Steve Bruce earlier this week said he was giving serious consideration to changing the team around following last weeks game.
The problem is with such a small squad who would/can he bring in?
Replacing Kirkland? For me a none starter. The ten goals conceeded over the last three games can be laid squarely at a poor defensive and midfield effort. Pollitt is a good second keeper nothign more and Kingson isn’t good enough for the premeir league (another car boot cast off from Birmingham)
Has to shoulder significant blame over the last three games, the only one to emerge unscathed in my opinion is Bramble. Figueroa has been excellent this season but has looked weary the last couple of weeks and probably would benefit for a rest and in Edman we have a fit and hungry replacement.
Boyce has had a couple of bad games and should be benched with Mario returning at right back and Scharner retaining his place at centre half.
Has generally been ok but lacks creative drive, other than Valencia and the absence of Cattermole for four games hit us badly.
Valencia is a must start. N’Zogbia has yet to convince me that he has the aptitude for the Premier League and bottled a tackle last week, that he should have won with ease.The alternatives however are; De Ridder,Kapo and Koumas none of whom should ever play for the club again.
Centre midfield should have Cattermole as the first name but the question is whether to play with four or five in midifeld.
I would go with five with Brown coming in to partner Catt and Watson.
Brown is the sort of player you would dread playing against in five a side, totally commited and not averse to putting the boot in.
Watson will shoot as has been proved recently and compared to Brown, De Ridder, Koumas, he knows where the goal is.
Up front we are limited in our choices. Mido appears to be first choice and although his fitness appears to have improved, he seems frustrated as we all are at the lack of quality ball and I would wager that he goes off injured today
if he starts.
The alternatives are Rodellaga, who hasn’t acclimitised to Premier League football and Zaki who is displaying the form of a Blue Square league player.
I would go 4-5-1 but have Sibierski on the bench. Sibs fitness won’t last 90 mins but he is a clever player, who will create for another forward. Bringing him and Hugo on late on might be a game breaker.
Whatever the shortfalls within the squad the blame must be squarely laid at the door of Steve Bruce. At the beginnign of the season he said he wanted two p[layers for every outfield position plus three keepers. This he has, the problem is that several, most notably all three of his signings from Birmingham, are not up to the rigours of Premier League football.
my starting line up would be;
Melchiot, Schanrer, Bramble, Edman
Valencia, Brown, Catt, Watson, N’Zogbia
Pollitt, Boyce, Figueroa,Sibs,Rodellaga,Zaki,Cwyka