The Space Between our Defence and Midfield is Far Too Big….By: Daryl | December 3rd, 2008
Date: Feb 16th, 2009
Progress: 5th in Prem after 26 games, FA Cup quarter-finals
Here’s what my ass man Chris Hughton keeps telling me. “The space between our defence and midfield is far too big and can be exploited.”
He mixes it up a bit. Sometimes he calls it a gap, sometimes he says it’s giving the opposition too much room to play, but the basic message is the same.
You can see him explaining the same thing to Kevin Keegan (probably) in the image there. And we all know how that ended.
As far as I can see, Hughton’s a fool.
My defence has been told to “push up” fairly high for the offside trap, and then I’ve got a flat four with at least one midfielder (usually Belletti) always staying fairly defensive. I suspect Hughton’s worried that my wingers are pushing forward so much that they’re too far from the fullbacks for his liking. But that’s what my whole game is based on. If I have my wingers stay back, I’ve pretty much got nothing.
Has anyone else had this problem with their ass. man.?
Despite this allegedly problematic gap, things are going pretty well. Still a few problems: Oba Martins, Jose Enrique, Charles N’Zogbia and Steven Taylor are all experiencing varying degrees of depression about my rejecting bids for them in January (can’t believe Taylor wanted to go Everton, of all places) and there’s still very little pocket money to spend. But I’ve won my last three games to stay fifth in the Prem and make the QFs of the FA Cup. In your face Chris Hughton.
vs Middlesbrough (away) W 2-1 Oba Martins started on the bench. That was his reward for getting a 5.0 rating against Arsenal. Think I actually saw him sleeping in the second half. So The Pog and young John Fleck started up front. The Pog headed us into the lead after 24 minutes, only for Gary O’Neill to equalize for ‘Boro right before the half time whistle.
A quick check of the HT ratings revealed Charles N’Zogbia had set the club record low of 4.6. So off he came, and on came Martins (with Fleck moving back to LW to replace Charles N’Zogbia). Fifteen minutes later Martins ran on to a Pog flick on and won the game. I rule the North-East.
vs Bolton (away) W 1-0 Nothing to be proud of here. Bolton were 18th, but they still had 9 shots on goal to my 3. The crucial difference is that one of mine went in, Fabricio Coloccini striking sweetly from inside the box. I had no idea the frizzy haired one could do that.
Martins started after his game-winning appearnce vs’ Boro, and was absolutely useless and uninterested. Think I saw him reading a paper. Wish I’d sold him now, he’s going to be a pain in the arse to motivate for the rest of the season. Bad news is that The Pog came off injured. Still, three points is three points.
FA Cup 5th Round vs Stoke (home) W 3-0 Apparently Jose Enrique was looking cocky in the warm up. Not really sure what to do about that, so told him “I expect a performance.” Also gave Oba Martins another chance at a start, mostly because of The Pog’s injury. I made Oba the target man and had the team playing balls for him to “run onto”. Lewandowski got a rare start alongside him.
We pretty much tore the Prem’s bottom team to bits with goals from Danny Guthrie (who bossed the game from centre mid), a pen from Martins (and a half decent performance) and a 35 yeard beauty of a free kick from Alan Dzagoev after he came off the bench. That’s more like it Alan.
So now I’m sitting pretty in fifth. Three points behind fourth placed Liverpool and two points ahead of sixth place Spurs (though they have a game in hand.) Also, I’ve made the quarters of the FA Cup. Tough ask to win it as there’s a lot of dangerous teams still in there: Man Utd, Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea, Spurs. Here’s hoping I get drawn against either the winner the Villa vs West Brom replay, or – fingers crossed – against Derby County.