Without doubt the best team in the division are arriving tomorrow night. In fact, the best team to have been in this division for some time are coming and any chance of picking up a result depends on how the players react to what happened on Friday night, a humiliation at the hands on a very average Middlesbrough team. Changes have to be made, and perhaps some of the regulars need a wake-up call.
My XI (4-3-3)
GK – Felix Wiedwald – What choice do we have? Peacock-Farrell struggled to make a mark on loan in the national league at York City and Heckingbottom says his progress has stalled, Lonergan is injured…disaster. Wiedwald shouldn’t be near this team, but chucking a kid in who clearly isn’t ready isn’t the way to go either. Grim.
RB – Stuart Dallas – Anita and De Bock don’t deserve to be in the team so the next best option is Stuart Dallas. The other thing we could do is play Tyler Denton at left-back and Berardi at right-back.
CB – Pontus Jansson – Was shocking on Friday night and the fact he’s playing alongside Liam Cooper can’t keep being the excuse we make for him. He needs to be the leader at the back and at the moment he isn’t, neither is the captain. Needs addressing.
CB – Liam Cooper – Again, we have little choice. We need better players in these positions come next season, because this just isn’t cutting it. Always liable for a good game after a shocker, here’s hoping because it’s there if he concentrates.
LB – Gaetano Berardi – The Swiss full-back can do a job at left-back and it will almost certainly be better than the recent displays from De Bock and Anita. A position that really needs sorting out. The wingers of Wolves will have a field day if we perform like we have been.
CM – Ronaldo Vieira – If there was ever a time for this lad to step in and be the player we know he can be then this is it. Bags of talent, and bags of energy but no confidence at the moment, something destroyed by Thomas Christiansen. Huge night for him.
CM – Adam Forshaw – Missed him so badly against Boro and the game was over by the time he entered. Needs to try and get hold of Saiss and Jota early because the pair will cause us all sorts of problems if we let them get on the ball. I’m pretty sure Ruben Neves is suspended.
CM – Pablo Hernandez – Some composure in the middle of the pitch and not in an advanced role for me. Will just give us that option of someone wanting the ball and someone not afraid to make a risky pass from deep. WHy not try something new?
LFW – Samu Saiz – I would play Saiz in a free role but make him do his defensive duties on our left hand side, because he can’t be shirking them like he did on Friday night. Such a key player and so important for us. Needs to keep his head in the game.
RFW – Caleb Ekuban – Similar to Saiz, but he would make a two with Lasogga when we went forward and dropped into the right hand position when defending. He is more than capable of doing the graft because he has the engine. Deserves a chance.
ST – Pierre-Michel Lasogga – I was seriously considering putting Ekuban in and making it a flat 4-3-3 but Lasogga has the gaols in him if we can get him the service. He hasn’t got any the last couple of games and without it he looks bang average.