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Mullers, Hendo, formations and other geeky stuff

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Lots of good posts here recently concerning team selection / formation. It''s bloody difficult isn''t it? An indiffererent - ok, awful - performance against Bradford and we''re all going back to our hypothetical drawing boards.

Mulryne and Henderson have been particularly under the microscope. I think the thing that often gets lost in our assessments / opinions is that, as fans, we are very keen to judge players at their very best OR very worst. This is why the Mr Consistants of football very rarely grab the headlines. Does anyone remember the ''Butterworth solid at back'' headlines during the european run? No, of course not. Because ''Ruel outfoxes United'' simply makes better, more exciting copy.

So, for what it''s worth...

Mulryne: Best passer, set piece guy at the club. Can''t tackle for toffee and can often be outfought and bypassed in scrappy games where the opposing midfield is packed and intent on defending. Having said that, he came on and turned the game around at Stoke. So, logic is out of the window on that one.

Henderson: Superb talent, but does struggle with inconsistancy. But it''s easy to forget his youth and relative inexperience. What''s he played...20 / 25 first team games ever? For my money, he is still a better option than Rivers wide right as even when he''s having a bad game he shows willing and effort. I think playing McVeigh wide right, with Brennan on the left is another option, but that''s a whole other debate I''m not getting into here

Francis: Ball winner, fighter, mixer, stopper, with a flair for goal. But you then sacrifice Mulryne''s potential for match winning passing and set pieces. Rightly or wrongly, Holt seems undroppable, so it leaves us trying to fit two players into one position.

What do you do?

Rotate? Pick horses for courses? Give one a lengthy run in the side and lose the attributes of the other? Play one or the other, then sub at half time if it isn''t working, thus shattering confidence?

It sometimes seems that if Mullers is picked to start, we have complaints about having no ball winner or defensive midfielder. Put Francis in, and Worthington is accused of not playing with flair and attack in mind.

He probably earns in a month what I earn in a year, but I''m not sure I''d want Worthington''s job! Not easy is it.

And that''s just the midfield. I''m not even going to mention striking partnerships or defensive formations.

Ultimately, it all comes down to 11 players - WHOEVER they are - playing well and gelling on the day. If 2, 3 or 4 of them have a ''mare....well, it happens. No coaching methods can cater for it happening, and it does happen to the very best. The successful teams are simply the ones who can live with, and bounce back, from the off days.

And let''s face it...we weren''t exactly stunning against Nottm Forest at home, but scrap a 1.0 win when we could have easily been 3.0 down, and everyone goes away happy. I don''t recall massive debates after that game. Yes, we''d like Derby and Cardiff every week but it isn''t going to happen. Those games will not win the league. Grabbing a point a Stoke, or somehow contriving (undeserved) late winners against Reading and Derby wins leagues.

Bradford has gone, forget about it, get over it. The next test in a season that is throwing up tests every five minutes, comes on Saturday.

I repeat again words I said here during the Huckerby saga - just believe.

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Not a bad post Master, considering the numbers of Jack Daniels I saw you put away last night!. God I wish I could think that clear, well done.

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