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GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary

Andrew Surman/Bradley Johnson??

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Surprised that Surman  didn''t get a kick last night, which would maybe suggest that he isn''t in Lamberts immediate plans in the 1st XI. This very well may have been because Lambert felt that without Crofts ,Johnsons bite in midfield was needed and with him being left-sided had the knock on effect of Surman making way?

   It will be interesting to see whats happens when Crofts returns because if it were to come down to a straight fight between Johnson and Surman for the "left-hand" side of the diamond spot , in my opinion,based on their respective performances last season ,their is no logical reason as to why Johnson should be favoured over Surman??

On a different note, don''t bother coming back in too much of a hurry Real Zaragoza. What an unpleasant group of players and indeed manager they turned out to be?. On a typical league match they could easily have warranted 7 yellow cards last night and even managed to spark a brawl when they scored!. I think it something of a triumph that we got out of that with "apparantly" no new injuries, hopefully Parma will turn up on Saturday in a better mood??

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Another player in the equation you didn''t mention....

Pilkington.

It could very well be a diamond, with Fox, Bennett, Pilkington and Hoolahan. Very attacking and creative.

Surman i suppose fits into the bracket as well. But really I can''t see a diamond formation without Crofts or Johnson in, at least for the majority of the same, with Pilks/Bennett on the bench when/if we need to get goals late on in the game.

I think Surman perhaps has fallen behind in the pecking order, and i think a lot of that is down to pace. He just seems slow at times, which for his play style isn''t really a good thing.

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[quote user="GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary"]

Surprised that Surman  didn''t get a kick last night, which would maybe suggest that he isn''t in Lamberts immediate plans in the 1st XI. This very well may have been because Lambert felt that without Crofts ,Johnsons bite in midfield was needed and with him being left-sided had the knock on effect of Surman making way?

   It will be interesting to see whats happens when Crofts returns because if it were to come down to a straight fight between Johnson and Surman for the "left-hand" side of the diamond spot , in my opinion,based on their respective performances last season ,their is no logical reason as to why Johnson should be favoured over Surman??

[/quote]

Surman is probably a better footballer than Johnson but Johnson has muscle whereas Surman is lightweight.

Johnson will also put in a "shift" for the team which is not one of Surman''s strong points.

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I think it will very much be horses for courses this season. I don''t think there will be a set starting eleven.

 

In my opinion Surman should start in midfield with Fox, Hoolahan and Crofts.

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I would describe Johnson''s performance last night as "dogged but out of position".  he is clearly a central player and since Zaragoza pushed most of their play to their right hand side in the first half, Johnson was constantly running back and forth from the centre where he clearly prefers to be to the left wing where the rather excellent Naughton was left on his own

 

i too am surprised Surman didn''t get a look in.

i think the starting midfield will be Bennett, Fox, Hoolahan, Crofts.

i also think the back 4 that started last night will remain for the Wigan game.

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Can''t really see Bennett & Pilkington featuring in the diamond although they did last night. The diamond leaves us vulnerable on the break as it is before bringing in attacking wide players.

What I like about the selection of midfield players we have now is the right/left balance available with a number of different and varied selections.

As you say I''d be very surprised to see both Johnson & Surman in the same side. They offer 2 very different options on the left.

I can see us dropping Hoolahan at times and playing a flat 4 with Bennett, Pilkington or Surman offering options out-wide.

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I wouldn''t be surprised if Surman starts against Parma, as we seem to be rotating a lot for each friendly. That said, I do think we were very close to what we''ll see at Wigan last night.

Johnson was quite eager to get involved with play, moreso than I thought he might be (I had him down as a ''rumble around in the centre knocking things over'' player). The trade-off between him and Surman comes down to strength and grit against technical ability; just depends which one we feel we need more.

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Surman has some class and can finish but I think it depends where we are an who we are playing as to whether we will go more attacking with surman or more defensive with Johnson but I have to say he didn''t impress me last night.

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It''s perhaps not massively important to the OP but I don''t think we''ll see Pilkington ans Bennett playing together as orthodox wingers too often. Their presence in the team will most often be counterbalanced by the apperance of Johnson/Surman/Crofts on the opposite side.

 

I would also disagree with the idea that Surman is lightweight and/or will not put in a shift for the team. There is more to providing cover for your defence than being aggressive in the tackle and running endlessly. Surman seemed quite adept at providing cover for Tierney last year by being positionally aware. There is no reason why he cannot provide a similar service this season.

 

The rules of football do not change when you get promoted to the Premier League and, despite what the media might tell you, you can beat richer clubs by being more tactically astute. We have added some muscle to our team, which will come in handy when defending generaly and for set pieces, but the idea that we need to be more direct or that our fluid passing style will not cut it in the Premier League is nonsense.

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I like Surman his works well in the role he played last season, he perhaps does lack alittle muscle, but his movement off the ball is great and he''s one of those players that keeps the passing going by being in a good position to receive and then tending to find his own player, keeping the possession going. He might have a fight on his hands for a starting 11 place for the first game but i think he''ll get games this comming season.

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I was not overly impressed by Johnson, although that was the only time I''ve seen him live playing, and it''s preseason etc. His touch seemed heavy on the ball, didn''t help by the comparison with the sublime messrs Holt, Hoolahan & Pilkington.

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