that kind of thing. As it is we came away with a lucky point, a situation the manager himself concedes as true. Three months ago, we would have been happier with a last minute goal salvaging a point after being outplayed.
If he is fixing things from the back, with the defence being the major problem, then he needs better fixings, as another game goes by without a clean sheet.
It seems to be the natural answer that you play your best team in their best positions. Obviously the manager sees that differently. We now go into a derby not really knowing where we will stand when the season ends. No one is now contemplating relegation, the spectre of which was looking over our shoulder before the change in manager. At the moment, however, we are a long way from promotion.
And Mrs X is already looking at hospitality at Prenton Park.
I will return, with a Blackburn preview, on Wednesday.