TALKING TACTICS: Clarets must go for the jugular
As Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said, it is most definitely squeaky-bum time.
We could even include the wisdom of Ian Dowie and deduce that our season requires a large dose of bouncebackability.
We deserved three points at the Madjeski, but the fat lady has begun to warm her vocal chords on the back of Saturday’s defeat at home to Millwall.
Not quite a mountain to climb just yet,but the margin for error is reducing on a game-by-game basis.
At this stage, a draw is absolutely worthless and we must go for the jugular between now and April 28th, if we want the season to be extended into May.
March will be a definitive month, anything less than a maximum haul and we can all but kiss goodbye to our hopes of promotion.
Away from Turf Moor, to Wembley, and the post-Capello era begins tomorrow night against the Netherlands.
Stuart Pearce has the reigns on a temporary basis, and I hope this will be his one and only game in charge.
All those who witnessed the shambles that was our 2011 UEFA U21 Championship campaign are likely to hold the same opinion.
A failure to exit the group should have set alarm bells ringing at FA headquarters, yet he was rewarded with a new contract.
FA Chairman David Bernstein pointed to the need for continuity,but of what?
Our national side has consistently qualified impressively for the major tournaments, yet, without fail, we always flatter to deceive when actually there.
On the one occasion Pearce guided us to a final, we were comprehensively beaten.
If the FA want to offer continuity of failure, then it is evidently their decision, but is not one that I am comfortable with.
A look at the squad chosen had me tearing my hair out in frustration.
Why was Wayne Rooney included before having to withdraw with a throat infection?!
He cannot play at the beginning of the tournament, so why, only months before, are we not seeking the best alternative and fine-tuning it in anticipation of his absence?
I have to ask if the squads are chosen on reputation, whatever the level?
How else would you explain the inclusion of Robert Green and Scott Carson?
Jack Butland is a fine young goalkeeper, why not give him the experience of being around the squad, rather than pick players who, barring an injury crisis, are unlikely to ever pull on the shirt again.
The omission of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is baffling, but Tom Cleverley’s selection - before injury - hinted that he can finally end the Lampard/Gerrard debate.
We can draw parallels with our own situation regarding Dean Marney and Chris McCann.
Both have natural instincts to attack, which I do not feel suits our chosen system.
In a midfield two, one must go forward whilst one stays back to cover.
That is perfectly acceptable in theory, but during a game it becomes impractical.
The time it will take to check your partner’s position can cost you vital seconds in joining in with the offensive transition.
Including Marvin Bartley can eradicate this problem.
The extra security he can provide as the holding player will allow Marney and McCann to attack relatively risk free. Food for thought perhaps?