Time is ticking for some of these players and let’s be honest the pressure is mounting massively on Thomas Christiansen. I have been reading fans posting on social media suggesting fans are fickle because of their reactions to the defeats, and I just don’t understand that. Some have even gone as far as saying some aren’t real fans for criticising the players, one or two games I would see the point, not seven or eight losses basically one after the other. Time to go back to basics.
When I say back to basics I don’t mean we start playing ten behind the ball and going long ball every time we get the ball. I mean the opposite in fact. We need to do what we were doing so well at the start of the season and keep the ball. We seem under pressure to rush passes forward and it just keeps coming back at us. Andy Lonergan is hoofing the ball up to player who barely win headers and won’t really pass the ball to defenders who are obviously not happy with having it at the moment, so play the ones who are. You have a ball-playing centre-back sat out at the moment, a youngster who has done very little wrong and has impressed much this season in Conor Shaughnessy, he will want the ball, play him.
Get the full-backs to defend rather than worry about getting to the other end of the pitch. Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi were arguably the most reliable full-backs outside of the Premier League *note reliable* and all of a sudden they look like they have forgotten they can defend. Luke Ayling barely put a foot wrong last season and the start of this, now he’s jogging back over the halfway line when the winger (his man) is whipping a ball into our box, why is that? If we can just get them to sit in we won’t be getting caught out every game. Also, play a natural left-back…we have one although for a couple of games he’s been injured we have to be playing Cameron Borthwick-Jackson. Naturally left-footed and has proved in games he is a very good footballer.
In the midfield we need to get our foot on the ball. Ronaldo Vieira is one of a few players actually looking like they are leaving everything on the pitch at the moment. Why not play him in a two-man central midfield with a player who will maybe give us something different. O’Kane and Phillips aren’t having a good time at all and maybe just need to sit out a few weeks. O’Kane was so poor he was hooked at half time, unheard of for him under Thomas Christiansen and we have Matty Klich, a player who we paid decent money for in the summer and needs a chance in the side, why not give him a run in the team for a few games. The midfield seems to be getting outplayed weekly, and Vieira isn’t the issue.
Going forward we need to play Saiz in the free role like he was from the start of the season and play him behind wither Roofe or Ekuban. Lasogga is to hit and miss at the moment and although he has ability it’s the effort levels that are frustrating the fans. If Ekuban is fit he starts, sad to say because we have only seen him play a few games but that’s where we are right now. Play the likes of Stuart Dallas and Pablo Hernandez or Dallas and Sacko on the wings because Alioski is having a poor spell (despite the goal) and Roofe isn’t really a natural winger. Hernandez comes inside and can work with Saiz and Sacko and or Dallas will stay wide and track back. So many changes can be made but Christiansen isn’t making them at the moment.