Saturday was a nightmare in the end. From what dreams are made of to a disaster in the same half of football. Forgetting about what happened in the second half for a moment I look at the key area of the pitch that we lost in the early stages, something happening on a very consistent basis currently, and why Adam Forshaw was a key signing despite some thinking we are overloaded in that central midfield position.
We are overloaded in that position in terms of numbers only, and that is when everyone is available. Kalvin Phillips and Eunan O’Kane aren’t exactly impacting games anymore and after injury Ronaldo Vieira looked well off the pace on Saturday although the youngster will come good again. Mateusz Klich has been loaned back to Holland and Yosuke Ideguchi has been loaned to Cultural in Leonesa in Spain. Adam Forshaw’s arrival is so important to this side at the moment and Saturday was proof. With Vieira having a poor game we were all over the shop, we couldn’t keep the ball and it wasn’t until the second half when we threw caution to the wind that Pablo Hernandez got hold of the game, before Thomas Christiansen put him up front.
Eunan O’Kane is the only midfielder we have who can control games in terms of what he does with the ball and he hasn’t done it once since way back at the start of the season. As soon as we started the poor run he struggled and he hasn’t had a game I can remember of note since. Without that we struggle to dictate the pace of games, control it and create moves of note. Samu Saiz and Pablo Hernandez are forced to drop in deep and collect the ball and run with it which shouldn’t happen. Forshaw is a cog, he is the one who will pick the ball up and play it into the attacking players or even sideways. If he feels like he needs to slow the game down he can hold onto the ball and protect it and step forward if needed to give an option to the attacking players.
We might have the numbers but we are lightweight in quality when it comes to ball-players in the middle of the pitch. Personally I think Forshaw could have played on Saturday but was left out as he hadn’t trained with the side. He said on Thursday afternoon he was fit and ready to go, the club apparently pushed the deal on to get it done and the player registered in time but he “needed more time” according to Thomas Christiansen. Maybe he had picked up a niggle, who knows but we were dreadful in the middle of the pitch Saturday and if anyone needed evidence we need a player like Forshaw in there then that was it. I expect him to start the game at Hull and most after that until the end of the season.